Types of Funding


Grants  are "gift aid." They do not require repayment unless you fail to meet the conditions for the aid you receive. See Eligibility and Conditions.


For the best chance of receiving a grant, apply by the priority financial aid deadline in the academic calendar. Grants (except Pell grants) are awarded only as long as funds are available each year. Note that grants often cover tuition and fees, but they rarely cover all living expenses.


Descriptions of Different Grants


1.  Federal Pell Grant

The federal government funds Pell Grants to undergraduate students at any enrollment level (full time or less). You must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must not have graduated with a 4-year or higher degree.
  • You must show financial need on the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) (see How to Apply).
  • You must meet all eligibility requirements (see Eligibility and Conditions).

A Pell Grant is considered the foundation of a student's financial aid award.


To apply: See How to Apply.


2.  Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The federal government funds Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs) to the neediest recipients of Pell Grants.


To apply: See How to Apply.


3.  Washington College Grant (formerly Wa State Need Grant)

The state of Washington funds WA College Grants to low-income and middle-income students who meet Washington State Residency Requirements. Students at any enrollment level (full time or less) are eligible, however grants for students enrolled less than half time, but at least three credits, are limited. You must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must be a resident of the state of Washington in accordance with state law (RCW 28B.15.011-013).
  2. You must be registered at Cascadia College as an undergraduate student, and you must make satisfactory progress toward completion of your degree or program objective.
  3. You must not owe a refund or repayment on a WA College Grant (formerly WA State Need Grant), College Bound Scholarship, a federal Pell Grant, or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), nor may you be in default on a loan under the federal Perkins Loan, National Direct Student Loan, Federal Family Educational Loan, or William D. Ford Federal Loan programs.
  4. WA College Grant (formerly WA State Need Grant) awards are limited to a maximum of 15 full-time quarters. You must be within 125% of the standard length of your enrolled program to remain eligible for a state need grant.

Additionally, when you can afford it, you can voluntarily make financial contributions to the Washington Student Achievement Council in recognition of this grant. Your contributions will be used to provide financial aid to other students.


To apply: See How to Apply.


4.  Cascadia Grant

To qualify for a Cascadia Grant, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must show exceptional need.
  • You must meet Washington state residency requirements.
  • You must be enrolled for at least three credits.


To apply: See How to Apply.


5.  Opportunity Grant

The state of Washington funds Opportunity Grants to support low-income adults in entering specific high-wage, high-demand careers. These careers provide a minimum beginning wage of $13 per hour in Washington state and $15 per hour in King County.

The Opportunity Grant covers tuition for professional technical programs up to 45 credits, fees, books, and supplies (up to $1000 per academic year), and parking permits or bus passes. In addition, the program provides individual student support services that may include a single point of contact, career counseling, college success classes, emergency child care, or emergency transportation.

You must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must meet Washington state residency requirements
  • You must enroll in one of the programs listed on the Opportunity Grant Application
  • Your family income must be equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty level


To apply: Visit or contact the Workforce Education Center at the Library Annex, (425) 352-8256, or email: workforceinfo@cascadia.edu


6.  Worker Retraining

The Worker Retraining program provides free training to unemployed workers, workers in danger of unemployment, and displaced workers.


To apply: See Worker Retraining


7.  Veterans Benefits

Aid is available to qualifying veterans and their families.


To apply: See Veterans Education Benefits.


8.  Parking and Bus Pass Grants

The Cascadia College Foundation supports 2 types of small grants for parking and bus passes. For details, contact the individual department that administers the grant.

  • For students who are registered in designated Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses and English as a Second Language (ESL): Contact the adult basic education office to ask about an application. 
  • For students in Worker Retraining: Contact the Workforce Resource Center for an application.





Students who encounter emergency financial circumstances that jeopardize their ability to be successful students at Cascadia may apply for emergency financial assistance through the Aroha Compassion Grant program.  Documentation of the need is required. These small grants are designed to cover a variety of one-time expenses such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Emergency travel
  • Books and course materials
  • Transportation
  • Living expenses
  • Childcare Assistance
  • Food Assistance


Eligibility:  Students must be currently enrolled in the basic skills programs or currently enrolled and seeking a certificate or degree program at Cascadia College. Students must not be on academic probation. Students eligible for state and federal financial aid may be required to pursue these options before being considered for an emergency grant. Student Financial Services will evaluate applications to address impacts to a student's financial aid eligibility.


