Students gathering in front of the North Entrance of the Cascade Building

Free Money for College

The Washington College Grant provides guaranteed college funding through the state to all eligible residents of Washington state, including low- and middle-income students. The first step toward getting funding through the grant is to complete a federal or state financial aid application: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA).

For those who qualify, the grant guarantees that you’ll get the full Washington College Grant award that you qualify for, eliminating wait lists and letting you start college any quarter with your full grant award.

Submit Financial Aid Application

How and when do I submit the FAFSA?

Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible starting October 1 for the following year. Include Pierce College, school code 005000, in your list of schools. Need help? View the How to Fill Out the FAFSA video.

Should I fill out the FAFSA or WASFA?

Complete the FAFSA if you are a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen.

Complete the WASFA if you are a Washington resident and not eligible to complete the FAFSA.

I did my FAFSA. Now what?

Within 3-5 business days, FAFSA will email your Student Aid Report, which identifies errors and if you're selected for verification.

If you're attending Pierce College, apply to Pierce and activate your student email and myPierce portal.

Financial Aid will send notifications to your student email. Application status, required documentation, and award information is available in ctcLink.

How much grant money will I qualify for?

As your income goes up, the award amounts go down. A family of four making $50,500 or less will receive a full financial-aid award that covers the full cost of tuition plus state-mandated fees. A middle-income family of four making up to about $92,000 will get some level of aid (i.e. a partial award). See the estimated award and eligibility charts for details.

Do I need to pay back the Washington College Grant?

No – grant funding is "free money" and does not need to be paid back.

Can I only use the Washington College Grant at Pierce College?

No. The Washington College Grant preserves all the flexible ways financial aid can be used in Washington state so you can pursue the path that fits you best – whether it means a certificate, two-year degree, four-year degree, or an apprenticeship.

What happened to the Washington State Need Grant?

The Washington College Grant replaces the State Need Grant under a bill passed by the Legislature during the 2019 legislative session (HB 2158).

Is this grant different than the State Need Grant?

The Washington College Grant provides guaranteed funding to everyone who qualifies, while the State Need Grant had limited funding that left a significant gap of underserved students. Additionally, the Washington College Grant expands funding to middle-income families, or those making up to 100 percent of the median family income, while the State Need Grant capped at 70 percent.