Paying for my education

Once you’ve selected a program, consider how you’ll pay for it

 

We know college can be expensive, but we also know there are several programs to help offset the cost. From grants, to conditional loans and scholarships, there are many ways to finance a teaching career in Washington. Financial aid can come from federal, state, school, and private sources.

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Federal aid

Perhaps the best known federal aid option is the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Completing the FAFSA allows you to request federal grants, work-study, and loans, all in one application. If you are a Washington resident but don’t qualify for the FAFSA, consider submitting the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid).

You might also think about a TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) grant. TEACH grants can help you pay for college if you plan to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area. This grant requires you to take specific classes and meet certain employment criteria to keep the grant from turning into a loan that must be repaid. Learn more about TEACH grants.

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State aid

The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) administers multiple programs that offer financial assistance to students. 

The Washington College Grant (WCG), formerly the State Need Grant, makes education and training beyond high school affordable. The new Washington College Grant gives more money to more students for more types of education after high school. Learn more about the WCG.

WSAC also supports the development of new teachers by providing financial aid to those pursuing work in subjects or locations of high need, known as shortage areas. Most aid is offered as a conditional scholarship, which is a loan that is forgiven in exchange for service as a certificated employee in a shortage area. Learn more about conditional scholarships.

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Scholarships

Scholarships do not have to be repaid, and can be awarded based on specific achievements, or on financial need. They come from a variety of sources including schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups, and professional and social organizations. Whether you’re just starting college or returning to pursue a second career, there are scholarship opportunities for you. Check out Washington’s scholarship clearinghouse.

Don’t forget to check out what your college or program might offer in financial aid from their own scholarship or grant funds. Visit your school or program website, or contact the financial aid office to learn more.

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