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College Bound Scholarship gives low-income students a shot at higher ed

For low-income children signed up for the College Bound Scholarship Program, a college education is just around the corner, even though their families likely can’t afford it.

“The College Bound Scholarship is a statewide program passed through our State Legislature in 2007,” Alyson Galloway-Rotter, College Bound Scholarship counselor, said. “The intent is to increase the college going rates of students that have lower rates of attending college and degree attainment. Specifically the scholarship opportunity is a financial promise to low income students that might not otherwise think they can go to college.”

The program is administered by the Higher Education Coordinating Board, but Issaquah-based nonprofit College Success Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and mentoring to low income high potential students, has a formal partnership with HECB and the State Educational Service Districts to promote the program regionally.

College Bound, which promises a full tuition scholarship at a Washington state university, community college or technical college for up to four years, is open for applications from seventh and eigth-grade students, but an event scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. tomorrow at the Bremer Student Center on Olympic College’s Bremerton campus also is for ninth and tenth-grade students who have previously registered.

“This event is a pilot program with the BSD,” Galloway-Rotter said. “Typically other large scale events in other parts of the State have focused solely on sign ups. This event will offer some programming for students – and their parents – who are already signed up.”

The “Bremerton is College Bound” event is sponsored by OC, CSF, HECB and the Bremerton School District and will include a welcome to be given by OC President David Mitchell and BSD Superintendent Lester “Flip” Herndon as well as opening remarks from Sen. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor).

There will be a youth services and college fair, refreshments, door prizes, and breakout sessions for students and parents including “Student Attributes for Mathematics Success: Developing a Growth Mindset,” “Parent Support: My student is going to college,” and “Navigating Career Pathways.” College Success Foundation staff and volunteers also will be available to help families with the application process.

According to Galloway-Rotter, 575 BSD students and their families have been invited to attend because they are either eligible to sign up at the event or they have already signed up and could possibly need more information.

“This scholarship program offers hope and incentive for students and families who otherwise might not consider college as an option because of its cost,” she said.

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