Step 2: Plan Funding

Explore your funding options for college. Many Seattle Colleges students qualify for federal aid including grants and loans, as well public and private scholarships. Our caring staff can work with you to identify ways to pay for your education (see college contact info below).

North Seattle College

Seattle Central College

South Seattle College

Financial aid may be available to help make education possible. Financial Aid offices can help students apply for grants, work study, and scholarships. They also provide information on eligibility requirements, student rights and responsibilities in receiving aid, requirements for maintaining aid, planning a budget, and other financial concerns.

Student expenses include estimates of all school and basic college living expenses for the academic year (fall, winter, and spring quarters). Information on student budgets is available in the Consumer Information brochure available in the Financial Aid office at each campus and on the financial aid websites listed above.

Using information provided on financial aid forms, a determination is made of the amount a student is expected to contribute toward his or her expenses for the academic year. The amount a student can pay is subtracted from the cost of attendance to determine the amount of need.

To be eligible for financial aid, a student must:

  • Be a citizen, naturalized citizen, refugee, or immigrant to the United States
  • Have a high school diploma or a GED certificate
  • Demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Enroll in an approved certificate or degree program and take required coursework
  • Be registered with the Selective Service, if required
  • Not owe a refund or repayment on prior financial aid received or have a student loan in default at these or prior colleges attended
  • Make satisfactory academic progress as defined by each campus

Maintaining Eligibility

Students are required to make satisfactory academic progress in their chosen course of study. Students are advised to check with the campus Financial Aid Office for requirements.

Three basic kinds of financial aid are available for students. Financial aid may consist of one or more of:

  1. Grants, Scholarships, and Waivers: Students do not repay grants, scholarships and waivers if satisfactory academic progress is maintained. Grants include Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Washington State Need Grant (SNG), College Bound Scholarship, and institutional grants.
  2. Employment: Work-study programs provide part-time employment.
  3. Loans: Contact the campus Financial Aid Office for information about participation in loan programs.

Many different scholarships are offered. Amounts, eligibility criteria, and deadlines vary. Check with the Financial Aid Office for information and application forms.

Opportunity Grants

Eligible students pursuing approved pathways* may receive funding to cover tuition and mandatory fees up to 45 credits (990 clock hours) and up to $1,000 per academic year for tools, texts, and supplies.

* See “opportunity grants” on college websites for a list of approved programs. For additional grant information, visit

Grant Eligibility

  • Washington state resident
  • Enrolled in an eligible program of study
  • Family income at or below the 200 percent federal poverty level
  • Financial need based on FAFSA
  • No previous degree or certificate (preferred, but not required)

Opportunity Grant Coordinators:

North Seattle College

Seattle Central College

South Seattle College

Seattle Colleges offers hundreds of students free and reduced tuition, books, and fees every quarter through Start Next Quarter (SNQ). Interested students can see if they prequalify for Opportunity Grants, Worker Retraining, Basic Food Employment and Training, and WorkFirst funds by visiting this website. Students who prequalify for funding are invited to a Start Next Quarter workshop, where their eligibility for funding is confirmed. Funding is limited and may be restricted to certain courses of study.

Veterans Affairs Offices

North Seattle College

Seattle Central College

South Seattle College

The Veterans Affairs Offices provide services to help veterans and eligible dependents receive and maintain VA educational benefits while in school. Benefits handled by college staff include the Montgomery GI Bill, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Veterans Education Assistance Program/VEAP, Reserve Education Assistance Program, Benefits Program for Dependents and Surviving Spouses, Selective Reserve Assistance Program, Vocational Rehabilitation Program, and others. The office maintains attendance records and monitors academic progress, assists in applying for tutorial and work-study benefits (for some veterans), and approves eligibility for tuition discounts for eligible veterans, their spouses, and/or their dependents.

To receive benefits, students must contact the Veterans Affairs campus office prior to the beginning of the academic quarter. If students are transferring from another school or are applying through the Department of Veterans Affairs, they must also contact the office to ensure all application requirements have been met. All veterans must apply for a credentials evaluation as soon as possible and notify the office immediately of any changes in address, program, dependents, enrollment, etc.

It is important that students be aware of all requirements outlined by the college and the Department of Veterans Affairs to fulfill educational objectives. Veterans and eligible dependents receiving benefits are required to maintain specific academic standards in order to retain benefits. Some classes or courses of study are not applicable for benefits.

Veterans Waivers

Subject to limitations, veterans or National Guard members, and their children and spouses, may be eligible for tuition waivers. For more information about eligibility, contact the Veterans Affairs Office at each campus.

