For the second year in a row, Cascade and Monticello Middle Schools have been recognized as top performers in encouraging their students to pursue educational opportunities beyond high school.

 While the statewide signup average is 71%, 78% of eligible students at Monticello and 81% of eligible students at Cascade signed up for the state’s College Bound Scholarship.

Eligible students must sign up by June 30 of their eighth grade year to receive this early commitment of state funding to attend one of a long list of Washington public and private colleges and trade schools. In combination with other state aid, the scholarship covers tuition at public college rates.

Students who sign up for the scholarship graduate from high school and enroll in college at higher rates than their low-income peers. The first cohort of College Bound students graduated from high school in 2012. Since then, the four-year high school graduation rate for these students has consistently been similar to the statewide average and over ten percentage points higher than for low-income students who were eligible but didn’t sign up.

“We’re proud of our schools’ efforts to ensure that low-income students have access to all opportunities,” said Dan Zorn, superintendent. “High school graduation is the first step in success, and this effort helps them have a head start on the next steps, too.”