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Paying for College

The choice to attend college is a big decision–and potentially a big cost. But it doesn't have to be. 

There are many resources available to help students cover the costs of expenses to attend college – tuition, books, tools, transportation, childcare and more. Many students use a variety of these options based on their individual needs to help pay for college. These resources are there to help ease the financial burden so that you can focus on your education and remove barriers that may prevent you from completing your degree or certificate.

Explore the options below to find out what resources are available for you.

  Ways to Pay for College

Financial Aid

Financial Aid is money you receive to cover the cost of attending college. To determine if you are eligible to receive federal financial aid, students complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Students who receive federal aid may qualify for Pell grants, student loans, or work study. Loans will need to be paid back; grants and work study do not need to be paid back.
Be sure to check your student email regularly for updates and requests. 

Explore the options below to find out what resources are available and how they might work for you.


Free money. Yes, you read that right. Grants are funds students receive based on their need to cover the cost of college and other expenses.

Unlike loans, grants do not need to be paid back when courses are completed successfully. Grants are available through a variety of sources, including your college, the state, and federal government. 

Eligibility for federal grants is determined by completing the FAFSA. Other grants will have forms or applications that will need to be completed to determine eligibility.


Similar to grants, scholarships are money to help cover the cost of attending college that you do not need to be pay back. 

Clark College Foundation scholarship program awards more than $1 million in scholarships, special awards and financial support to hundreds of students each year. All students are encouraged to apply no matter their level of need. Each scholarship will have its own application process that is not directly associated with a student’s FAFSA application.

 Veterans Benefits

Clark College is proud to be a military-friendly school, and as such, the Veteran’s Center of Excellence office serves as a liaison between the college and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Our staff is here to guide you through the process of understanding and accessing your GI benefits, registering for classes, and more. 

New students can familiarize themselves with their VA Education Benefits they intend to use at

 Workforce Education Services

Workforce Education Services (WES) helps match eligible students with funding and resources for work-based education and training.

WES programs are designed to support students pursuing vocational and professional technical non-transfer degree programs and certificates as well as Transitional Studies. To see if you qualify, visit Start Next Quarter.

Through WES, students can access various grants, the Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET) program, Opportunity Grant, WorkFirst, and Worker Retraining. These resources can help cover the costs of tuition, books, GED fees, as well as assist students in gaining access to public benefits to include subsidized childcare. 

Public Benefits

We understand that for many the cost of college extends past books and tuition to food, housing, and beyond. Public benefits are there to help offset these costs.

Public benefits are available for those who may need assistance with food, healthcare, and day-to-day expenses. To qualify for each of these benefits, you have to meet certain income and resource requirements.

All students are encouraged to apply for benefits in addition to financial aid by visiting

If you need assistance or have questions, please visit Workforce Education Services or call (360) 992-2063.

Loans & Loan Repayment

If you need to borrow additional funds to pay for college-related costs and have exhausted all grant and work-study options, you may want to consider borrowing a loan. Visit our loans page to learn about the types of loans offered at Clark College as well as loan requirements.

Knowing your rights, responsibilities, and resources as a borrower is also very important. For more information on your repayment options, please see our Direct Loan Repayment page.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy & Repaying Financial Aid

Receiving financial aid is like being paid to do a job before the work is completed. There is the expectation that you will complete the work you signed up for. If you do not, there will be repercussions for your future eligibility.

If you withdraw from classes, you may owe a repayment of a portion or all of the aid received for that term. Owing a repayment may affect your eligibility to continue receiving funding. Check in with the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from classes to find out how it may affect your eligibility.

Visit our Maintaining Eligibility page for more information on the college's Satisfactory Academic Progress and Repayment policies.

Student Employment

Work Study and Institutional Hire positions help students pay for school through part-time employment. Qualifying students get an approved job, on- or off-campus, to support their education. Student Employment builds students’ skills, increases their earnings, and reduces reliance on student loans. Student Employment contributes to economic growth by creating jobs and adding experienced, high-skilled college graduates to the state’s workforce.

Participation offers such benefits as:

  • Extra money for living and educational expenses.
  • The opportunity to try various areas of employment including community service.
  • Get on-the-job training.
  • Get a job that will work with you class schedule.