Independent Colleges of Washington represents 10 private, non-profit colleges and universities in public policy matters and encourages legislation at the state and federal levels that supports students and recognizes independent colleges and universities as vital partners in higher education.
ICW’s public policy agenda includes state and federal higher education policy. It centers on creating a higher education network that ensures students can attend the high-quality college that best serves their interests, needs, and aspirations.
Facts About ICW Members Colleges
Independent Colleges provide educational opportunity, choice, and success for students.
This is accomplished by:
- Making resources available to students
- Advocating for public policy that supports students
- Building strategic collaborations
- Telling the compelling story of independent higher education
ICW colleges share a commitment to high quality academically rigorous learning with emphasis on:
- Critical thinking
- Lifelong learning
- Community service
ICW is a nonprofit membership organization of 10 liberal arts based colleges and universities in Washington:
Gonzaga University, Heritage University, Pacific Lutheran University, Saint Martin’s University, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound, Walla Walla University, Whitman College, Whitworth University
ICW 10 Member Colleges:
- Enroll nearly 40,000 students each year from all 39 Washington counties, all 50 states, and over 90 countries
- Confer 21% of Washington’s baccalaureate and advanced degrees
- Return significant value to the public’s investment in students through State Need Grants
- Have capacity to educate thousands of additional students with state and private support
- Provide nearly $454 million in grants to students, opening the door of opportunity to students regardless of background
- Employ over 8,000 faculty investing $608 million in payroll and benefits
- Recognized in top five among states in graduation rate with 82.8% of students starting at our colleges graduating within six years
- ICW Supports High School Assessment along with COP and SBAC
- College Promise Coalition
- The College Promise Coalition brings together leaders and advocates from education, business, labor and community-based organizations to open up diverse pathways for Washington students to pursue the unique opportunities in our state.Washington students have big dreams for their futures. But too few Washington students are prepared to compete in our state’s workforce. Some 740,000 jobs are expected to open in Washington by 2021, most of which will require at least some postsecondary education or training. Yet, only 31% of Washington high school students go on to earn a credential after high school, and only 51% of all Washingtonians have a postsecondary credential.This unprecedented partnership will advocate for higher education opportunity and access for all Washington students, and work with policymakers to adopt and fund policies that increase higher education attainment.
2019 State Budget Priorities
1. Fully fund the State Need Grant (Washington College Promise Scholarship) so all currently eligible students receive support, expand income eligibility, and make funding for the program reliable and predictable.
ICW supports the proposals advanced by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC):
- Fully and predictably fund the State Need Grant Program, ensuring that all eligible students receive the grant. ($60M, in year 1; $40M in year 2)
- Expand State Need Grant eligibility to serve students from 0-100 percent of the state’s median family income. ($47M/year)
Additionally, we urge that the proposed budget retain the structure of the State Need Grant that gives Washington students attending ICW campuses parity with state residents who attend our public research universities. Parity for students, regardless of whether they attend public and private institutions of higher education, is critically important and it is our hope the state will continue this policy moving forward, making permanent this proviso from section 609 in 2017-19 biennial budget:
“For the 2017-2019 fiscal biennium, grant awards given to private four-year not-for-profit institutions shall be set at the same level as the average grant award for public research universities. Increases in awards given to private four-year not-for-profit institutions shall align with annual tuition increases for public research institutions.”
2. Reinvest in the State Work Study Program to provide students with job opportunities and support local businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
- Expand career-connected learning opportunities through the State Work Study program, resulting in more than $8 million in wages while serving an additional 3,000 students. ($5M/year)
3. Leverage capacity in high-demand programs at private, not-for-profit colleges and universities.
As the state seeks to expand the number of degrees awarded in high-demand areas, we ask for the opportunity to be a part of the solution. Following models from other states, Washington could implement targeted programs of support to ensure that state residents can fill available seats currently available at ICW’s 10 member campuses to help meet critical state needs.
Federal Public Policy
ICW works closely with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities on federal policy issues.
For more information about the policy issues: http://www.naicu.edu/policy-advocacy
We are also working on ways to make college more affordable. Look here for some positive initiatives: http://www.naicu.edu/policy-advocacy/students-first
NAICU has the only source of federal aid by Congressional District. Take a look at the Washington data sheets here: http://www.naicu.edu/policy-advocacy/federal-student-aid-data-sheets/washington
For more information about our federal policy efforts please contact:
President and CEO
How You Can Help
- Become an Advocate and sign up to receive Action Alerts. The center will keep you informed about issues before the legislature and about how you can make your voice heard on those issues.
- Contact Legislators through the Action Center.
- Become our friend: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Encourage others, including students, friends, and colleagues to support student aid. Widely share college updates, student profiles, and legislative alerts.
UCAN Network provides vital information about private colleges in the country. To see ICW members’ links go to http://www.ucan-network.org/member/state/WA
The Student Aid Alliance is a coalition of associations who support federal funding for strong student aid programs.
ICW works closely with the National Association of State Executives and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) to formulate and advocate for supportive higher education public policy.