Grant allows for more students' success

The Ethnic of Love - Jovien Robinson

There are a number of great things I like about Substitute Senate Bill 6101.

To start with, the bill proposal came about, in part, due to the Legislature's goal, which is that 70 percent of Washington adults having a postsecondary education by 2023.

If this bill is passed, students who live in a household with an income less than $39,784.5, won't have to pay for tuition at non-private colleges. Simply put, the bill says if you make less than 70 percent of your state's median income, you deserve college.

Typically, tuition is the largest portion of the costs at a college or university.

In 2017, 17,250 students in Washington qualified for the State Need Grant, but couldn't get help because there wasn't enough money. If this bill had been in effect, then more students would be able to afford college.

Initially, I thought there were many potential holes in this plan like: the number of students the bill proposed to help, needs to increase; students might not stay convinced to attend their classes if they didn't have to pay for it; taxes might have to be raised pay for this bill. Nonetheless even with those risks, the bill was still an amazing starting point.

The concerns, however, have been addressed. The bill proposes that during the academic year 2024-25, a student becomes eligible for the grant simply if they've obtained their high school diploma or its equivalent, and their family income is the state median or lower.

Now comes the issue about a student's motivation to do well in college, when they don't have to pay a crap ton of money for it. It's not a new idea. A part of a reason students finish their degree or stick with a difficult class, is because they don't want to waste their own money.

That is called certainty effect, and is apparently one of the driving forces behind why college isn't free now. The theory suggests that you want to take the lower risk option, more often than not.

The risk here would be, that your hard-earned money is wasted. If we take away that risk, some people think incoming students will become less driven and more likely to fail.

With this new bill, however, students will be provided a quarter-long course that focuses on student success in college. This course will go over: "study habits and time management; financial aid information and resources; connecting students with advisers; encouraging student mentoring; helping establish student cohorts; and providing information about services available on campus," according to the bill.

This is to show students how to persevere. I think this bill, if passed, might work in the long run, but what about the money it will cost to pay for it all?

Well yes, it does in fact take a bit of money for this to start up, but in the long run it should pay for itself. The consequences of more college educated residents, will be less people on welfare and needing state assistance for health coverage.

In the end risks are low, the cost is reasonable, and the effect it will have on our state and its residents will be significant.

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