Senate passes Holy bill aimed at helping high-school students attend college

A bipartisan bill from 6th District Sen. Jeff Holy that would help students decide about attending a university or college is moving through the Legislature.

The Senate yesterday voted 48-1 to pass Senate Bill 6053, which aims to remove a barrier to higher-education opportunities by providing students with information about postsecondary educational and financial-aid possibilities.

“This is a really good bill,” said Holy, the Republican leader on the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee. “We’re moving forward on the idea that high-school students need to figure out exactly where they’re going to go for postsecondary education. Under this proposal, OSPI must share directory data of high school students with WSAC and higher education institutions within the state. WSAC and the higher ed institutions may only use that directory information to contact students to inform them about financial aid opportunities and higher ed opportunities. The benefit to the student is that WSAC will help them determine exactly what financial aid is available, and then the colleges will let them know which schools they qualify to attend.”

The proposal would require the WSAC to enter into data-sharing agreements with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction so high-school students have access to information about postsecondary educational and financial-aid opportunities available in Washington.

“Attending a college or university typically is very expensive. Many students need financial aid to pay for their higher education but aren’t aware what kinds of financial aid are available,” said Holy, R-Cheney. “This bill would help students by making it easier for the Washington Student Achievement Council to provide financial aid information to them.”

SB 6053 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.