Rep. Mark Hargrove introduces legislation to increase the number of State Need Grant recipients
Rep. Mark Hargrove has introduced legislation that would restructure the State Need Grant (SNG) program to increase the number of grant recipients at no additional cost to the state.
Currently, State Need Grant recipients may use their grants at any eligible higher education institution for all four years, including institutions with the most expensive tuition. Under Hargrove's House Bill 2301, the SNG program would award only the community and technical college rate for a student's first two years of postsecondary credit. Hargrove believes this would encourage grant-eligible students to complete their first two years of postsecondary education at a community or technical college before completing their degree at a more expensive four-year institution. Grant money saved during those first two years would be used to fund SNGs for thousands of eligible students whose grants are currently unfunded.
“We have 27,000 students who are eligible for the State Need Grant, but do not receive any type of award,” said Hargrove, R-Covington. “By increasing the number of grant recipients by the thousands, we will have more students graduating from college with less debt at no additional cost to the state. Many parents in my community make the choice to send their kids to community college for the first two years in order to afford college tuition for all four years. It makes sense for the state to enact this prudent reform that would ensure their tax dollars are spent wisely.”
The purpose of the State Need Grant program is to assist low-income undergraduate students in their pursuit of a college degree. To be eligible for the SNG, students must be residents of Washington state, attend classes at an eligible institution, and have a family income at or below the amounts specified in the chart below.
Hargrove's bill has six co-sponsors – three Democrats and three Republicans. It awaits a hearing in the House Higher Education Committee.
###Washington State House Republican Communications