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Almost all grants will start with applying for FAFSA as that is the tool that all federal, state, and private institutions use to determine financial need. When a person applies to college or vocational/technical school, AND fills out the FAFSA, the receiving school is able to determine what free money a student qualifies for. Many of these "pots of money" are on a first come first serve basis, so applying for FAFSA early is a wise choice. There are many grants available from numerous pathways. Below you will find the most common including those that are Washington specific.


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Overview of Washington College Grant

The Washington College Grant (WCG) program—formerly known as the State Need Grant (SNG)—provides need-based financial aid to income-eligible students pursuing postsecondary education. Grant recipients can use the financial aid at Washington's eligible institutions, including public two- and four-year colleges and universities and many accredited private/independent colleges, universities, and career schools in the state. 

For 2019-20, eligible students have a household income that is less than 70 percent of the state's median family income (MFI).

Beginning in 2020-21, income eligibility will increase to 100 percent of MFI, with funding guaranteed for eligible students. The program will also expand to provide support for apprenticeships. Award amounts vary based on income, family size, and the school or program attended. 


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The U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers a variety of federal grants to students attending four-year colleges or universities, community colleges, and career schools. 

Try This Resource
Federal Student Grant Programs—Lists federal student grant programs with program details and award limits.


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Many vocational and technical schools, colleges and universities offer grants to help offset the cost of education for their students. Check out the financial aid pages of schools you are interested in and see what they have to offer.  Below are 2 grants that cover the entire cost of tuition.

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The cougar commitment

This program is a commitment to making WSU accessible to students from low to middle income families. Cougar Commitment promises to pay the balance of full-time tuition not covered by either the Pell Grant or Washington College Grant*, and is renewable for up to three additional years (a total of 8 semesters of continuous enrollment).

*Based on recent changes to this program, Cougar Commitment eligibility is dependent on institutional funding availability.


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The husky promise

The University of Washington is promising students a future. The Husky Promise is our guarantee to Washington state students that we will not let financial challenges stand in the way of discovering their potential or achieving a UW degree.