The first step in getting help is completing a financial aid application.

How to Apply

Applying for financial aid is a critical step to apply for funding. In Washington, there are two ways to apply for financial aid:

  • Most people should complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is used by U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens to apply for both state and federal financial aid.

  • The WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) is an application for state financial aid only. The WASFA is for people who are undocumented or who do not qualify for federal aid because of their immigration status, and can be used in limited circumstances by others who cannot or choose not to file a FAFSA.

If you are unsure if you should complete a FAFSA or a WASFA, complete the WASFA Eligibility Questionnaire.

It is never too late to apply, but submit your application as soon as possible after October 1 for the following year. Check with your college campus to understand the “priority date” to complete your financial aid application so that you will have your financial aid ready in time for class.

Reduced Income

On your financial aid application, you will report income from the previous tax year, sometimes two years old. If your circumstances have changed, like if someone in your family has lost a job or is working less, colleges may be able to provide more financial aid. Learn more about Financial Aid Appeals.


  • Submit a financial aid application as soon as possible starting October 1.

  • Create an FSA ID.

  • Tell the financial aid office about any change in your financial circumstances.

  • Visit theWashBoard to search for scholarships in Washington.

Ask the Campus

  • What is the priority date for application materials?

  • What scholarship opportunities are available to me?

  • Is there additional financial aid paperwork required by the campus besides the FAFSA/WASFA?

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