Update From the Washington Student Achievement Council


Financial Aid Info Sessions - Nov 2020.pdf


High school juniors and seniors: take steps now to prepare for the future 

With all that’s going on in the world, it’s tempting to put off planning for the future. But there are steps you can take now to be ready when the time comes to continue your education.  

Class of 2021: 

  • Start looking into career paths and learn more about what kind of education you may need after high school. 
  • Senior year is a busy time! Working on application essays is a great way to get started on college applications during remote learning.
  • Consider dual credit programs, which allow you to earn high school and college credit at the same time. Students who earn college credit are more likely to graduate high school, enroll in college, and complete college degrees. 

Learn more and plan your future on the Washington Student Achievement Council website.  

College & Career Compass can help you plan for life after high school.

You've probably been thinking about what the current public health and economic crisis means for your future. While the present is uncertain, one thing is clear: education beyond high school is more important than ever.
Continuing your education after high school gives you more options. Research shows college graduates earn more and are less likely to be unemployed. Luckily, there's a great new tool available to help you prepare and plan for the future—and it's free!

Check out Washington's new College & Career Compass:
Explore educational programs that match your career interests.
Learn more about the value of college and how financial aid can help you pay for a certificate, apprenticeship, or degree.
Connect with a campus to get additional support.
Don't be discouraged. Stay motivated, get ready, and focus on the future. College & Career Compass makes it easy. Learn more at compass.wa.gov. 

Sign up for "Otter" Chatbot for the latest updates. Instructions and description below.

“Otter” Chatbot Provides Student Support and Financial Aid Info

Otterbot is a free texting service designed to help Washington high school seniors navigate financial aid for college and career education.

  • Students can access Otterbot via text message
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week by texting "Hi Otter"
    to 360-928-7281.
  • Otter sends periodic messages with financial aid information, resources, and deadlines.
  • Students can text Otter with questions about financial aid, college planning, and more.


Not Eligible for Federal Financial Aid? Get State Aid With the WASFA.

Washington State offers financial aid programs to students who cannot file, or do not wish to file, a federal FAFSA financial aid application. 

The Washington College Grant and College Bound Scholarship are available to students who are not U.S. citizens but who meet state residency and program requirements. Complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) to see if you are eligible.

There are various reasons a student or family might complete a WASFA instead of a FAFSA, including:

  • Immigration status, or student is undocumented
  • Undocumented parents or family members do not wish to file a FAFSA
  • Defaulted federal loans
  • Repayments owed on federal grants
  • Inability to provide selective service confirmation

The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), which administers the WASFA, is committed to protecting the confidentiality of the information and privacy of students and families. Washington is a state committed to providing opportunities to students and protecting the rights of families.

There are affordable college and career training opportunities for everyone. The first, best step is to apply for financial aid. Learn more at wsac.wa.gov/apply.

Additional Resources

Financial Aid Advising Day: 12th Year Campaign is here to help! 

A financial aid advising day is an opportunity to provide every senior and their family with key resources and knowledge for completing the financial aid application process. Per ESSB 6141, districts with a high school must provide both a financial aid advising day and notification of financial aid opportunities at the beginning of each school year to student, parents, and guardians of any student entering the twelfth grade.

The 12th Year Campaign is here to help! We provide sites with free financial aid training, free print and digital materials for students and families, and help host virtual statewide financial aid completion events. Our new webpage provides a wealth of information about supporting your students and meeting the new requirement, including:

  • Print and digital materials in multiple languages.
  • Support modules and activities for students.
  • Recorded and live training for practitioners.

Event sign up.