In a letter from Governor Jay Inslee, Seattle Public Schools was given a
2014 Gold Star Award for ”exemplary” performance in getting students signed up for the College Bound Scholarship Program. Seattle Public
Schools signed up 100 percent of eligible eighth-graders.
The program is a state effort that commits scholarship money for college
to low-income middle school students who graduate from high school and
apply for college aid. Statewide, 89 percent of eligible eighth-graders
signed up for the College Bound program.
College Bound is a need-based scholarship that students sign up for in
middle school. As part of the sign-up, students make a pledge to
graduate from a Washington high school or home school with a 2.0 GPA or
higher, be a good citizen and not be convicted of a felony, apply to an
eligible college and file the Free Application for Federal Students Aid
(FAFSA) in a timely manner.
“Schools work really hard to make sure all of their students have access
to these scholarships and get signed up,” said Krista Rillo, a College
Bound Scholarship Counselor with Seattle Public Schools.<
That includes sending letters to families with application forms a
couple of times a year and making phone calls near the deadline to sign
up. The district supports the schools with things like the Annual
College Bound Scholarship Conference, sign-up tables at events and
promotion ceremonies, presentations, forms in middle school families’
first-day packets and more.
College Bound participants graduate at a rate 10 points higher than
other low-income students, according to the Washington Student
Achievement Council, a cabinet-level state agency that oversees the
state’s College Bound program. In the years since the Legislature
established the scholarship program, more than 212,000 students have