Counselor Resources

The members of the Washington Financial Aid Association are financial aid professionals working at colleges and universities in the state of Washington. Our primary mission is to help as many students access federal, state, institutional and local financial resources so attending college can become a reality.

The web pages under the "Counselor" tab is intended to provide you with information that will help counselors help students make informed decisions about their post-secondary education options. If any of the information you see on our site is confusing or unclear, or if we have overlooked information that would be helpful in your work, please do not hesitate to contact the financial aid administrator at your local college or university, or by contacting the WFAA Early Awareness committee at finaid@plu.edu.

Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid - Answers to the most commonly asked questions pertaining to the financial aid application process. The answers are meant to convey the message that college is not beyond the financial means of Washington families.

Making Sense of the Financial Aid Process -- A High School Financial Aid Night Power Point Presentation: If you wish to provide your families with an overview of the financial aid process, this power point presentation can be downloaded for your own use. You should be able to modify the graphics, add or delete slides to fit your own school, your needs, or the time period allotted. However, the slides we've included in this template contain the basic information we feel families should have in order to make sense of the financial aid process and to get started.

FAFSA Priority Filing Deadlines for WA colleges and universities - A pdf document with FAFSA filing deadlines for Washington schools, financial aid office contact information, and whether the school requires a supplemental application in addition to the FAFSA.

www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov: Like the pre-SAT, this website allows families to complete a "pre-FAFSA" which will generate an estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Assuming family incomes are relatively stable, your freshmen, sophomores and juniors can get a preview of the FAFSA experience, and learn what their EFC might look like when they file the FAFSA in their senior year.

www.pin.ed.gov: This is the federal website that students and at least one of their parents must go to in order to create a PIN (personal identification number), which will be their electronic signature when filing the FAFSA n-line. Ideally, students and parents should complete this process before starting the FAFSA.

www.fafsa.ed.gov: This is the site for completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Be sure that families don't go to www.fafsa.com, by mistake. This latter .com website is definitely not a "free" application site.

www.thewashboard.org: This is the "e-harmony" of scholarship matching search engines for Washington residents, or students attending Washington schools. High schools with their own scholarship web page may want to consider moving their scholarships to this site, as it streamlines the application process for both students and selection committees.

www.studentaid.gov : This is the U.S. Department of Education's website for information on most federal student aid programs, including:

Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
Federal Work Study
Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Direct Student Loans (available for graduate studies)
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans
Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans (available for graduate studies)
Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants (available for graduate studies)

Application for the above programs is made by completing the FAFSA. Notice of award eligibility and award amounts are made by the schools.

www.studentloans.gov: This is the federal website for information on, and making application for the Federal Direct Student Loans, as well as the Federal Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS Loans.

http://www.wsac.wa.gov/: This is the state website for information on most state funded student aid programs, a comprehensive list of colleges, universities and other post-secondary schools operating in Washington State (found on "links"), and other good information about paying for college. If you are looking for information on a specific state aid program, this website will provide that information on the following programs:

Washington State Need Grant
Washington State Work Study Program
Washington Scholars Program
Washington Health Professions Grant
Washington Award for Vocational Excellence
College Bound Scholarship
Opportunity Grants
Tuition & Fee Waivers
WICHE
American Indian Endowed Scholarships
Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment
GET Ready for Math and Science Conditional Scholarship
John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program
Passport for Foster Youth Promise Program

www.nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator: This is a federal website that provides a consistent set of consumer information on colleges and universities across the U.S., such as graduation and cohort default rates, retention rates, costs, accreditation, average student loan debt, etc.

www.icwashington.org: This is the website for the Independent Colleges of Washington. The ICW offers scholarships for students enrolling in their member schools. Application information on these scholarships can be found on this website as well as on the www.thewashboard.org site. News releases, information about member schools and links to these schools can be found on this web site.

www.sbctc.ctc.edu: This is the website for the community and technical community colleges in the state of Washington. Information about the community college programs and services, news releases, and links to member schools can be found on this website.

http://nw.dollarsforscholars.org: This website provides information on how your community can create its own scholarship foundation with assistance and support from Scholarship America, a four-star charity as rated by Charity Navigator. Learn how to join the 125+ Dollars For Scholars communities already providing scholarships to their students in Washington state.

www.nasfaa.org: The website for the national association for financial aid administrators. Find out what's happening on the financial aid scene at the national level, pending and current federal legislation pertaining to student aid, and links to other financial aid information websites.

www.collegesavings.org: This website provides information about the available state sponsored 529 college savings and prepaid tuition plans, including Washington's Guaranteed Education Tuition plan (GET).

www.finaid.org: This site has information on financial aid programs, application procedures, borrowing patterns and loan debt, as well as calculators that will help you calculate an EFC, monthly payments on a student or parent loan, and the total cost of borrowing.

www.hrsa.gov/loanscholarships/: This is the website for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which offers a variety of health profession scholarships and loan programs. Application for these programs may require a separate application directly with the Dept of HHS.

www.gibill.va.gov/post-911/: This is the website for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans should go to this website to find out about and apply for available education benefits.

 


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