Promise Scholarship Would Replace Need Grants

The dream of college could become a reality for thousands of Washington families if a new bill in Olympia becomes law.  Dan Frizzell from the
Washington State House Democratic Caucus has that story.

Last year the state need grant helped about seventy-thousand college students stay in school. The bad news is, another twenty-two-thousand who were eligible based on financial need didn’t get a dime, because the fund ran out of money. Legislation being considered this week in the Legislature does away with the need grant program and replaces it with the promise scholarship. Representative Drew Hansen, prime sponsor of House Bill 1340, says the promise scholarship represents just that: a promise that every qualifying student will benefit.

HANSEN: “The state need grant is a mess.  1340 makes it a guarantee so that you will in fact get this financial need if your family qualifies by median income, and that’s a promise to families in Washington state that are having a hard time making ends meet that we will be with you to help you pick up your tuition.”

Hansen, a Bainbridge Island Democrat who chairs the House College and Workforce Development Committee, had a hearing on the bill in his committee Tuesday afternoon. If he can push the bill to the finish line the promise scholarships would begin in the 2021-22 school year.  In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.