Update from the Washington Student Achievement Council
"On February 26, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the REAL Hope Act (SB 6523), also known as the Washington Dream Act. Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, this new law expands eligibility for the Washington State Need Grant to non-citizens who meet the program’s eligibility requirements in addition to all three residency criteria listed below:
- Have graduated from a Washington high school or obtained a GED®
- Have lived in Washington for three years prior to, and continuously since, earning the high school diploma or equivalent.
- Sign an affidavit (written promise) to file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States when eligible to apply*.
*Students granted deferred action for childhood arrival (DACA) must also complete and sign the affidavit.
The Washington Student Achievement Council is currently developing a new state application for students who are unable to complete a FAFSA due to immigration status. This free application--known as the Washington Application for State Financial Aid, or the WASFA--will allow non-citizens to apply for student financial aid in Washington state. Upon successful completion of a WASFA, the college(s) chosen by the student will use the financial information provided in the application to determine eligibility to receive the Washington State Need Grant.
The WASFA is expected to be available to students on this webpage by April, 2014. Please check back frequently [at http://readysetgrad.org/wasfa] for updates."
UW students who complete the WASFA within one month of its availability at http://readysetgrad.org/wasfa will have priority in receiving funds for 2014-15! The UW Office of Student Financial Aid will set internal UW policies and procedures for UW students completing the WASFA. If you have questions about the process, please contact OSFA. In future years, the priority deadline will be Feb. 28.
To be ready to complete the WASFA when it becomes available, you may find it helpful to look at the FAFSA worksheet. Though the WASFA will be different from the FAFSA, the WASFA will ask for much of the same income information. So the FAFSA worksheet will give you an idea of what kinds of documents and information to have ready and available when you complete the WASFA to make the process quicker and easier.
In 2003, Washington Governor Gary Locke signed House Bill 1079 into law, allowing undocumented students who have lived in Washington for three years or more to pay in-state tuition at Washington colleges and universities. While HB 1079 opens the door to higher education for many undocumented students in Washington, it does not affect citizenship status and paying for school without the option of financial aid remains difficult for many.
Scholarship opportunities are more limited for those who are not US citizens, but there are scholarships that are open to students regardless of US citizenship status. And as for all students, the suggestions for developing yourself as an applicant discussed on the All Undergraduates page will be helpful to consider.
Search our database of scholarships for those open to HB 1079 students.
Additional scholarship search resources for undocumented students:
Additional UW resources for undocumented students: