Finances should not prevent a student from planning for post-secondary education and achieving their goals. With resources from the Federal Government, Washington State, specific colleges, and private organizations, every student can find resources to help pay for college. Financial aid can be used to attend any school, whether it is public or private, two year, four year, or technical college.
What is financial aid? Financial aid can come in many different forms, but essentially financial aid is money or resources that a student applies for and uses to attend college. Financial aid can be used to pay for everything it takes to be a college student, including paying tuition, food, rent, book, travel, and supplies. The most important thing is that students submit all the right forms on time.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA) is the major form students must submit to be considered for financial aid. It is just one form which is submitted to the federal government and your information is sent to all of the colleges you list.
Students and families can use the FAFSA4caster to understand the options available to from the federal government. Simply
provide some basic information and the FAFSA4caster will estimate your eligibility for federal student aid. The FAFSA allows students to be considered for the three major types of government awarded financial aid
– grants, work study, and loans.
Grants are “free” money that you do not have to pay back. They are considered gift aid and you do not need to work to earn them.
Work-Study is a federal and state program that allows students to earn money to pay for college. If you are awarded work-study money, you need to apply for jobs at your campus (or off campus
depending on the college).
Loans are essentially money that you borrow and then pay back over time. There are many different types of loans (including some that do not charge interest while you are in school) so it is
important to understand your financial aid award and what you are committing to.
Some colleges may require an additional financial aid form called the CSS/Financial Aid Profile
(commonly referred to CSS Profile or the College Board Profile). Contact your potential colleges to see if you need to submit this form.
To learn more about the financial aid process visit: www.fafsa.ed.gov, www.knowhow2gowashington.org, www.college.gov, or www.collegeboard.com/student/pay.
Scholarships are a form of financial aid that student apply for and do not have to repay. Scholarships are awarded by public and private organizations as well as specific colleges. It is important for students to thoroughly research the institution or organization providing the scholarship and make sure that they are safe with their personal information. Students and families should never pay to apply for a scholarship or to receive scholarship information.
How do I search for scholarships?
There are many scholarship databases available online and in the community. It is very important that students be smart with their personal information. If you need help with scholarship information or applications, work with your high school counselor to get connected to the right resources.
Start the scholarship search process by completing a profile at each one of these scholarship databases:
FAFSA Video Links
Video #1 English: Why File the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) provides students access to the majority of aid they will receive for college. This video explains what the FAFSA is and why it is so important for students to file.
Video #1 Spanish: ¿Por qué debe de completar la FAFSA?
La Solicitud Gratuita de Ayuda Federal para Estudiantes (FAFSA) provee acceso a la mayoría ayuda financiera que los estudiantes pueden recibir para el colegio/la universidad. Este video explica que es la
FAFSA y por qué es importante llenarla.
Video #2 English: What You Need When Filing the FAFSA
Filing the FAFSA can be a straightforward process if you know what information and paperwork to gather before you start the application. Watch this video for a list of what to have on hand.
Video #2 Spanish: ¿Qué debe tener antemano para empezar la FAFSA?
Llenando la FAFSA puede ser un proceso claro y conciso si sabes la información y los papeleos requeridos antes de llenar la solicitud. Mira este video para ver una lista de lo que tienes que tener antemano.
Video #3 English: Tips When Filing the FAFSA
Students can be intimidated by the FAFSA, an official federal form with more than 100 questions asking about themselves, their college choices, and both their and their parents’ financial situation. This
video provides general tips on how to accurately file the FAFSA.
Video #3 Spanish: Consejos para llenar la FAFSA
Los estudiantes pueden temer la FAFSA, una forma oficial federal con más de cien preguntas sobre ellos (los estudiantes), los colegios que quieren asistir, y la situación financiera de ambos ellos y sus
padres. Este video provee consejos generales en como exactamente llenar la FAFSA.
Video #4 English: After Filing the FAFSA
January FAFSA completion events get a lot of buzz, and most students understandably feel that they are done with the financial aid component of getting to college once they have initially filed. But it’s only the first step! Watch this video for next steps after filing the FAFSA.
Video #4 Spanish: Después de completar la FAFSA
Los eventos de llenar la FAFSA en Enero reciben mucha atención y mayoría de los estudiantes dan por hecho que han terminado el proceso de la solicitud para ayuda financiera al completar esto. Pero, ¡es solo el primer paso! Mira este video para conocer los siguientes pasos después
de llenar la FAFSA.
Video #5 English: File the FAFSA Every Year
<>Filing the FAFSA is not a one-time event. Students need to do it every year they are in college. This video goes over how to file FAFSA every year you are in college.
Video #5 Spanish: Completa la FAFSA cada año
Llenando la FAFSA no es un proceso de una sola vez. Los estudiantes tienen que hacerlo para cada año que ellos estén en el colegio/la universidad. Este video cubre como se debe llenar la FAFSA cada año que asistes el colegio/la universidad.