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Program points middle schoolers toward college

11:52 am June 4th, 2014

By Janna Rush
Contributing writer
Eatonville Middle School is excited to offer a powerful opportunity for our seventh and eighth-grade students that will allow them, if they qualify, to attend college or trade school after high school tuition-free.
This opportunity is provided by the College Bound Scholarship program. We all know that earning a degree or certificate after a high school diploma is important. The College Bound Scholarship program encourages low-income middle school students to choose a path that will lead to educational success after high school.
This program is an early commitment of state financial aid that will combine with other state financial aid students may receive to cover the average tuition (at comparable public college rates), some fees, and a small book allowance for income-eligible students who sign up in the seventh or eighth grade.
The first step is to apply if you are eligible. Students in seventh or eighth grade who meet one of the following income criteria may apply:.
• Eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch.
• A foster youth.
• Receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits.
• Family meets the income standards as described on the application
The deadline is June 30 at the end of the student’s eighth-grade year, and students only need to apply once.
Already this school year, we have encouraged eligible eighth-graders to fill out an application and return it to the school’s counseling office with a parent signature. So far, we have over 15 applications returned. Applications can be filled out online (www.collegebound.wa.gov) and returned to the counseling office at the middle school.
As you fill out the application, your child will pledge to graduate from a Washington high school with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher, be a good citizen and stay out of serious legal trouble, and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in a timely manner in the senior year of high school
If your child keeps this pledge and your family’s income continues to meet the requirement, the state will cover tuition (at public college rates), and a small book allowance, for up to four years at a Washington public or private university, community college or technical college.
By signing and returning the application and pledge, you and your child are taking the first step to a more secure and prosperous future. Eatonville Middle School is committed to helping all students gain the necessary skills for success in high school and beyond. Our goal is 100 percent of our students who qualify will become a College Bound Scholar. Please help us educate our community.

Janna Rush is the principal of Eatonville Middle School.

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