State Financial Aid for Dreamers
On February 26th, 2014 Governor Inslee signed the Real Hope Act into law. The law allows undocumented non-citizens, who are unable to complete a FAFSA, eligible to apply for State Financial Aid through the WASFA application. If determined eligible for financial aid, undocumented students will be able to qualify for in-state tuition rates, as well as the Washington College Grant (formerly called Washington State Need grant). Financial aid may be limited, and based on the availability of funds; students are encouraged to apply early for the WASFA.
Eligibility requirements include:
- 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*.
- Must meet Washington College Grant Program requirements (formerly called Washington State Need Grant).
*Students granted deferred action for childhood arrival (DACA) must also complete and sign the affidavit.
To ensure you are applying on time, and you are meeting all eligibility requirements, please visit the ReadySetGrad website regularly.
Please also follow the steps:
Steps to Apply for State Financial Aid
STEP 1: Complete OC Admissions Application (new students only)
STEP 2: Complete WASFA
STEP 3: Complete the HB1079 residency affidavit
STEP 4: Complete State Data Sheet and other required documents (if requested). Students may check the status of the application in the Financial Aid portal.
*Incomplete or unreadable documents will cause delay to completing your application*
March 15 is the financial aid PRIORITY PROCESSING DATE. All applications completed by or before the priority date will be given maximum consideration for financial aid eligibility. Applications are considered complete when all required documentation has been received. Completed files are typically packaged in order of completion date on a first-come, first-served basis.
You may apply AFTER the priority date. However, the Financial Aid Office cannot guarantee that your financial aid will be packaged before you register and/or before the summer quarter begins. Financial aid packaged for students who applied after the priority processing deadline are subject to the availability of state funds.
FINANCIAL AID PORTAL
Once you have completed your WASFA application, you must download required documents from the financial aid portal. It is recommended you monitor the progress of your application WEEKLY, including AFTER financial aid is packaged, and after grades are posted to the transcript. Click on the financial aid portal link in the upper right hand corner of this page to link to the portal.
APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS
When the financial aid office receives your WAFSA application and all required documentation, the application is considered complete, and is scheduled for review/package in the date order that the application was complete. During the review process, more documentation may be requested from you to clarify data if there are any noted inconsistencies or inaccurate information. Your application will not be processed or packaged until the additional information requested is submitted and reviewed.
Please check your financial aid portal weekly for additional document requests or comments from the reviewer, until your financial aid is packaged. After your aid is packaged we recommend that you continue to check the financial aid portal periodically during the quarter (and after grades are released) so that you will be aware of any changes to your financial aid package.
It may take 3 to 6 weeks to process your application. The clock begins ticking when your application is considered complete (see FILE REVIEW PROCESS above). The length of processing time depends on our application volume at the time you apply. Applications that are selected for verification require additional steps and therefore additional time to process. Check the financial aid portal frequently (even after your aid is packaged), and follow up promptly with any additional information our office requires from you.
RECEIVING FINANCIAL AID DISBURSEMENTS
All financial aid refunds/disbursements are now issued by BankMobile Disbursements. For more information about BankMobile, click on this link: https://bankmobiledisbursements.com/how-it-works/
Financial aid (grant aid) is issued to the school the first day of each quarter. Funds are applied to your tuition and fees first. Any amount in excess of tuition and fees will be issued to you according to your selected refund preference with BankMobile.
NOTE!!! READ YOUR FINANCIAL AID LETTER Financial aid is packaged based on full-time enrollment (12+ credits). If your financial aid is packaged and you register for LESS THAN 12 CREDITS, you must complete a Change of Enrollment form and submit it to our office. Financial aid (disbursement) refunds may be delayed if you do not notify the office of your enrollment change. Go to the current year Forms page to download the Change of Enrollment form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office.