Our most recent focus in meeting our state’s higher education attainment goal is securing full funding of the Washington State Need Grant (SNG), our state’s largest financial aid program. For over forty years, the SNG has provided assistance to the lowest-income undergraduate students in the state. This critical funding has supporting their ability to pursue degrees, gain new skills or train for current or new careers.
For years, the State Need Grant has been vastly underfunded, leaving thousands of Washington students without the financial aid resources the are qualified to receive. Ensuring eligible students can access financial aid will help boost enrollment, completion and help us address our skills and opportunity gaps.
We also recognize the need to increase the availability of all types of higher education to ensure our children are ready for the jobs of the future. This includes making targeted investments that expand capacity and enrollment in high-demand and priority fields such as STEM, education and healthcare.
Directing resources towards programs with proven success in increasing graduates’ scope and depth of knowledge, skillsets and experiences is also necessary to enable them to adapt to a constantly changing economy – ensuring that once they enter the workforce, they are able to remain in it.
Expanding the SNG and continuing strong investment in our other financial aid programs is an essential component in improving educational attainment in our state, by joining forces to amplify our shared agenda we can make a real difference in ensuring we make good on the promise we made to our kids.