Federal and State Financial Aid

The FAFSA application opens each year on October 1. However, the FAFSA program is currently undergoing a major renovation, and the application for the 2024-2025 school year will not be released until December 2023. To get prepared, each student and parent should create their own FSA ID by following the instructions below.



Completing the FAFSA is the very first "scholarship" step!

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students must complete this application in order to qualify for many types of federal and state grants, work study programs, and low-interest student loans. Even if you think your family won't qualify based on income, many institutional and independent scholarship opportunities require the FAFSA to be filed.


Who can answer my questions about the FAFSA?

Contact the LHS Career & College Specialist,
Nicole Perry at [email protected] or (509) 340-4265.

Financial Aid Advisors at the colleges to which you are applying are a great resource!

Federal Student Information Center: 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)



Create Your FSA ID

Before filling out the FAFSA, each student and each parent must create an FSA ID.

For helpful tips, watch this video from the Washington Student Achievement Council on how to create your FSA ID.

You'll need your login credentials for many years to come since you must submit the FAFSA every year. Use this worksheet to store your FSA ID information.



Edvisors has created this informative video detailing the upcoming changes to the FAFSA program.




Types of Free Federal Aid

Federal Grants: Free money that is not repaid.

Pell Grant: Eligibility is based primarily on financial need, but other factors are calculated into the formula.

FSEOG: Free money awarded to those with exceptional financial need.

The TEACH Grant is available to those who plan to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area.

If your parent passed away as a result of service in Iraq or Afghanistan, you may be eligible for a Service Grant.

Learn more about how to transfer GI Bill College Benefits and maximize GI Bill Benefits.

The federal Work Study program is offered to qualifying students so that they can work part time, on or off campus, while attending college classes.


Federal Loans: Money that is repaid but at lower interest rates than private bank loans.

There are several types of student loans available, including subsidized, unsubsidized, and parent loans. All students, regardless of income, will be offered at least one student loan program, based on eligibility. Your offer will be part of the college's Financial Aid offer, and can vary by school.

If you accept a loan, then you must complete the Entrance Loan Counseling, to understand fully your obligations, and sign a Master Promissory Note, which is the loan contract. These tasks will be completed through your college's financial aid office.

Those who are financially eligible will be offered a subsidized loan, which allows you to defer payments, interest free, while you are attending school. All students will be offered an unsubsidized loan, which does accrue interest while in school, but principle payments don't begin until six months after graduation. If you are eligible for both, always accept a subsidized loan first. PLUS loans can be applied for by the parents of students.



State Grant Programs

You must fill out the FAFSA to receive nearly all Washington State grants, which are awarded through each school's financial aid package.

You do not apply for both the FAFSA and WAFSA. You will only submit the Washington State application if you are an undocumented student or do not qualify for federal financial assistance because of your immigration status. The 2024-2025 application will open at the same time as the FAFSA in December.


College Bound Grant

Check with Mrs. Perry to see if you are a College Bound student!

7th and 8th grade students, and newly eligible 9th graders, who receive free and reduced lunch are automatically signed up for this "early promise" scholarship that fully covers tuition at in-state public and private universities, community colleges, and trade schools. It may also cover some fees and a small book allowance. The College Bound Grant combines with other federal and state financial aid you receive to fill in the "financial aid gap." 

You must requalify during your senior year based on:

  • Family income, which changes each year. For the 2023-2024 school year, a family of 4 cannot make more than $73,000. See the latest Income Eligibility Chart.
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA by high school graduation if going to a four-year university. This requirement has been removed for students enrolling in community college or tech school.
  • You must submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA.


WA College Grant logo

The Washington Grant provides more money, extends eligibility for higher-income families, and covers more education programs, including certificates, job training, and apprenticeships. This is one of the most generous financial aid programs in the entire country. Awards are based on family income and size, the cost of the program, and other financial aid received.

  • Tuition or career training can be fully covered if your family of 4 makes less than $73,000 annually.
  • A family of 4, making up to $112,500, can still qualify for financial aid.
  • This grant is available to recent high school graduates and working-age adults. You do not have to attend your program full-time.
  • To qualify, you must enroll at an eligible Washington institution and submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA or WAFSA.


WAVE Scholarship

Opens: Feb. 1, 2024
Deadline: Mar. 17, 2024

Award: Up to $5,200, renewable for 2 years

The Washington Award for Vocational Excellence (WAVE) scholarship recognizes more than 100 high-performing career and technical education students each year. Approximately 2/3 are graduating high schoolers and the remainder are community technical college students. Originally established by the Washington State Legislature in 1984, the program is now managed by the Washington Student Achievement Council and the Workforce Board. 

The award amount varies each  year based on the number of grants given. In 2023, the top award reached $5,200 per year for up to two years. The funds can be used at any in-state public or private university or college or a licensed private career school. Past recipients are currently studying to become commercial pilots, nurses, ASL interpreters, manufacturing leaders, and other skilled worker positions that are badly needed by employers. 

  • Graduating seniors who have completed, or currently completing, their second course in a single career and technical education program. 
  • Up to three students are chosen from each legislative district. 
  • There is no minimum GPA to be eligible for the scholarship, but recipients must maintain a 3.0 each year to continue qualifying for funding. 
  • This is a merit-based, not need-based scholarship. 


SBCTC Opportunity Grant

The Opportunity Grant, offered through the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, assists low-income student with completing one year of college and a certificate in a high-wage, high-demand career.
  • For use at all Washington state community colleges students, including SCC and SFCC.
  • Tuition and fees for up to 45 credits, which is equivalent to one full-time year. Must be used within three years from initial receipt of grant funds.
  • Up to $1,000 funding for required books, supplies, and lab or technology fees.
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA.
  • Must complete the FAFSA or WAFSA.
  • Recipients may get support services, including tutoring, emergency transportation and childcare, and an industry mentor.



Foster youth are eligible for two specialty scholarship programs:

Washington State Governors' Scholarship for Foster Youth

Application Opens: October 1, 2023
Deadline: November 30, 2023

Award: $2,000 to $4,000 per academic year for up to 5 years

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or GED equivalent. If your GPA is lower, submission of Fall 2023 grades will be required.


Passport to Careers 

Passport to Careers

  • Supporting former foster and unaccompanied homeless youth. 
  • Funds can be used for college, apprenticeship, or pre-apprenticeship programs to cover tuition, fees, books, housing, transportation, and some personal expenses. For apprenticeship programs, it may also be used toward occupational costs, such as work clothes and tools.



American Indian Endowed Scholarship

American Indian Endowed Scholarship

Application Opens: December 2023
Deadline: March 1, 2024

Award: $500 to $2,000 renewable up to 5 years

  • Must have close social and cultural ties to an in-state American Indian tribe or community.
  • Have a financial need
  • Enroll in a public or private college in Washington.
  • Intend to use your education to benefit the American Indian community in Washington state.
  • Must complete the FAFSA.