Inslee details plan to create a statewide free college program for Washington students

Story Body

Following a roundtable with a small group of college students, Gov. Jay Inslee detailed his plan today to transform the State Need Grant into Washington’s College Promise grant, a guaranteed source of financial aid for more than 93,000 eligible students.

The State Need Grant is currently the foundation of Washington’s financial aid system. But the Legislature has chronically underfunded the program, and over the last decade about one out of four eligible students who applied have not received the grant. This leaves tens of thousands of students on a waitlist for financial aid. In changing the program to Washington College Promise, the state will fully fund the program and restructure the legal framework behind it to guarantee that it stays fully funded.

Washington College Promise will guarantee students the funds to go to school so long as they meet the income eligibility requirements and attend an eligible institution or program. The program will also offer financial aid to apprentices that demonstrate financial need. The stability of the new program will ensure that eligible students receive funding for college in future years, which provides more stability and predictability for them and their families, and improves a student’s ability to successfully graduate.

“Every student in Washington state should have the opportunity to get the higher education they need. I’m excited to talk about the big steps we’re taking to make this opportunity a reality,” said Inslee. “A student’s financial situation should not prohibit them from pursuing their dreams. The Washington College Promise scholarship is our next step in making sure our students can compete for the careers of tomorrow.”

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

Media Contacts

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office