OLYMPIA— More than 78 percent of low-income students enrolled in Washington’s College Bound Scholarship Program graduated on time last year – a nearly 19 percent jump in graduation rates between College Bound Scholarship students and low-income students not enrolled in the program.
College Bound Scholarship students also graduated at rates above the state average (77 percent) and near the rates of non-low-income students (about 86 percent). The new data on College Bound and non-College bound students, compiled by the state’s Education Research & Data Center (ERDC), suggests a strong connection between state-sponsored scholarship programs and student achievement. “This is great news and strong evidence that young students who are offered a way to pursue their educational dreams will do better than those who believe the path to educational achievement is closed to them for financial reasons,” said Washington Student Achievement Council Chair Dr. Brian Baird.
Higher education affordability is one of five key educational challenge areas in the Council’s anticipated 10-year educational Roadmap for the state (to be delivered to the Legislature by December 1).
Washington’s 2012 high school graduates included more than 10,000 of the state’s first College Bound Scholarship Program seniors, representing over 17 percent of the state’s entire graduating class.
Established by the Legislature in 2007, the College Bound Scholarship Program offers financial aid for students meeting eligibility requirements. For example, students must have a household income at or below 65 percent of the state’s median family income and must earn satisfactory grades in high school.
The Washington Student Achievement Council has worked collaboratively with the K-12 system, state agencies, non-profit organizations, and college access groups to enroll eligible students. To date, nearly 134,000 students have submitted complete College Bound applications.
About the Washington Student Achievement Council: Established as a new cabinet-level state agency on July 1, 2012, the Washington Student Achievement Council provides strategic planning, oversight, and advocacy to support increased student success and higher levels of educational attainment in Washington. The Council proposes improvements and innovations needed to adapt the state’s educational institutions to evolving needs and advocates for increased financial support and civic commitment for public education in recognition of the economic, social, and civic benefits it provides.
The nine-member Council includes five citizens, a current student, and one representative from each of the state's four major educational sectors.
More information about the Council can be found on our website: wsac.wa.gov