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28A.600.300  <<  28A.600.310 >>   28A.600.320

RCW 28A.600.310

Running start program — Enrollment in institutions of higher education — Student fees — Fee waivers — Transmittal of funds — Report on program financial support.

(1) Eleventh and twelfth grade students or students who have not yet received the credits required for the award of a high school diploma and are eligible to be in the eleventh or twelfth grades may apply to a participating institution of higher education to enroll in courses or programs offered by the institution of higher education. A student receiving home-based instruction enrolling in a public high school for the sole purpose of participating in courses or programs offered by institutions of higher education shall not be counted by the school district in any required state or federal accountability reporting if the student's parents or guardians filed a declaration of intent to provide home-based instruction and the student received home-based instruction during the school year before the school year in which the student intends to participate in courses or programs offered by the institution of higher education. Students receiving home-based instruction under chapter 28A.200 RCW and students attending private schools approved under chapter 28A.195 RCW shall not be required to meet the student learning goals, obtain a certificate of academic achievement or a certificate of individual achievement to graduate from high school, or to master the essential academic learning requirements. However, students are eligible to enroll in courses or programs in participating universities only if the board of directors of the student's school district has decided to participate in the program. Participating institutions of higher education, in consultation with school districts, may establish admission standards for these students. If the institution of higher education accepts a secondary school pupil for enrollment under this section, the institution of higher education shall send written notice to the pupil and the pupil's school district within ten days of acceptance. The notice shall indicate the course and hours of enrollment for that pupil.

     (2)(a) In lieu of tuition and fees, as defined in RCW 28B.15.020 and 28B.15.041:

     (i) Running start students shall pay to the community or technical college all other mandatory fees as established by each community or technical college and, in addition, the state board for community and technical colleges may authorize a fee of up to ten percent of tuition and fees as defined in RCW 28B.15.020 and 28B.15.041; and

     (ii) All other institutions of higher education operating a running start program may charge running start students a fee of up to ten percent of tuition and fees as defined in RCW 28B.15.020 and 28B.15.041 in addition to technology fees.

     (b) The fees charged under this subsection (2) shall be prorated based on credit load.

     (3)(a) The institutions of higher education must make available fee waivers for low-income running start students. Each institution must establish a written policy for the determination of low-income students before offering the fee waiver. A student shall be considered low income and eligible for a fee waiver upon proof that the student is currently qualified to receive free or reduced-price lunch. Acceptable documentation of low-income status may also include, but is not limited to, documentation that a student has been deemed eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in the last five years, or other criteria established in the institution's policy.

     (b) Institutions of higher education, in collaboration with relevant student associations, shall aim to have students who can benefit from fee waivers take advantage of these waivers. Institutions shall make every effort to communicate to students and their families the benefits of the waivers and provide assistance to students and their families on how to apply. Information about waivers shall, to the greatest extent possible, be incorporated into financial aid counseling, admission information, and individual billing statements. Institutions also shall, to the greatest extent possible, use all means of communication, including but not limited to web sites, online catalogues, admission and registration forms, mass e-mail messaging, social media, and outside marketing to ensure that information about waivers is visible, compelling, and reaches the maximum number of students and families that can benefit.

     (4) The pupil's school district shall transmit to the institution of higher education an amount per each full-time equivalent college student at statewide uniform rates for vocational and nonvocational students. The superintendent of public instruction shall separately calculate and allocate moneys appropriated for basic education under RCW 28A.150.260 to school districts for purposes of making such payments and for granting school districts seven percent thereof to offset program related costs. The calculations and allocations shall be based upon the estimated statewide annual average per full-time equivalent high school student allocations under RCW 28A.150.260, excluding small high school enhancements, and applicable rules adopted under chapter 34.05 RCW. The superintendent of public instruction, participating institutions of higher education, and the state board for community and technical colleges shall consult on the calculation and distribution of the funds. The funds received by the institution of higher education from the school district shall not be deemed tuition or operating fees and may be retained by the institution of higher education. A student enrolled under this subsection shall be counted for the purpose of meeting enrollment targets in accordance with terms and conditions specified in the omnibus appropriations act.

     (5) The state board for community and technical colleges, in collaboration with the other institutions of higher education that participate in the running start program and the office of the superintendent of public instruction, shall identify, assess, and report on alternatives for providing ongoing and adequate financial support for the program. Such alternatives shall include but are not limited to student tuition, increased support from local school districts, and reallocation of existing state financial support among the community and technical college system to account for differential running start enrollment levels and impacts. The state board for community and technical colleges shall report the assessment of alternatives to the governor and to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the legislature by September 1, 2010.

[2012 c 229 § 702; 2011 1st sp.s. c 10 § 10; 2009 c 450 § 8; 2005 c 125 § 1; 1994 c 205 § 2; 1993 c 222 § 1; 1990 1st ex.s. c 9 § 402.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- 2012 c 229 §§ 101, 117, 401, 402, 501 through 594, 601 through 609, 701 through 708, 801 through 821, 902, and 904: See note following RCW 28B.77.005.

     Findings -- Intent -- Short title -- 2011 1st sp.s. c 10: See notes following RCW 28B.15.031.

     Findings -- Intent -- 2009 c 450: See note following RCW 28A.600.280.

     Effective date -- 1993 c 222: "This act shall take effect September 1, 1993." [1993 c 222 § 2.]

     Finding -- Severability -- 1990 1st ex.s. c 9: See notes following RCW 28A.225.220.