State Board awards nearly $2 million for colleges to help financially struggling students
December 26, 2019
OLYMPIA, WA—The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges has awarded nearly $2 million for colleges to help financially struggling students stay in school and complete their degrees. The awards were made possible by two grant programs established by the state Legislature during the 2019 legislative session.
The Student Emergency Assistance Grant Program, established under HB 1893, provides community and technical colleges funding to help students pay for unexpected bills and basic living expenses, like emergency car repairs, medical bills, food, childcare, transportation, rent and utilities. Sixteen community and technical colleges will receive awards over a two-year period, including $90,000 to Walla Walla Community College
The Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness Pilot Program, established under SB 5800, creates six pilot projects for students who are homeless or were in foster care – four at community and technical colleges and two at universities. Colleges can use the funds to help students with short-term housing or housing assistance; laundry facilities, storage and showers; reduced-price meals; technology; and case-management services. Last year, seven in 10 community college students nationwide experienced food or housing insecurity, according to a 2019 national survey by the Hope Center.
“So many of our students are living on the edge. An unexpected car repair or medical bill can force them to drop out of college,” said Jan Yoshiwara, executive director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. “These grants recognize that living expenses are a type of educational expense; they go hand-in-hand. These grants will help students stay in school and achieve their dreams.”