Financial Aid

What Types of Aid Are Available?

There are several types of financial aid: grants, loans, work-study, and scholarships.

  • Grants (such as the State Need Grant) are referred to as gift or need-based aid. As long as students successfully complete the courses for which they enroll, there is no repayment of the funds.
  • Loans are repayable. Students receive funds under several conditions, including paying back the funds (with interest) in the future.
  • Scholarships are gift funds that are generally awarded to students based on specific criteria, such as merit, talent, financial need, or program of study.
  • Work-study programs are employment opportunities for students. Jobs are located on-campus or off-campus and usually relate to students' program of study.
  • Worker Retraining can help pay for tuition, books, fees, and other related expenses for individuals who lost their jobs due to economic changes and for those receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Find a Worker Retraining program at one of Washington state's community or technical colleges.

State Financial Aid: Washington Opportunity Pathways

Washington Opportunity Pathways logoThe state’s student financial aid program are known as Opportunity Pathways. Learn more about need- and merit-based aid and loan repayment programs — such as State Need Grant, State Work Study, College Bound Scholarship — and how to apply at the Washington Student Achievement Council financial aid web page.

Information and Financial Aid for Undocumented Students logo The REAL Hope Act (previously known as Washington DREAM Act) approved by the state legislature in 2014, allows undocumented students to apply for state-funded financial aid for college. To qualify, students must meet income and other guidelines.

Learn if you qualify, apply online for the State Need Grant, and find other resources to help undocumented students at

Scholarship Opportunities

Colleges, universities, and private organizations may offer additional programs such as tuition waivers and privately funded scholarships. Visit for information about scholarship opportunities.

Tax Credit May Help Offset College Expenses

Students and families with tuition and other college-related expenses may be eligible to claim the American Opportunity tax credit

The American Opportunity tax credit may not be the best tax option for all families with higher education expenses. For guidance, consult a tax advisor or visit these Internal Revenue Service sites for additional information:

Financial Aid Contact Information

Use the CTC Employee Directory to retrieve financial aid contact information for community and technical colleges. Select the college name, and look for "financial aid" under "Category."

For More Information...

FinAid! has helpful information for students and parents needing more information on financial aid. Or contact the financial aid office at your local two-year college for more information about the programs available.


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