Another sign of our recessionary times: More college students who qualify for state grants based on financial need are being denied those grants because of a huge increase in demand for limited dollars.
The State Need Grant is Washington state's largest financial aid program for needy students, according to the state Higher Education Coordinating Board. More than 15,000 students who qualified for the grants this year didn't get them, according to figures released last week by the HECB. That is triple the number from the previous academic year.
About 15 percent of the unserved students were enrolled in Pierce County colleges, both public and private. About 74,000 students statewide received State Need Grants this year.
"The problem isn't the state's commitment to its largest financial aid programs," John Klacik, HECB’s director of student financial assistance, said. "It's the burgeoning growth in the number of students who are qualified and ready to go to college but whose personal financial resources are inadequate to cover the cost."
The Legislature added about $18 million to assist students with State Need Grants in the coming school year. But HECB predicts demand will outstrip funding.
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