The Financial Aid Application Process

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form completed by current and prospective college students in the United States to determine your eligibility for student financial aid. The Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) is for people who don’t file a federal FAFSA application. If you have completed the FAFSA, you have already applied for federal and state financial aid and do not need to complete the WASFA unless you are asked to.

Complete an application for federal FAFSA or state financial aid WASFA as early as possible. The application is now open. Note: the earlier you complete your application, the more financial aid options are available to you. If you are planning to enroll in 2024, you will want to complete the form a soon as possible. The 2024-25 FAFSA Application has changed. Read more about the changes and what you can expect for the 2024-25 academic year.

It's also a good idea to have a parent or guardian with you to help you answer questions when you are completing the application.

Apply at Be certain to complete the application according to instructions.

When to Apply

All application documents must be accurately completed and delivered to the Financial Aid Office by the published deadline date. For exact dates, see the “Deadline” section of the Consumer Information brochure available at each campus. It is recommended that students begin this process as soon as possible.

Students need to apply only once each school year, but they must reapply every year of attendance. Applications are processed in the order received. Late applicants must plan to pay for their own tuition by the tuition deadline and purchase their own books so that they are ready to begin class on the first day of school. Aid will be disbursed later in the quarter to eligible, late-aid applicants.


Students are mailed a financial aid notification letter indicating award types and amount per quarter. It is important to read the notice carefully, following all instructions. Students are also notified by letter if they are ineligible for financial aid.

Disbursement of Funds

Financial aid is first applied to tuition and fees charged at the time of registration. Any remaining balance is issued to the student. A student has three options for receiving this disbursement (also called a refund):

  • Having funds deposited to a new account, which can be accessed with a Seattle Colleges debit card;
  • Having funds deposited directly into the student’s current bank account;
  • Having a paper check mailed.

Work-study awards are paid through a payroll check twice a month as the money is earned. Campus financial aid offices provide detailed instructions for both disbursements (refunds) and work-study payments.

Students receiving support from outside agencies should make certain the agency has sent its authorization to the Financial Aid Office at least a week before the tuition payment deadline.

Withdrawal Penalties

If a student withdraws from school or drops more than the required credits to maintain aid, financial aid stops. Tuition refunds are not returned to the student but are credited to the appropriate financial aid account. In the case of official withdrawal, students may be required to repay a percentage of their cash disbursement and/or tuition and fees. If a student drops out without notifying the school, he or she may be billed for the entire amount. Repayment is required before receiving consideration for any further aid, to register for future quarters, or to have transcripts released to another institution. Students should contact the campus Financial Aid Office for details.

Financial Aid Information Changes

Information in this publication regarding financial aid is subject to change without notice and does not constitute an agreement between the colleges and the students.

The 2024-25 FAFSA and WASFA applications have been simplified. Here are a few changes and updates to be aware of. 

  • Parents and stepparents are called “contributors” on the new form.  
    You and your parent will need to create your own FSA ID ( account) as soon as possible. This process will now take 3-5 business days, so plan for extra time. This is because the Social Security Administration must verify you and your parent/guardian's status. For students whose parents are divorced or separated and do not live together, the parent on your FAFSA will be the parent/contributor who provides you with the most financial support. Check out the federal student aid video for more information on contributors. 
  • Contributor tax information will be transferred from IRS.  
    Fewer questions are asked about your parents' financial information. Consent and approval for the transfer of tax information is required to receive federal aid. This is required for all, including those who do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) or do not file US taxes. If your parents/guardians have not filed their 2022 taxes, they should work on completing that process as soon as possible. The new FAFSA application requires that financial information be pulled directly from IRS data when possible, so there’s less information to enter manually.
  • The calculation to determine aid eligibility has been reformulated and renamed.  
    The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) has been reformulated and given a new name, the Student Aid Index (SAI). This calculation determines a student’s eligibility for certain types of aid.  The new methodology removes the number of family members in college from the eligibility calculation. This means families with multiple college students could receive less federal aid for the 2024-25 school year. However, the SAI will expand the Federal Pell Grant to more students, approximately 930,000 additional Pell Grants will be awarded. 
  • Students can now list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA via the online application.  

Don't forget to include the college code you want your FAFSA/WASFA information sent to. 

  • Seattle Central College School Code is 003787
  • North Seattle College School Code is 009704       
  • South Seattle College School Code is 009706 

You will need a number of official documents to complete the respective applications.