To apply:  Email careteam@cascadia.edu or complete the CARE Team Online Form to be connected with someone from the CARE Team.


To learn more about the Aroha Compassion Emergency Grant, check out Student Support Programs.


Student Loans

A student loan lets you borrow money to attend college. You repay the loan after you graduate, or if you withdraw from college or change to less than half time status. 

To assist student loan borrower in Washington, the Attorney General's Office has compiled a Student Loan Survival Guide.  This guide provides information about student loans for students and families.  Students with additional questions can contact the loan advocate by calling (833) 881-0397, sending an email to LoanAdvoate@wsac.wa.gov or visiting http://wsac.wa.gov/loan-advocacy.


Descriptions of Different Student Loans


1.  Subsidized Stafford Loan

With a subsidized Stafford loan, the government makes the interest payments on your loan at certain times, such as while you are in school or in deferment.




To qualify for a subsidized Stafford loan, you must demonstrate financial need to the U.S. Department of Education by filling out a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). The department uses your FAFSA application to determine your family's expected contribution to your education. To determine your eligibility for a loan, Cascadia considers your expected contribution, federal loan limits, and the cost of attending Cascadia.


To apply, see How to Apply for aid.


2.  Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

With an unsubsidized Stafford loan, you are responsible for interest payments, even while you are in college. You can either make interest payments or postpone them. If you postpone interest payments, the lender will add the accrued interest to your principal balance. This process is called capitalization. Capitalization increases the total amount you will repay. You will save money by making your interest payments while you are in college.




You do not need to demonstrate financial need to qualify for an unsubsidized Stafford loan, but the cost of your education must exceed any financial aid you are awarded.


To apply, see How to Apply for aid.


3.  Parent Plus Loan

Parent Plus loans are loans for parents of a dependent student to help with the cost of the student's education.




The U.S. Department of Education determines a student's status as a dependent by evaluating the student's free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). The maximum loan amount each year is the cost of attending Cascadia minus any other aid that the student receives.


To apply, see How to Apply for aid.


4.  Short-Term Loan

If you are receiving a long-term student loan, a grant, or a scholarship, but you need assistance before your aid check is available, you may be eligible for a short-term loan. For details, contact the Financial Aid Office.

Work Study

Work study is a financial aid program that lets you work part time while you're in college to earn part of your aid instead of borrowing money.


Your work study job can be on campus or off campus. You can work up to 19 hours per week; the maximum amount you can earn is determined by your financial need and available aid funds. We make every effort to place you in a job related to your program of study.



Both the federal government and the state of Washington offer work study programs. To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:


  • On the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) (see How to Apply), you must show financial need and indicate your interest in work study
  • You must be enrolled at least half time


To apply for work study, see How to Apply.


For a list of available work study jobs, see Work Study Jobs.


If you want work study but your award letter does not list work study, contact the financial aid office.




The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act  or “CARES Act” Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students who lives have been disrupted due to campus classes/operations going online and who are facing financial challenges.

Information as of 7/28/2020

  • Total Funds Received: $578,115
  • Total Funds Dispersed: $271,500
  • Estimated Number of Eligible Students: 340
  • Total Number of Students Who Have Received CARES Funding: 136

Information as of 5/22/2020

  • Cascadia College signed the Department of Education CARES Act Certification and Agreement on April 10, 2020 and returned/submitted the form to the Department on April 11, 2020.
  • Cascadia College received $578,115.00 in CARES (HEERF) Funds to provide to students via emergency grants.
  • Cascadia College will make funds available to students as soon as funds can disburse from our new system, known as ctcLink, which the college began implementing May 11, 2020.  Due to changing guidance from the Department of Education, to meet the requirements of the guidance provided, the application process for students to request the CARES funds was unable to be completed before our system was shut down in preparation for conversion.
  • Students who eligible for Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Federal Financial Aid) are eligible to apply for CARES Act funding.  During spring quarter 2020, there are approximately 300 students eligible to receive the CARES Act funds.
  • At this time, no funds have been distributed to students.  Those students who are eligible to apply for funding will receive the application beginning on Monday, June 1st and students will be notified of their awards the following week.
  • Students eligible to receive Title IV funds were identified and provided the opportunity to submit an application to request funds if they have expenses directly related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.
  • Students who are currently receiving financial aid and have questions about receiving CARES emergency funding, should contact Cascadia Student Financial Services at finaid@cascadia.edu