Seattle Public Schools

College Financial Aid and Scholarship Information for Seniors

Summary: Opportunities Abound for Students Looking for Money for College

New Year, New Money

There are plenty of ways for seniors to earn money for college. You just need to know where to look. Here’s some important information families need to prepare for life after high school. 

Information on Financial Aid: Now is time to Complete FAFSA and WASFA

The 2024-25 financial aid applications have been simplified. For seniors interested in college, completing an application for federal financial aid (FAFSA) or Washington state financial aid (WASFA) is one of the first steps to receiving aid.  

Complete an application for the FAFSA or WASFA as early as possible. Applications must be submitted by April 30. It’s also a good idea to have a parent or guardian with you to help you answer questions and gather the documents you will need  

Important Changes This Year for FAFSA

Students can now list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA via the online application.    

Parents and stepparents are called “contributors” on the new form 

Students and their parent will need to create their own StudentAid.gov account (FSA ID) as soon as possible. This process will now take 3-5 business days, so plan for extra time. For students whose parents are divorced or separated and do not live together, the parent/contributor who provides you with the most financial support is the one who should be used to complete your FAFSA. 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 U.S. 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 SAI will expand the Federal Pell Grant program to more students, and approximately 930,000 additional Pell Grants will be awarded.   

If you are unsure which to apply for, you can visit the website for more information. 

Scholarship Opportunities 

Seattle Promise Application Due February 16

The deadline for the Seattle Promise Scholarship is fast approaching. The scholarship increases access to college for students, particularly those from underrepresented groups. It’s open to all SPS graduates regardless of GPA, income, ability, or country of birth.    

Free tuition is just the beginning. See how the Seattle Promise scholarship works. 

When applying for the Seattle Promise, don’t forget to include the college code you want your FAFSA/WASFA information sent to.   

  • Seattle Central College – 003787  
  • North Seattle College – 009704         
  • South Seattle College – 009706 

Questions about the Seattle Promise scholarship can be sent to Promise@SeattleColleges.edu, or you can reach out to a Seattle Promise Outreach Specialist

Additional Scholarship Opportunities

The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship offers two scholarships available to current Seattle Public Schools students and alumni who meet income requirements, determined by completing FAFSA or WASFA. There are tons of funding available for 12th graders interested in STEM and health care and in associate degree programs/apprenticeship.   

The Baccalaureate Scholarship is for students who intend to earn their bachelor’s degree in STEM or health care, including those who plan to start at a two-year or community college and transfer to a four-year college, up to $22,500. There is no citizenship requirement for this scholarship. The deadline for scholarship submission and FAFSA/WASFA submission is Feb. 29. Learn more and apply.  

The Career and Technical Scholarship is for students who intend to earn a certificate, apprenticeship, or associate degree in STEM, health care, and the trades. This scholarship provides up to $1,500 per quarter to over 1,000 eligible programs. Funding can be used to support the cost of living outside of tuition, such as transportation, food, and housing. This application opens three times per year and provides funding quarterly. Learn more and apply.  

The Stim Bullitt Civic Courage Scholarship, sponsored by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, is now open for submissions through March 15. This scholarship engages students asking them to write a 1,500-word essay about an individual or group of individuals in Washington state who have demonstrated civic courage on an issue of importance to the community at great personal, political, or professional risk. It is open to individuals who live, work, or attend school in Seattle and are applying to attend a post-secondary educational institution.   

The first-place winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship; two second place winners will receive scholarships for $2,500 scholarships. Winning essays will be added to the permanent collection in the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Seattle Room at The Seattle Public Library. Full contest details.  

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