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To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school. In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.
What information do I need for the FAFSA?
You will need student and parent information including SSNs, Birthdates, as well as financial and tax information. Parental information is required except for students who are documented through the school as being "Unaccompanied Youth".
In 2007 the Washington State Legislature established the College Bound Scholarship. This program was created to provide state financial aid to low-income students who may not consider college a possibility due to the cost. The scholarship covers tuition (at comparable public college rates), some fees, and a small book allowance.
Eligibility for the scholarship is a two-part process. Students in 7th or 8th grade whose family meets the income requirements must submit and complete an application by June 30 of the student’s 8th-grade year. Then students must meet the College Bound Pledge requirements and income-eligibility as determined by the student’s financial aid application (FAFSA or WASFA) in their senior year of high school.
In the years since the program’s inception, over 280,000 students have applied for the scholarship. Three-quarters of the students who signed up for the College Bound Scholarship by the end of their 8th-grade year in 2011 graduated from high school in 2015. In comparison, the 2015 four-year graduation rate for low-income students who were eligible for the program but didn’t sign up was 62 percent.
Note: Foster youth in grades 7–12 (up to age 21) who have not graduated from high school are automatically enrolled. They are considered to have a complete application for the College Bound Scholarship via a data exchange between the Washington Student Achievement Council and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
FAQs about the College Bound Scholarship
1. What are the College Bound Scholarship requirements?
As part of the College Bound sign-up process, you pledge to: Graduate from a Washington State high school with a cumulative 2.0 GPA or higher. Have no felony convictions. Apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) beginning your senior year of high school.
In order to receive the scholarship, you must fulfill the pledge and:
Be determined as income-eligible by your college with the information from your FAFSA or WASFA.
Start attending college within one year of graduating from high school.
In order to receive College Bound funds, you must attend an eligible college at www.readysetgrad.org/eligibleinstitutions
Meet the program’s state residency standards for College Bound.
2. Do I have to graduate with my high school class to receive the College Bound Scholarship?
No. You may graduate earlier or later than your original high school class, but you must graduate. However, a GED may qualify if you were in foster care at any point between 7th grade and age 21. Please contact the College Bound Scholarship program staff to discuss your specific situation.
3. I am a Running Start student. I will receive my high school diploma from the college where I am taking classes. Do I meet the graduation requirement?
Yes. However, you will need to provide WSAC with a transcript to confirm that you have met the graduation requirement.
4. Do I have to enroll in college right after I graduate from high school to receive the scholarship?
No. However, you must start college no later than the fall term (as defined by the college) one academic year following high school graduation. For example, if you graduate high school by August 2019, you have until fall 2020 to enroll and earn college credit or have financial aid disbursed to you, whichever comes first. Be sure you meet all the college’s deadlines for class registration and financial aid to complete enrollment.
5. What are the income requirements to use the College Bound Scholarship?
College Bound Scholarship Family Income Eligibility Chart (2019-20) from Website. Family size & Annual income* (Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) + Nontaxable Income) Family Size Gross Income 1 $32,500 2 $43,000 3 $53,000 4 $63,000 5 $73,000 6 $83,000 7 $85,000 8 $87,000 9 $88,500 10 $90,500
6. How do I know if I applied in Middle School and may be able to use the College Bound Scholarship?
The 2022-23 FAFSA and WASFA are now available! The colleges that students apply to will use the information they provide on their financial aid applications to determine their eligibility for the scholarship.
For more information regarding the scholarship requirements, visit wa.gov.
For resources to support students with applying for financial aid, visit our 12th Year Campaign website
We are excited to share a new resource: The Financial Aid Playbookwhich shares best practices and case studies on supporting financial aid application completion
Scholarship Information (Expand to View)
Why apply for scholarships?
Scholarships help pay for college, technical programs and more. If your financial aid and scholarships are more than the cost of tuition, the extra money can also help pay living expenses. Students of all ages and grade levels can start applying for scholarships today!
Don't skip the local scholarships
Local communities are extremely generous and love to support students. Start preparing your essays about yourself and how scholarships can help you in your career plans now. The Granite Falls Common App and Anne Bates’ Scholarships are due in Spring. Applications will be in the office and online.
The Cap & Gown Scholarship from the Everett Assistance League is typically available in Spring.
Scholarship Awards Night end of May.
Common App for 19 local agencies providing scholarships requires the following and more:
Background about you, your experiences and what you want to do after High School
2 teacher/school staff member recommendations and a community member’s recommendation
A statement explaining your financial need and how your family or you plan to pay for education
An essay explaining why you feel you should be accepted for a scholarship (500 words or less)
An essay about yourself, your family, hobbies, special interests and your long-term personal and/or professional goals (500 words or less)
How to apply for scholarships
Find a scholarship you are interested in online, through your work or hobbies or use a scholarship match/search engine. Look at local High School websites including Granite Falls High School and Lake Stevens High School for more resources.
Read the requirements
If you qualify apply and complete the required steps.
Each scholarship is different. Some will require and essay others do not. You should not have to pay to submit a scholarship. If you have questions please see your counselor Jen Jennings.
Some require letters of recommendation. Reach out to school staff and community members.
WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) State Financial Aid for Undocumented Individuals and Other Select Applicants. Washington State offers financial aid programs to students who cannot file, or do not wish to file, a federal FAFSA financial aid application for various reasons: