Financial Wellness

Through education, awareness and mentoring, the Financial Wellness Program is designed to provide you and your family the tools and resources needed to make healthy financial decisions. Clark College offers one-on-one coaching, workshops and resources to support you on your journey to financial wellness.

Explore the information below and find out what we can do for you.


Clark College has developed a list of financial resources under the “Resources” tab below. This list is current and updated regularly. Please also review the "Emergency Grants" tab for more information regarding student financial assistance.

The Emergency Grants online application opens two weeks before the first day of each term and closes on the last day of classes.



    • The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new benefit will be available beginning May 12, 2021. Please visit the website to learn the eligibility guidelines and steps to enroll.

Meet the Coaching Team

Heather Palow
Financial Wellness Program Manager

Heather has spent over 20 years in higher education specializing in supporting student success in academic, career, and financial wellness. Within that experience, she is passionate about developing a sense of community and helping people reach their goals. Along with program management responsibilities, Heather works with students on tailoring a financial plan that works for their unique situation. She also leads the Financial Wellness Workshop series, offered every term to students and community members.

For questions or to make an appointment, please email


Meet with a Coach

Ask questions about you and your family's financial situation, create a budget, discuss future financial goals, and delve into topics such as credit, debt, banking and investing. 

Please contact a Financial Wellness Coach to schedule an appointment at email

I just finished the meeting with Dan, WOW!!! I have done a few things like that before (eye roll) and it was always a waste of time and I personally never learned a thing. Dan identified my level of knowledge and understanding of the topics. He was so great, he was able and willing to adjust the topics for me. He personalized this so I could actually learn something and take something away from our meeting. I was extremely impressed by him and all the information he provided me. I was honestly not expecting to learn a thing. I really am truly grateful for this meeting and the time Dan gave me today. - Cynthia T.
Sheri sat down with me and listened to my concerns and needs and immediately we went into action building a financial plan. I was given a budget and advice on how to handle my current finances and bills. Sheri helped look for scholarships that would be more suited for a person with my circumstances. Being a woman in recovery there are many things I am lacking such as professional clothes. Sheri introduced me to the career clothing closet and was there to help me pick out clothes for job searching. Meeting with a financial wellness coach has relieved the stress and anxiety I was experiencing and has become such a valuable asset in my journey at Clark College and life.... -  Mindy W.

Upcoming Events and Workshops

Financial Wellness Workshops are offered each term. Topics like Better Banking, Managing Debt, Understanding Credit, Financial Preparedness, and Economic Impact to Your Finances will be offered.

Visit the Financial Wellness Workshop schedule for more information about upcoming events.

I gained a better idea of how I should be budgeting my income to pay off debt and increase savings. - Joe M.
I loved learning more about how fixing my spending can do wonders for my savings and net worth. - Amanda C.

If you need accommodation due to a disability in order to fully participate in an event, you should contact Clark College’s Disability Support Services Office at 360-992-2314 or 360-992-0901 VP, or visit Disability Support Services (PUB 013) as soon as possible.


Current Newsletter

Winter 2021 - Fixing and Maintaining Your Credit Score
Winter 2021 - Real Estate Programs for First-time and Low-income Buyers
Spring 2021 - Protecting Yourself from Predatory Financial Practices

Paying for College

  • The choice to attend college is a big decision - and potentially a big cost, but it doesn't have to be. Check out Clark's resources available to help students cover the costs of expenses to attend college - tuition, books, transportation, childcare and more.

  • Find your college fit and use these essential tools and calculators to help calculate your higher education expenses.

  • Check out these articles on How to Pay for College and ways to pay for college without parental support.

Financial Wellness Online Program

Making a solid financial wellness plan equips you to achieve your academic goals and succeed in your chosen career. MyPlan is Clark's online personal guide for career, academic, and financial planning. Use the financial wellness portion of MyPlan, in conjunction with workshops and a 1-1 coaching session, to assist you with your financial plan.

