WSU Chancellors, President talk FAFSA delays, campus priorities in D.C.

President Kirk Schulz was joined by all six Chancellors in the nation’s capital last week to highlight the university’s federal priorities and campus initiatives. The group also discussed the impacts of ongoing FAFSA delays and the importance of college affordability and accessibility with members of the state’s Congressional delegation and staff, industry leaders, and other education stakeholders.

“Our congressional leaders, the administration, and our federal partners got to hear directly from WSU leadership about what we’re hoping to achieve in coming years — both as a system and for each of our individual campuses,” said President Schulz. “We are fortunate to be represented in D.C. by leaders that understand the importance of higher education and the investment in federal research supporting our students, faculty, and the state of Washington.”

President Schulz was joined by Provost and Pullman Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton, Global Campus Chancellor Dave Cillay, Spokane Chancellor and Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Daryll DeWald, Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes, Vancouver Chancellor Mel Netzhammer, and Everett Chancellor Paul Pitre.

The visit also provided Pres. Schulz and the Chancellors the opportunity to thank delegation leaders for their efforts in securing funding for WSU priorities for fiscal year 2024, including:

  • $3 million for WSU Pullman’s Campus Safety Enhancement Project supported by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers,
  • $2.5 million for the Transmission Electron Microscope located on the Pullman campus supported by Senator Patty Murray,
  • $7.642 million for the construction of the Hot Cell Facility in Pullman supported by Sen. Murray, and
  • $1.47 million supporting WSU’s Native American Health Sciences (NAHS) with development of an Indigenous Health Simulation Center (IHSC) supported by Sen. Patty Murray.

FAFSA delays

Ongoing delays and confusion around the new FAFSA rollout were a conversation at each meeting, including with the Department of Education. The WSU group stressed the importance of frequent communication and support for current and prospective students and families. WSU is working hard to ensure that students have the resources they need to make an informed decision, while also being flexible with scholarship and financial aid dates and deadlines. Learn more at WSU Financial Aid – FAFSA-WAFSA Changes and at Washington Student Achievement Council – 2024-25 FAFSA Updates.

Partnerships with Boeing

The Chancellors and President also met with leaders from Boeing, where they discussed the unique ways each of WSU’s campuses are supporting the company’s workforce development and research goals.

For instance, researchers based at WSU Tri-Cities are leading the nation in the research, development, and adoption of sustainable aviation fuels, an area identified as essential to the company’s sustainability effort. WSU Vancouver recently developed a student mentorship program with alumni working at Boeing’s manufacturing facility in Portland. Students at WSU Everett, given its proximity to Boeing’s largest manufacturing facility, benefit from Boeing-provided capstone projects and regular classroom interaction with company executives. Boeing is WSU’s most generous corporate supporter and is one of the largest employers of WSU graduates each year.  

The National Science Foundation

The group also met with leaders from the National Science Foundation. NSF staff provided an update to WSU leaders on the newest directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP). The group also met with program officers from the Education Directorate to learn more about NSF’s Advance and STEM programs and ways WSU can engage with NSF.