State scholarship cut leaves students hanging


by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 23 at 6:44 PM


EVERETT, Wash. - The state's budget woes are now spilling over into merit scholarships.

Gov. Chris Gregoire wants to suspend the Washington Award for Vocational Excellence, or WAVE scholarship, leaving students to pick up the tab.

Not all of them can afford it.

"I'm working toward a business degree. I want to own my own business, maybe even a coffee shop," said Cate Legault. The straight-A community college student is well on her way, thanks in part to the WAVE scholarship that covers two year's tuition. Legault is one of just a handful of students who won it two years ago

"She said, 'I got the scholarship!' It was a wonderful day. It was a wonderful thing," said Legault's mother, Cheryl Robinson.

But now, it could all be taken away.

"These adult mistakes should not be affecting education," says Robinson.

The state plans to suspend the scholarship for a year. Without that money, Cate can't finish her education at a four-year university.

 "I'm just totally upset by the whole thing. It just makes things really hard. Like, I'm going to school with this on my mind," said Legault.

For now, Legault continues community colleges classes. A full-time student with a full-time job determined to finish what she's started.

"It's been a long process and I know I have a long way to go but it's going to pay off in the long run," said Legault.

The state expects to save $1.4 million by suspending the WAVE scholarship. It would be the first time the state's cut the program in 25 years.