Eligible Running Start students now have access to an additional $150 per student for textbooks and course materials, thanks to the Washington Student Achievement Council’s selection of Highline College as a Running Start pilot site for the Dual Enrollment Scholarship program.
Highline College was selected as one of eight pilot sites across Washington state, which is home to 34 community and technical colleges.
“We are very excited to be selected as one of the pilot colleges for the Washington Dual Enrollment Scholarship,” said Chase Magliocca, Highline’s director of Running Start. “This program will help enhance our existing support available to Running Start students by helping students obtain their textbooks, which are essential to their academic success. These funds will allow more students to access Running Start who otherwise may have not participated due to the cost of textbooks.”
Although costs have been declining over the years, students still spend an average of more than $400 a year on college textbooks, according to an annual study by the National Association of College Stores.
For the 2020-21 academic year, the council awarded Highline College $122,000, which will boost the college’s existing Running Start Fee Waiver and Book Assistance program. That program already provides a $75 textbook stipend for eligible, low-income Running Start students.
During the 2019-20 academic year, Highline College reported 40% of its 1,400-plus Running Start students qualified for low-income support. To qualify for the Dual Enrollment Scholarship funds, students must meet the college’s Running Start Fee Waiver and Textbook Assistance program qualifications. In addition to being enrolled in at least one college course and having a 2.0 GPA or higher, students must be able to provide documentation for one of the following criteria:
- Eligibility for the free and reduced-price meals program in a student’s school district within the last five years;
- State or federal public assistance;
- Foster youth or receive McKinney-Vento services;
- Family/household income that is equal to or less than 200% of the annual U.S. federal poverty guidelines.
According to the council, the Washington State Legislature established the Dual Enrollment Scholarship program in 2019, and designated the council as the entity to administer the funds. The council then convened a multi-stakeholder group to design the program. That group was composed of representatives from the Council of Presidents, the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Funds were also set aside for College in the High School programs. In 2020, the Legislature expanded the program to cover apprenticeship materials for Running Start students.
Highline College Running Start students who already qualify for the fee waiver program will be notified by email of their eligibility for the Dual Enrollment Scholarship and do not need to submit any additional documentation to apply for these funds. However, there is an option to apply for these funds through the Running Start Fee Waiver and Textbook Assistance application. In addition to filling out the application, students must also attach supporting documentation to verify eligibility in an email to email@example.com. The application is due by the 10th day of each academic quarter, or Oct. 7, 2020, for fall quarter 2020.