A press release from Washington Student Achievement Council.
October 1, 2021, marked the first day people could apply for financial aid for the 2022-23 school year. Given the ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic, education beyond high school is more important than ever. Completing a financial aid application opens up more options for the future. This year, a family of four making up to $102,000 can qualify for financial aid in Washington.
Applying for financial aid is a crucial first step toward college and career training. In Washington, there are two ways to apply for financial aid. U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens apply for federal and state aid with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). People who can’t file the FAFSA due to immigration status can apply only for state aid with the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid), as can other select applicants. Students who submit a FAFSA or a WASFA are far more likely to attend college.
In order to receive any state or federal financial aid, students must submit a financial aid application. But far too few students apply for financial aid in Washington. In recent years, only about half of all high school seniors have filed a FAFSA. Many families assume they won’t qualify for aid, but the only way to know for sure is to apply. And with the Washington College Grant (WCG) program, more families qualify than ever before.
WCG gives more money to more people for more kinds of education and training beyond high school. The grant supports low- and middle-income people of all ages pursuing certificates and degrees, as well as apprentices participating in approved registered apprenticeship programs.
WCG is available to eligible Washington residents, including undocumented students. Grant amounts vary based on income, family size, and the school or program attended.
The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) aims to increase FAFSA and WASFA completion rates in Washington. Due to COVID, WSAC is currently providing more online support and resources. The 12th Year Campaign—which typically supports in-person events around the state each year—has scheduled a series of virtual financial aid information and filing events to help families complete applications. More events will be scheduled in the coming months.
It is best to apply for financial aid as soon as possible. Some types of aid are first-come, first-served, and colleges have different deadlines. Applicants need to know the deadlines for the colleges or programs they want to attend.
Visit WSAC’s Plan Your Future page for more information on financial aid and college and career planning.
The 12th Year Campaign’s goal is to boost college and financial aid application rates and increase educational attainment. This work is made possible through state funding and support from the Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU), as well as volunteer support from the Washington Financial Aid Association (WFAA) and many others around the state.