Paying for College as a Dreamer
Undocumented students have unique challenges when it comes to paying for college. They are not eligible for federal financial aid. However, depending on their situation, they may be eligible for Washington state financial aid and/or scholarship opportunities through Clark College Foundation. They also may be eligible for emergency grants to help with financial hardship.
Applying for financial aid, emergency grants, or scholarships will not endanger your immigration status.
In most cases, undocumented students should not fill out the FAFSA, but instead fill out the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid). This form allows them to apply for Washington state financial aid, and is often required when applying for scholarships as well. The WASFA is open to non-citizens who meet the State Need Grant eligibility 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.
WASFA applications open each year on October 1 and students should try to complete their application as soon as possible after that date. There is no fee to submit the WASFA form. Learn more about eligibility and complete the WASFA at readysetgrad.org.
Upon answering the initial questions on the WASFA application, you will be re-directed to file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form if you meet these eligibility requirements instead.
If you are eligible to file a FAFSA and are a dependent student (under the age of 24) you will be required to provide parent information. We understand there are unique challenges to this at times, and dependent upon each student’s situation, you may not be able to provide Social Security information for a parent. In these unique circumstances, Clark College recommends answering the Social Security information with the numbers 000-00-0000. This should allow your parent to sign and submit your FAFSA without any complications.
Scholarships are financial awards designed to support your pursuit of education. Scholarships are awarded based on many different factors.
Clark College Dreamer Scholarship
Through Clark College Foundation, funding is available for scholarships for eligible Dreamer students. Download the application form [downloadable PDF] and submit it to Rosalba Pitkin at firstname.lastname@example.org before the deadline stated on the form (for 2020, this is September 22).
Scholarships outside of Clark College
Below are links to scholarship websites that include some scholarships for Dreamers.
- MALDEF Scholarships
- LEAPWA Resources
- Beyond HB1079 (This website lists scholarships specifically for Dreamers)
- College Bound