The College Bound Scholarship is an early commitment of state funding that intends to improve high school graduation and college enrollment rates for low-income middle school students. Eligible students, typically those who qualify for the free- and reduced-price lunch program, apply in seventh or eighth grade. They pledge to graduate from high school with a 2.0 GPA or higher, not be convicted of a felony and file the FAFSA in a timely manner to determine their income eligibility. The scholarship covers the average cost of tuition (at public-institution rates) and fees, plus a small book allowance. It is designed to fill the gap not covered by State Need Grant or other state financial aid.
Students must enroll by June 30 of their 8th grade year.
Additional facts about College Bound Scholarships:
- College Bound is not a "full-ride." The scholarship covers the average cost of tuition at comparable public institutions, some fees, and a small book allowance (included in the award, but not noted separately on the student's award letter).
- Students do not have to graduate with their class, but they must graduate (GEDs are not accepted).
- Students must graduate from a Washington high school. Online high school diplomas from out-of-state schools do not meet this requirement.
- Students do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for the scholarship, but they must be citizens or eligible non-citizens to receive it. If students are not U. S. citizens, they are encouraged to file the WASFA.
- College Bound is a four-year scholarship that must be used within five years of high school graduation. For example, June 2017 graduates have until 2022 to earn a degree or certificate.
- Students do not have to enroll in college right after they graduate from high school. They may take a "gap year." However, they must be enrolled in college within one year of high school graduation. June 2017 graduates must be enrolled by fall of 2018.
Enrollment of Lake Washington School District (LWSD) students is coordinated by counselors at the middle school level. LWSD middle school counselors are currently in the process of encouraging 8th grade students and their families to enroll in the program. Historically, nearly 90% of eligible 8th graders across the district enroll.