Passport to Careers Guide: Resource Guide

Use the links on the right side of this page—in the blue box titled Passport to Careers Guide—to learn more about the Passport program and the people and resources that are here to help you.

Experts

Click on the tab below for a list of people and organizations that can help you.

People & Organizations

Foster Care Liaisons: School District who staff can help you resolve issues and provide support.

Designated Support Staff: Staff at colleges who can provide resources to get you started and support while you pursue your degree.

Education of Homeless Children and Youth Liaison Contact List: Also known as McKinney Vento Liaisons.

Independent Living Providers Contact List: If you are age 15–18 and you are in the legal custody and care of DSHS or tribal out-of-home care, you can get help to get ready to live on your own.

SETuP Providers Contact List: Foster Youth in high school will get help in making the transition from high school to college, apprenticeships, careers, or service. Providers help with education goals, transportation and housing, and other resources. View this map to find the provider in your area. (Unaccompanied Homeless Youth may receive these services beginning July 2019.)

College Goal Washington: Get help filling out your FAFSA or WASFA. Find an event near you using this map of locations.

GEAR UP: Foster youth and homeless youth may get help in grades 7-12 prepare for postsecondary options. GEAR UP schools have designated staff who can help eligible students with course planning, financial aid, college applications, and pre-college assessments. Visit the GEAR UP website to find out whether GEAR UP is available in your school district, or ask your school office.

TRiO: Foster youth and homeless youth may be eligible for TRiO programs. There are multiple programs, including Talent Search for grades 6-12, Upward Bound for grades 9-12, and student support services for college students. The primary purpose of these programs is to prepare eligible students for successful entry into, retention in, and completion of a postsecondary education (college). Ask your school counselor if TRiO is at your school.

Apprenticeship Consultants Contact List: Staff located throughout the state can provide you with information about apprenticeship programs in your area. 

Online Resources

Click on the tabs below for a list of topical online resources.

Passport to Careers

Passport to Careers Program Frequently Asked Questions: Explanation of program, eligibility, financial aid tips specific to former foster youth and unaccompanied youth in either pathway.

Program Eligibility Expansion Chart: The 2018 Washington Legislature established the Passport to Careers program to help more former foster youth and unaccompanied homeless youth prepare for careers. This chart details how eligibility is changing between 2018 and 2020.

Passport Consent Form: Application for the Passport to Careers Program.

Foster care

Washington Education and Training Voucher (ETV): A national program for youth who qualify and are likely to age out of the foster care system. Offers financial assistance for college expenses. The shared ETV Common Application applies to both Passport to College and the ETV Program. 

SETuP: Explanation of the Supplemental Education Transition Planning program and SETuP provider contact information by region.

Independence.wa.gov: Many resources for youth and alumni of foster care, including financial aid information.

Foster Care to College: Think you can't afford it? Think again!: Explanation of why, if you've been in foster care any time after turning 13, your classes will likely be paid for at most Washington State colleges.

Fostering College Knowledge: Includes information about planning and paying for college for former foster youth.

The Foster Care Transition Toolkit: Intended to help youth currently in foster care and young adults formerly in foster care access the information and resources needed to begin their transition to young adulthood. Topics covered include transition planning, accessing educational opportunities, finding job and career support, managing your money, secure housing and more.

Treehouse: Helps foster care youth graduate from high school and pursue their future. Ask your DCYF Children’s Administration, tribal, or federal foster care caseworker if you qualify.

Careeronestop: Information for former foster youth about finding housing, paying for college and training, and protecting your identity.

Tribal foster care

Tribal Foster Care System:  Information regarding Indian Child Welfare foster care.

Washington State Tribal Directory:  Contact your federally recognized tribe for specific information regarding your foster care status.

Federal foster care/unaccompanied refugee minors

Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC): Information about the program for foster youth placed across state lines in DCSF care.

Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC): Caseworker contact list.

Unaccompanied Refugees Minors Program: Information about the program for foster youth who are refugee children who arrive in the U.S. with no parent or guardian.

Title 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1522 of the immigration and nationality act: The federal code for the assistance for refugee children.

Homelessness

Housing Questionnaire: Form used to verify student is an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. (Scroll to the sample forms section.)

McKinney-Vento Act: Washington state requirements, guidance, and definitions for the education of homeless children and youth. 

Office of Homeless Youth Provider List: Provides a variety of services including education and employment, stable housing, family reconciliation, and social and emotional well-being. View the list to find a provider in your area.

Apprenticeship

General info about Apprenticeship Programs in Washington: With link to searchable catalog of apprenticeships.

Apprenticeship Washington: Easy-to-navigate website for youth interested in the trades.

How to Become an Apprentice: Lists the steps to become an apprentice and a link to all apprenticeships that can be sorted by county and occupation. Written for all ages.

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: Formally Recognized by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council (WSATC) and eligible for Passport to College. These programs prepare the student for an apprenticeship.

Other financial aid

Programs for foster youth

Washington State Governors' Scholarship: Helps former foster youth to continue their education and earn a college degree.

The Fostering Scholarship Program: For students attending  Seattle University. Eligible students receive financial, academic, and personal support towards the completion of an undergraduate degree from Seattle University.

