[Wsssc] Fwd: State COVID Emergency Funds for Undocumented Students

Joe Holliday jholliday at sbctc.edu
Tue Feb 16 16:39:18 PST 2021

WSSSC: FYI, some good news...

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From: Washington College Grant (WSAC) <wcg at wsac.wa.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 4:33 PM
Subject: State COVID Emergency Funds for Undocumented Students

Dear Colleagues,

We wanted to make you aware of the $5M in funding for undocumented students statewide to address COVID related emergencies (similar to federal funding via CARES/HEER) for the 2020-21 academic year (to be spent no later than June 30, 2021).   It is anticipated to be signed into law by Governor Inslee this week.   See below for specific information.

WSAC has been working with members of the financial aid workgroup to determine how to provide this funding to colleges, for distribution to students, just as quickly as possible.  We wanted to share the draft guidance now to encourage you to start to prepare for possible receipt of funding, which could happen as quickly as this month.  (We will provide more details, as we know them.)

Thank you for your partnership and work on behalf of students,
-Office of Student Financial Assistance, WSAC

[cid:image001.png at 01D70481.65AB81F0]
Washington Student Achievement Council
Washington College Grant Team
888-535-0747 | Cell: 360-522-2645
wcg at wsac.wa.gov<mailto:wcg at wsac.wa.gov> | wsac.wa.gov/wcg<https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwsac.wa.gov%2Fwcg&data=04%7C01%7CGabrieleW%40wsac.wa.gov%7Ce713bc0227cf419d5e6d08d8d2daf835%7C11d0e217264e400a8ba057dcc127d72d%7C0%7C0%7C637491185206628105%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=w%2B0IAEV1M%2FheFwcP4AOdL6FejT6iYY%2BVMkFbrHXC3CI%3D&reserved=0>

Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1368<https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flawfilesext.leg.wa.gov%2Fbiennium%2F2021-22%2FPdf%2FBills%2FHouse%2520Bills%2F1368-S.E.pdf%3Fq%3D20210215090727&data=04%7C01%7CGabrieleW%40wsac.wa.gov%7Ce713bc0227cf419d5e6d08d8d2daf835%7C11d0e217264e400a8ba057dcc127d72d%7C0%7C0%7C637491185206628105%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=BSYfWo55rGGBb9gaUPt1dUAHp%2B64LoIlgKHzg9q5rYU%3D&reserved=0> is expected to be signed into law by Governor Inslee this the week.  Within the bill there is a $5 million appropriation (Section 14) to serve undocumented students who need emergency funding and are enrolled during the 2020-21 academic year at an eligible college<https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwsac.wa.gov%2Fsfa-institutions&data=04%7C01%7CGabrieleW%40wsac.wa.gov%7Ce713bc0227cf419d5e6d08d8d2daf835%7C11d0e217264e400a8ba057dcc127d72d%7C0%7C0%7C637491185206638066%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=O9F3LCbbXgqTkQFjlMWBK0frxDe4LGqkw4sc9AsQVDI%3D&reserved=0>.

Funding must be disbursed to students by June 30, 2021.

The following DRAFT is intended to assist with initial planning by colleges.

Distribution of Funding:
The funds will be allocated to eligible institutions participating in the state aid programs using a fair share model.  This model considers Undocumented WASFA filers who were Washington College Grant (WCG) eligible at each college as of the Winter 2021 Interim report, in relation to the total WCG eligible for the same demographic.

Please note that not all colleges have students that meet this definition and allocations will vary significantly.  In general, colleges will be receiving approximately $2,000 in funding for each student that meets this definition but can be used to serve a broader undocumented student population.  See below.

Colleges will have some discretion as to how they will be awarding the funding to eligible students.  To the extent possible, student funding is to be similar to funding received by students who were eligible for federal COVID emergency funding (CARES/HEER student emergency financial aid) but does not have to include consideration of any future federal funding that is unknown at this time.

Students must meet the following eligible student as defined in RCW 28B.96.010<https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapp.leg.wa.gov%2FRCW%2Fdefault.aspx%3Fcite%3D28B.96%26full%3Dtrue%2328B.96.010&data=04%7C01%7CGabrieleW%40wsac.wa.gov%7Ce713bc0227cf419d5e6d08d8d2daf835%7C11d0e217264e400a8ba057dcc127d72d%7C0%7C0%7C637491185206638066%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=ohylsGMf%2FjasJywdvDNcSL2Zv%2BzKNo1MKepOnvC19sM%3D&reserved=0>.
·       "Eligible student" means a student who:
(a) Is a resident student;
(b) Demonstrates financial need;
(c) Is making satisfactory progress;
(d) Fills out the Washington application for state financial aid; and
(e) Does not qualify for federally funded student financial aid because of their citizenship status.
·       Students who were NOT eligible and did not receive assistance from Federal CARES/HEER student emergency financial aid grants.

Note that colleges will receive funding based on students who have filed a 2020-21 WASFA, and are eligible for Washington College Grant.  However, colleges have discretion to serve students more broadly, including students in short-term certificate programs, if they otherwise meet the eligibility criteria above.

Completing a WASFA may be waived if it is not needed for other purposes and the college has determined the student needs emergency funding.

Grants awarded to eligible students under this section must NOT be included in any financial need calculation when awarding state financial aid, nor requires any adjustment in already disbursed state aid.

Each institution shall develop a policy for awarding these funds to ensure equitable awarding and distribution.  WSAC recommends a process that is as student friendly and low barrier as possible.  We encourage you to be as inclusive as possible.
Factors to consider and/or include:

  *   How will it be promoted?
  *   How will students apply?
  *   How will award amounts be determined?
  *   How recipient privacy will be protected?

These funds will not be included in student level record reporting on interim or Unit Record Reports.  Colleges will be required to report the following in a fillable form document:

  *   Total funds awarded
  *   Number of students served
     *   By undergraduate/graduate

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