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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Veterans Benefits

Aid is available to qualifying veterans and their families.

To apply: See Veterans Education Benefits.

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.

Students 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 Washington Student Achievement Council.

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.

Eligibility: 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.

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.

Eligibility: 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.

Parent Plus Loan

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

Eligibility: 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.

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.