Financial Aid and Student Loans in Washington

Washington state is known for its gorgeous scenery, mountains, dense wilderness, and excellent education programs. It’s no wonder residents are so keen to stay in-state to pursue their higher education.

Paying for college in Washington can be a challenge, however, with average four year colleges averaging $30,133 per year.

At Funding U, we strive to give prospective students access to the funds and resources they need to afford college. We’ve prepared an ultimate checklist for paying for school, and below, we’ve sketched some of the best financial aid options for students in Washington state, student loans in Washington state, and grants in Washington state.

What scholarship programs does Washington have?

Every year, hundreds of scholarships become available to students across America, but much goes unrewarded for lack of eligible applicants.

Prospective students often aren’t aware of some of these awards, which are an excellent option to help academically minded students to afford college. Scholarships often have rigorous eligibility requirements, too. It is also a terrific way to reduce your total college costs as these scholarships don’t require repayment and are usually renewable.

Scholarships should be every student’s first line of defense against hefty final education debt. It may sound daunting, but these funds frequently cost you nothing to apply.

In this section, we’ll review several of the best scholarship awards offered by the state of Washington. We’ll provide a basic overview, as well as a brief discussion of the eligibility requirements.

Washington State Opportunity Scholarships

If you’re planning an academic career around scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math, Washington state has established an academic scholarship to promote your field. It provides up to $22,500 to qualified students while also giving hands-on support and the mentoring needed to thrive in a particular field of study.

The Opportunity Scholarship also has a program devoted to occupational scholarships that support students studying trades in welding, manufacturing, or IT. Eligible students must be residents of Washington and US citizens.

Scholars applying for the baccalaureate version of the award must have a minimum GPA of 2.75, while occupational award applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Both versions of the scholarship applicants need to demonstrate financial need with the expected family contribution portion of their FAFSA application.

College Bound Scholarship

Some students know they’ll attend college early. They set their minds to it and grind forward, pursuing it doggedly with determination and persistence. The College Bound Scholarship was designed with that student in mind, providing funds to cover any remaining amounts after grants and loans have been calculated.

Students who wish to attain the College Bound Scholarship must pledge to it in seventh or eighth grade.

Eligible students must be residents of Washington State and citizens of the US. They must also graduate from a Washington State High School with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and have no criminal record.

What grant programs does Washington have?

If you’re still searching for funding after you’ve exhausted all of your scholarship opportunities, Washington provides several grant programs to help students achieve educational goals.

Grants frequently have less stringent requirements on the eligibility than scholarships, as well as a more substantial funding pool. It makes grants more readily available for a significant number of students, for example.

At Funding U, we encourage students to apply for as many grant programs as they are eligible to receive. Grants don’t require repayment, unlike many other financing options.

In this section, we’ll review some of the most popular grant options offered in the state of Washington and the eligibility requirements. We also advise students to apply for federal grants extensively with the FAFSA application.

Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Opportunity Grant Program

When most people think of college financing and their college careers, they consider four-year colleges and a baccalaureate degree. There are also financial aid packages, grants, scholarships, and loans available for those pursuing a trade or attending a community college, however.

The Opportunity Grant Program is designed to help low-income students manage their academic goals while pursuing education in high-demand occupations.

Eligible students must be residents of Washington State and US citizens and maintain a 2.0 GPA. The award provides money for tuition and fees for a year at an eligible community college or technical school, as well as funding for fees and books up to $1,000.

Prospective grant recipients must have an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, as determined by the FAFSA application.

Washington College Grant

The Washington College Grant (formerly the State Need Grant) changed slightly in 2019, but it still offers one of the best grant programs in the state. It is aimed at low-income students who want a fulfilling college career.

The generous grant provides up to $10,748 for students attending one of the two major public research institutions in the state. It also offers various awards to students elsewhere.

For a list of the awards associated with the different schools, check the information page here.

Eligible students must be Washington state residents and citizens of the United States. They must also attend one of the eligible institutions in Washington.


Students interested in pursuing a career in teaching might be interested in exploring the options available with the TEACH grant, which provides a variable amount to students in high-demand areas of education. The award offers up to $4,000 of support per year up to $16,000 in total.

Students need to commit yearly to the grant contract, which stipulates the ongoing interest in teaching in the field selected.

The grant requires that all students be Washington state residents and US citizens enrolled for no less than six credits per semester. Students must be in or above the 75th percentile on the standard college admission tests, such as the SAT or ACT. They must also have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25.

Prospective award winners also need to sign a TEACH Grant agreement and continue progressing through the chosen course.

What student loan programs does Washington have?

In this section, we’ll explore some of the most popular loan options available to Washington students, including the unique industry-funded loan program.

At Funding U, we understand that saddling students with substantial loan debt is the last thing a prospective student needs. We encourage all students to explore alternative financing options available before taking on student loan debt.

We also understand that loans are usually an integral part of higher education, which is why we want to make sure you have all the information you need to make a sound decision.

Aerospace Loan Program

The international headquarters of Boeing is located in the state, so it should be no surprise that there is a loan program specific to residents in Washington state that promotes education in the field of aerospace development.

The loan program helps students pay for the first and second training modules at the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center, for example. The loan for the first module is $2,500, and the second is $3,200 (for a possible total of $8,900).

Eligible students must declare the intent to work in the Aerospace industry, have a high school degree or equivalent, and be US residents. Students must meet or exceed the academic standard to take advantage of both loans, which means acceptable grades on the first module.

Students who complete the course have a six-month grace period after graduation until the loan repayment begins.

Federal student loans

Prospective Washington students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). 

Private co-signed student loans

There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.

No co-signer student loans in Washington

Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans click here.   NOTE: Funding U does not offer loans to residents of the state of Washington.  However, if you are attending a school located in Washington and are a resident of another state that is eligible you may apply.

What schools does Funding U lend to in Washington?

Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities. We do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools. 

Our eligibility requirements are based on models that predict how likely a student is to graduate, and we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum six-year graduation rates that schools must reach to be eligible.

Find out more about how we determine our eligibility here.

Below is a table listing all of the schools in Washington that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently considering based on the school’s six-year graduation rate.

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Antioch University-SeattleNoNoNoNo
Central Washington UniversityNoNoYesYes5573
Cornish College of the ArtsNoNoYesYes5974
Eastern Washington UniversityNoNoNoNo4476
Gonzaga UniversityNoYesYesYes8694
Heritage UniversityNoNoNoNo3176
Northwest UniversityNoNoYesYes5580
Pacific Lutheran UniversityNoNoYesYes6783
Saint Martin's UniversityNoNoYesYes6276
Seattle Pacific UniversityNoNoYesYes6879
Seattle UniversityNoYesYesYes7484
The Evergreen State CollegeNoNoYesYes5561
University of Puget SoundNoYesYesYes7586
University of Washington-Bothell CampusNoNoYesYes6288
University of Washington-Seattle CampusNoYesYesYes8494
University of Washington-Tacoma CampusNoNoYesYes5876
Walla Walla UniversityNoNoYesYes5786
Washington State UniversityNoNoYesYes5981
Western Washington UniversityNoNoYesYes6881
Whitman CollegeNoYesYesYes8794
Whitworth UniversityNoYesYesYes7985

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