Financial Aid | Cascadia College

Types of Funding

You might be surprised to learn that funding comes in many different forms. From federal and state grants to work-study to loans and more. Let's work together to find the resources that best suit you and your family's needs.



Kodiak Corner - First Floor CC1

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 How to Apply.

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.

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 eligibility and conditions in How to Apply).
  • You must meet all eligibility requirements (see How to Apply).

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

To apply: See How to Apply.

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

To apply: See How to Apply.

The state of Washington funds WA College Grants to low-income and middle-income students who meet Washington Student Achievement Council re 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.

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.

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 please visit or contact the Workforce Education Center at:

The Library Annex

The Worker Retraining program can provide tuition assistance, books, and transportation for up to two quarters. To qualify for a Worker Retraining Grant, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Currently receiving Unemployment Insurance 
  • Have exhausted your Unemployment Insurance within the past 48 months 
  • Have received a layoff notice and will be eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance 
  • Stop-Gap Employment - Currently employed in temporary work only because you have been laid off of work or otherwise terminated due to no fault of your own 
  • Formerly Self-Employed 
  • Be a Displaced Homemaker
  • If you are employed in an occupation that is “not in demand” and need additional training in order to remain employed
  • Disaster Impacted Worker
  • Veteran (regardless of discharge status) - discharged within the past 48 months
  • Active Duty Military

 Unemployed Workers: Workforce staff may be able to assist with the completion of Training Benefits Program and Commissioner Approved Training Applications for those who qualify. 

To apply please visit or contact the Workforce Education Center at:

The Library Annex

Aid is available to qualifying veterans and their families.

To apply: See Veterans Education Benefits.


The Basic Food Employment and Training program assists students who are receiving Basic Food Assistance (Food Stamps) and not  receiving TANF. 

What we fund

The BFET program provides tuition assistance, books, transportation, and other support services to those who qualify. We work with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and Working Connections Child Care to assist with childcare eligibility. 

Interested? Need food stamps?

If you are interested in the BFET program but are not yet currently receiving food stamps, please see the Program Specialist (via appointment) for a referral to DSHS. You may also review your eligibility online at Washington Connection. 

The Cascadia College Foundation supports two 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 College and Career Foundations to ask about an application
  • For students in Worker Retraining: Contact the Workforce Resource Center for an application. 

Cascadia College offers the Benefits Hub Emergency Grant for students in emergency financial need. The grant covers a variety of costs including utilities, transportation, medical, childcare, food, and other emergency expenses. Students are eligible for up to $1,000.00 a quarter. Please note, the grant cannot cover rent or tuition. Grant applications usually take 1-2 business days to process. To apply, please fill out an application using the steps below:

  1. Open a CARE Team Report
  2. From the “I am” list, select “Cascadia Student”
  3. From the “Report Type(s)” list, check “Emergency Funding”
  4. Fill out the requested fields

The Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness (SSEH) Grant is available to Cascadia students who are experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. The grant features numerous support which can include but are not limited to: funds for eviction prevention ($1,000.00 a quarter), utility assistance, emergency hotel support (short-term stay), and locker storage. If you are a student who is dealing with housing insecurity or homelessness and you want to know if you are eligible for the SSEH Grant, please complete the below process:

  1. Open a CARE Team Report
  2. From the “I am” list, select “Cascadia Student”
  3. From the “Report Type(s)” list, check “Emergency Funding”
  4. Fill out the requested fields
  5. Check “Housing Assistance” under the “Requested Services” field

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 borrowers 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 or visiting Washington Student Achievement Council.

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.

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 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.

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
    • Be enrolled at least half time
  • You must have already received an award letter that showed a work study award amount.
  • You may visit Student Financial Services during their regular business hours to pick up a referral form for any jobs you are interested in.Employers will not interview students who do not have this referral form.
  • Once you have your referral form, you are clear to contact employers to schedule interviews.

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

See job openings in Handshake (signup instruction) - link to handshake section of transfer/careers.


This page lists websites for state specific and national scholarships that may help you fund your college expenses. The information presented on these websites does not necessarily reflect the views of Cascadia College, and Cascadia is in no way affiliated with the websites listed.

  • The Association of Community and Technical Colleges: The Association is offering two scholarships, one for employees of the state CTC system who are pursuing a college degree and one for students graduating from a state CTC.
  • Accredited Schools Online: A resource dedicated to helping minority students identify scholarship opportunities and more.
  • American Association of University Women: Scholarship for post-high-school women whose education has been disrupted
  • Buildium: Scholarships for engineering or computer sciences students
  • Careers and Colleges: Scholarship search and college search
  • College Answer: Sallie Mae's free web scholarship service
  • College Board: A searchable scholarship database
  • College, College Scholarships, and Online Degrees: 50 sites that allow you to search for scholarships worth billions of dollars; defines sometimes unfamiliar financial aid terms clearly for you and offers you tips on writing scholarship essays.
  • College Scholarships: Over 50 different scholarship services (some of which are also listed below)
  • College Success Foundation: Goal is to help you graduate from college and achieve your education and career dreams. Assists young people from middle school through college in specific geographic areas and who are low-income and underserved. Each scholarship program is designed to provide students with the preparation, tools, and financial resources they need to complete their college degrees. The College Success Foundation manages several scholarship programs.
  • Embark: Originally launched in 1997 to help students prepare for, apply to, and finance their college educations. By 2001, Embark was the second most visited educational website.
  • Fast Aid: Free scholarship search service with advice about student loans
  • Fast Web: Create a student profile and search for scholarships that match your criteria
  • The Gates Millennium Scholars Program: Scholarships for African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students
  • Go College: Scholarship searches and a great SAT prep test
  • LEAP Rise Above: Scholarship provides financial support for Latinx students who demonstrate advocacy, accountability, perseverance, and have shown a commitment to improving their community. Students can potentially receive up to $5,000 towards their education. It is open to any student regardless of citizenship status.
  • MALDEF: Scholarship Resource Guide to support high school, college, and graduate students in their attainment of higher education. This is a free, informative resource guide for students, parents, and educators.
  • Reliance Foundry: Scholarship opportunities for students interested in design, architecture, civil engineering, and site planning
  • A searchable scholarship database
  • Scholarship Foundation of Northshore: Of the 90+ awards made each year specifically for graduating high school students from the Northshore School District, four (4) are dedicated to students enrolling at Cascadia College. Awards seek to assist students who wish to return to college-level work after taking time off, veterans, as well as those interested in business/entrepreneurship and global studies.
  • Scholarship Junkies: A comprehensive scholarship website that has sample essays
  • Studentawards: A free scholarship search service
  • Washington State Opportunity Scholarships: A scholarship for Washington state residents pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math at a Washington state university or college. See the website for complete eligibility.
  • Washington Student Achievement Council: Scholarships offered to Washington residents to attend school in Washington
  • Scholarship for Single Mothers: Offered by the law office of Curiel & Runion
  • Connects Washington students of all types with Washington scholarship providers for free. Partnership of public and nonprofit agencies coming together to build an online scholarship marketplace and provide a trusted source of scholarships.