Calculators and Worksheets

Articles, Podcasts, Books and Blogs


  • Think and Grow Rich - by Napoleon Hill
  • Millionaire Next Door - by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
  • The Simple Path to Wealth - by JL Collins 
  • Enough. - by John C. Bogle
  • The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Investing - by Kenneth M. Morris and Virginia B. Morris
  • The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Personal Finance - by Kenneth M. Morris and Alan M. Siegel

Financial Philosophers and Philosophies

Real Estate Programs for First-time and Low-income Buyers

Many of us think home buying is only an option for those with a high income, ample savings, and perfect credit. Fortunately, there are many programs available to help first-time and/or low-to moderate- income buyers make their dream of owning a home a reality.

For questions or assistance with these resources please schedule a financial wellness coaching appointment by contacting us at

Definition of a First-time Homebuyer


Proud Ground makes homeownership affordable to income-qualified, first-time homebuyers (meaning you have not owned a home within the last three years) through the Community Land Trust model. Working with their partners, they educate and counsel homebuyers, administer grant funding to create affordable homebuying opportunities, and manage the entire real estate process on behalf of the homebuyer. Once a homeowner purchases with Proud Ground, they provide post-purchase support to ensure the homeowner's long-term stability in the home. In exchange for a reasonable purchase price (about $60,000 to $100,000 LESS than a market-rate home), homeowners agree to resale arrangements that provide a seller with a share of the homes equity while ensuring the home remains affordable for another moderate-income homebuyer. Homes are currently available in Oregon. Check the site regularly for availability in SW Washington. 

The USDA Loan program provides down payment assistance, low interest rates when you purchase a home in a targeted rural area. You can check the USDA eligibility map to see zones that are eligible in your targeted area for your home search. Ask your realtor to show you homes in your price range and only in the targeted rural areas.

Evergreen Habitat for Humanity: Family partners are selected based on meeting three criteria: need, ability to pay, and ability to partner. Through volunteer labor and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner. Habitat houses are sold to families at no profit, financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are recycled into a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses. 

Down Payment Assistance:

Information below is from the Low-Income Relief site:

Home Choice Down Payment Assistance Loan Program provides up to $15,000 toward the down payment and closing costs of your first-time home buyer loan! This program is a second mortgage loan program for households with at least one disabled family member. This second mortgage has a mere one percent interest.

Teacher Next Door is a down payment assistance program for teachers and employees of K-12 public schools, private schools, community colleges and technical schools. The assistance is awarded as a second loan with a 3 percent interest rate and a 10-year loan term.

House Key Opportunity loans are a special mortgage product designed for those who are obtaining some form of down payment assistance. They can be combined with Opportunity Down Payment Assistance Loans of up to $10,000. Contact a lender for more information.

Veterans Down Payment Assistance is a statewide program that can provide $10,000 in down payment assistance for persons who received an honorable or medical discharge. Spouses who have never remarried and dependent children of deceased veterans may also qualify. This $10,000 loan carries a 3 percent interest rate and does not have monthly payments. You will have to pay off the balance when you pay off, sell, transfer or otherwise move out of the home, though.

Mortgage Programs:

Washington State Housing Finance Commission administers several first-time buyer loan programs. They have home buyer education workshops, home loan programs and down payment assistance.

Energy Spark Home Loans grant a 0.25% interest rate reduction to buyers who purchase an energy efficient home or make upgrades to an existing home at the time of purchase.

Home Advantage Loans are a type of WSHFC loan that is designed to help low income families purchase a home with a good interest rate. You an receive up to four percent of the mortgage loan amount in down payment assistance!


Student Emergency Grants

The Emergency Grant Application is closed for winter term.

All federal HEERF/CARES funds have been exhausted for the current term. If you have already applied, your application will be reviewed, and you will receive an email with an update on your status. The application will reopen for spring term on March 28.

If you have any questions or are experiencing problems filling out this application, please email 
Visit or click on the Resources tab above, at the top of this list, for information about help services like safe housing, food programs, health care and job training.


The Financial Wellness Center is an educational service only. We do not provide professional investment, legal, or tax advice. The information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your investment, legal, and/or tax advisors or to be the basis of specific trading or investment activities. If you need investment, legal, and/or tax advice, please consult with a licensed professional.



For emergency grant information please contact the Emergency Grant Committee at email
For Financial Wellness Coaching or more information about the financial wellness program please email