Hansen bills to enhance college opportunity moves forward in Senate

OLYMPIA – Colleges would  be connected more directly with high-achieving, low-income high schoolers to boost their admission rates under a bill by Rep. Drew Hansen that won approval from a state Senate committee late last week.

It was the third Hansen higher-education measure to make that grade in the past week.

“We believe, as a state and a nation, that every child should have the opportunity to succeed,” said Hansen, a 23rd District lawmaker from Bainbridge Island. “Nothing is more critical to that opportunity and that success in the 21st century than a college education.”

Modeled after a program that produced a dramatic increase in successful applications to top schools, Hansen’s House Bill 2694 calls for the state to mail information about public and private colleges to the homes of high-achieving, low-income high school students.

The measure earlier passed the House with bipartisan support and now heads to the full Senate.

Two other bills by Hansen, a Kitsap County Democrat, were also advanced in the Senate by the Higher Education Committee. They are:

House Bill 2651, which requires state universities and colleges, including community colleges, to provide information about their income and spending on a public web site, for review by parents and students considering schools. Included among income categories would be tuition, state support, gifts and revenue from athletics; spending categories would include instruction, research, student services, administration and athletics.

House Bill 2612, which strengthens administration of investments by the Opportunity Scholarship Program to provide financial aid for low- and middle-income college students studying in science, technology, engineering or math.

The program receives support from public and private contributions.


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