Foster Care to Success: This program is funded by organizations, individuals, and families across the country and provides funding for tuition, books and supplies for one year.

State financial aid

State financial aid programs: A list of grant, scholarship, and loan programs in Washington State.

Eligible Colleges: Washington state colleges and universities that participate in the Washington College Grant, College Bound Scholarship, and Passport to College Promise programs. If you are eligible for any of these financial aid programs, you must attend one of these eligible colleges to receive state aid.

Washington College Grant: Helps the state’s lowest-income undergraduate students pursue degrees, hone skills, or retrain for new careers. Students can use the grants at eligible institutions in Washington. This grant does not need to be paid back except in certain circumstances where you make changes in your enrollment level or have failing grades.

College Bound Scholarship: General information about the College Bound program, which is an early commitment of state financial aid to eligible students.

College Bound eligibility: List of the ways 7th and 8th graders can meet the program income eligibility requirements.

Washington State Work Study: Qualifying students get an approved paid job, on- or off-campus, to support their education. Offered by a college as part of a financial aid award.

Federal financial aid

Federal grants: Financial aid that doesn't have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund.) The largest federal grant program is the Pell grant.

Federal student loans:  A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. Loans may be offered as part of your financial aid award.

Federal Work Study: Federally funded work-study jobs to help students earn money to pay for college or career school. Offered by a college as part of a financial aid award, based upon on the student's FAFSA application.

Miscellaneous financial aid information

Introduction to Financial Aid - PowerPoint: Covers the basics of types of financial aid.

theWashboard.org scholarship search tool: Unique to Washington students, this website allows you to create a profile and then be matched with the scholarship opportunities that fit you. It is spam-free and will never sell your information.

School aid offer or award letter: Learn how to read your award letter to understand your net price for the year. Net price is the actual cost to attend including tuition, fees, living expenses etc.

Accepting the financial aid you'd like to accept:  Information on what order to accept the aid offered by your college.

Scams: Learn how to spot potential fraud, avoid paying for free services and prevent identity theft.

FAFSA/WASFA

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): Apply for financial aid for federal programs. Many Washington state programs also use the FAFSA to award financial aid.

Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA): The application for undocumented individuals and select non-citizens who are not eligible to file the FAFSA. This application only applies to Washington state programs.

FAFSA questions for former foster youth and unaccompanied homeless youth: These questions determine if you can apply as an independent student and only count your income as a family of one.

See if the WASFA is the correct application: Fill out this questionnaire to find out if you are eligible to complete the WASFA.

What is an eligible non-citizen?: Description of the term eligible non-citizen used when filling out a FAFSA.

Extended Foster Care: Description of the extended foster care program and its impact on filling out your FAFSA.

Student Aid Report (SAR): Information on how you receive your SAR. The SAR uses your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for federal and some state financial aid.

Changing your FAFSA: Learn what types of corrections and updates you may make and how to make them.

After the FAFSA: Watch this video about what happens next.

Planning for college

12th Year Campaign Student Workbook: Navigating College Admissions and Financial Aid workbook for Juniors and Seniors that you can view and print.

Washington State GEAR UP Resources: Resources related to campus visits, college admissions, financial aid and more.

The College Knowledge Book: Handouts and a workbook that covers six topics: All About College & Career, Getting Ready, College Bound Scholarship, Paying for College, Applying for College, and Enrolling in College.

Higher Education and Financial Aid Terms: A glossary of words that may be new to a student.

College Map: Find Washington's technical, two-year and four-year college locations and links to websites. Information is provided by the Washington College Access Network.

Campus Visits: In-person campus visits can help you decide if a college is a good fit for you. Ask questions, look into scheduled tours, and see if you can sit in on a class or two. 

Testing & test prep

College Board's SAT test:  General information about the admission test, the PSAT preparation test, and other tools, including free preparation tools.

ACT test: General information about the admission test and preparation tools. Some tools are for purchase and some are free.

SAT fee waivers: Lists eligibility criteria for the fee waiver that lets you take two free SATs), six free SAT Subject Tests, and receive two Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) or Student Answer Service (SAS) reports. Contact your high school counselor.

ACT fee waiver: Lists eligibility criteria for the fee waiver that that covers the basic registration fee for your test option on a national test date. Contact your high school counselor.

Prepare for the SAT tests: Tips for helping you do well on the SAT. Includes free tools and practice tests.

Prepare for the ACT tests: Features the ACT Academy that offers free online learning tools and test practice programs.

Placement test information: These tests are different from the SAT or ACT admissions tests. They are used to place you in the right class according to your current skill level. 

Workforce & careers

Washington Career Bridge: Information on careers including job trends, wages, and how to get those jobs.

GetMyFuture - US Department of Labor: Explore careers, education needed, and how to find jobs.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program:  Helps young people 14-21 who are low income and may need help to complete an educational program or find and hold employment.

WorkSource Locator: Find the WorkSource location in your area. WorkSource is a statewide partnership of state, local and nonprofit agencies that provides an array of employment and training services to job seekers and employers in Washington.

Understanding the Working College Student: Research recommending number of hours students should work.