Financial Aid for Undocumented Students

Washington Application for State Financial Aid

State Financial Aid for DREAMers

Washington State offers financial aid programs to students who aren’t eligible for federal financial aid because of immigration status. These students still need to meet other program requirements.

Steps to Apply for Washington State Financial Aid

Step 1

Apply for admission to SPSCC.

Apply for admission — you can apply online. Financial Aid communicates with students primarily through SPSCC student email. Student emails are created upon admission to the college.

Step 2

Complete the WASFA.

Complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA).

WASFA Privacy Statement

The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) administers state financial aid including the State Need Grant and the Washington Application for State Financial Aid, or WASFA, for DREAMers. The Council is committed to providing opportunities and support to ensure every Washington student is able to pursue education beyond high school.

Regarding concerns that students, parents, and other partners may have about the confidentiality of information submitted on the WASFA, the purpose of the application is to provide eligibility information to colleges and universities in Washington that offer State Need Grant. WSAC shares application information with campuses listed by the student so those schools may determine eligibility for resident tuition and financial aid. Campuses are not permitted to use the information for other purposes or share the data with other parties.

WSAC is committed to protecting the confidentiality of the information and privacy of students and families. Washington is a state committed to providing opportunities to students and protecting the rights of families.

Step 3

Complete Advising & Registration.

Before registering for classes you must complete the steps to enroll. Not completing these steps will limit you from being able to successfully register for classes. After you have applied to the college and completed placement testing or submitted transcripts, follow the two steps to register for classes. See New or Returning Student Advising.

Step 4

Check the Financial Aid Portal.

The Financial Aid Portal is available to students once the FAFSA has been received by SPSCC. In addition to the FAFSA and Terms & Conditions, students may be required to submit additional documentation to complete their file.

DACA Update

On September 5, 2017, the federal government rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), but in Washington State, undocumented students may still qualify for in-state tuition and for some state financial aid programs. Undocumented students need to meet one of the following standards:

DACA Standard

Washington will continue to offer state financial aid and in-state tuition to students with DACA who meet requirements.

If your college has already determined that you meet the DACA standard:
You will continue to pay in-state tuition and receive state financial aid, if you meet program requirements.

If you haven't enrolled yet:

  • You must have an unexpired DACA status.
  • You also need to live in Washington for one year for reasons other than education. 

If you meet the DACA standard, you could qualify for any of the following benefits. But note that each program may have more requirements.

More DACA info:
Visit the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project for information and a schedule of upcoming community forums.

1079 Standard
  • You must graduate from a Washington high school (or earn a GED or equivalent) after living in Washington for at least three years.
  • Both students without DACA or with DACA can qualify.

If you meet this standard, you could qualify for two benefits:

  • In-state tuition rates
  • State Need Grant (as long as you meet other requirements)

Determining eligibility:
Colleges and universities usually determine eligibility one time. When students first apply for admission or financial aid, the college determines if they meet requirements for in-state tuition and state financial aid.

If you’ve enrolled, and your college has already determined that you meet the DACA standard:
You will continue to pay in-state tuition and receive state financial aid, if you meet program requirements.

If you are going to college in the future:
Your eligibility will depend on which residency standard you meet at the time of application.

If you plan to transfer schools:
You need to check with your new college. Colleges may accept the residency determination from a previous college but this process varies by college.

Application Resources

Questions?

Contact the Washington Student Achievement Council with questions at wasfa@wsac.wa.gov or 888-535-0747, option 2.