Undocumented students who have graduated from a Washington high school and have lived in the state for at least three years may be eligible for in-state tuition at public institutions, rather than being charged non-resident tuition.
In 2003, Washington granted in-state tuition to undocumented students at public universities in the state (often referred to as policy 1079). The law does not change a student’s legal status or provide citizenship, nor does it qualify students for federal or state financial aid.
To qualify for in-state tuition, a student must have:
Students who leave the state for an extended period do not qualify for this tuition exemption.
To enroll in a college, a student must:
For more information inquire with the admissions office of the institutions you wish to attend.
Regardless of which college or university you are interested in attending, you should speak with the scholarship office. Many colleges offer scholarships and some tuition waivers without regard to immigration status. You should directly contact the organization that offers those specific scholarships and ask if you meet the criteria to apply.
Act Six provides scholarship funds for emerging urban and community leaders. Students must attend one of these schools: Gonzaga, PLU, Northwest, Whitworth, Trinity Lutheran, George Fox, Warner Pacific, or Heritage. Learn more: www.actsix.org
MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) compiles a listing of scholarships for ALL Students regardless of Immigration Status. This is an extensive list of scholarships that may not inquire about immigration status or require a valid social security number to redeem the award. It is suggested that you look through the scholarship list and select scholarships that are applicable to you. As a general rule, if an application asks for your social security number and you do not have one yet, leave that space blank but fill out and turn in the application. Lying about your legal status or providing a false social security is a federal offense. Learn more at: www.maldef.org/leadership/scholarships/index.html
Palmer Scholars provides scholarships to low-income minority students living in Pierce County. Students must also meet college entrance requirements for their school of choice. Learn more at www.palmerscholars.org
Scholarship Resource Guide for All Latino/a Students in Washington State is compiled by Campaña Quetzal in a month-by-month format. Includes scholarships that are open to ALL students, regardless of citizenship or residency status. The offering organization is always the final authority regarding the scholarship listing: www.campanaquetzal.org/images/stories/CQ_ScholarshipResourceGuide4_12.pdf
TheWashBoard.org is a free, student-centered, online clearinghouse for Washington students seeking college scholarships. This user-friendly site allows students to search and apply for scholarship opportunities that are specific to their academic interests, college, university, or other criteria. Students can easily see what criteria are required and apply for only those scholarships that area good fit. After completing the profile a student can see if a scholarship may be suitable for undocumented students by looking through their matches to see if US Citizenship, SSN, or FAFSA completion are required as a part of the application process. Scholarships are available year-round so students should keep their profile up to date and log-in periodically to see if there are new matches.
For more information and additional scholarship search tools visit: www.hecb.wa.gov/PayingForCollege/Scholarships
In addition to scholarship search tools be sure to check with:
Beware of scholarship scams! DO NOT pay any organization or individual to apply for scholarships or for scholarship lists. Legitimate scholarships NEVER ask for an application fee. For more information see: www.studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/lsa.jsp