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Office of the PResident

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. - 8/25/10

A New Health Plan


Enrolling more, top-quality graduate students is critical if Washington State University is to fulfill its potential as one of our nation’s leading land-grant institutions.

As part of that effort, earlier this year, we determined that we needed to look into providing health-care options for the spouses and partners of graduate students. Coming to a community from another state or country invariably creates a host of issues; finding affordable, accessible health care is prominent among them.

I am pleased to report that Health and Wellness Services, working with the Graduate School and the Attorney General’s office, has come up with the Graduate Student PASS Program. The program is a complement to existing graduate student health insurance and will allow spouses and partners of graduate students enrolled on the Pullman campus to access health-care services through our health center in the Washington Building.

Details of the plan and the enrollment process are available through Health and Wellness Services or the Graduate School. We believe it is an equitable way to address an issue that can be a very real concern for a graduate student coming into a new community.

Many factors go into any student’s decision on where she or he will attend school. For graduate students, the decision matrix can be particularly complex. They look nationwide, or even worldwide, for the right combination of challenging research and educational opportunities.

Quality of life concerns also play an important role. A campus needs to create a positive environment not just for the student, but often in the case of graduate students, for a spouse or partner as well.

WSU offers many outstanding educational benefits to a student seeking a higher-level degree. Tremendous faculty members and excellent facilities lead the list.

This issue points to another factor that, while difficult to quantify, is also vital.  WSU offers a supportive university community that can work together expeditiously to address the concerns of incoming students. And that can-do attitude makes WSU an even more attractive place.