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Fall scene over the pond at SFCC. Fall scene over the pond at SFCC.

What is Financial Aid?

What is Financial Aid? – Sources of Aid

At Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC), we use the term "financial aid" for all types of funding beyond what you can pay for yourself. Money can come from loans, grants, scholarships or paid employment programs like work study. Let’s first explore the different sources of aid in more detail.

Financial Aid Timline

Six steps to complete your financial aid.

Your Aid Package

The first step is to complete your FAFSA. After SFCC receives your FAFSA information, we mail you or email you information on the types of aid you're eligble to receive and apply for. We refer to that collection of aid as your financial aid package. Your aid package can consist of many different sources of aid. Let's explore the different types of aid.

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid

While the FAFSA itself is not a source of aid, it's the first step in the process of determining your aid package. Your application provides SFCC with the details needed to automatically apply any grant money you receive and help you calculate your need for loans and other scholarships. Take a look at our FAFSA Guide for information on preparing and submitting the FAFSA.

Outside Funding 

This refers to funding from an external organization such as:

  • Active duty armed services

  • JTPA/WIA

  • Labor and Industries

  • Private corporations

  • Services for the blind

  • TRA/TAA

  • TRB

  • Tribal funding

  • Veteran disability

  • Vocational rehabilitation

It is the responsibility of your agency's representative to send us your paperwork in a timely manner. It is your responsibility to verify we have received it.

This funding may impact your financial aid. Keep us updated if there are any changes.

Unemployment

  • Attending school WILL affect your unemployment claim. You may be denied benefits if your training plan is not approved.

Loans

After using your grant and scholarship money, you need to pay the remainder of your tuition and fees. Most students use a loan to pay any remaining costs you don't pay in cash. A loan is a type of financial aid that you repay after graduation. The most common type of loan is called a Federal Direct Loan. These funds are awarded by state and federal governments based on your results from the FAFSA, your financial aid budget and the SFCC financial aid packaging policy.

Scholarships

Scholarships are funds you do not repay. The money comes from local high schools, employers, the Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation and other private donors. Students can apply for as many scholarships as they are qualify for. Most application deadlines are in late winter or early spring for the upcoming fall quarter.

Grants

Federal, state and institutional grants are another type of aid that does not get repaid. Grants are awarded based on your FAFSA, financial aid budget, other aid you receive and the SFCC financial aid packaging policy.

Waivers

Waivers are available to certain groups of qualified people, allowing them to be exempt for some or all tuition. Take a look at the different kinds of waivers offered, like waivers for senior citizens to audit courses, Washington State employees, direct relatives of deceased or 100 percent disabled law enforcement or fire officers, and others.

Look at Waiver Information

Veterans Benefits

Are you a veteran? Are you looking information or assistance with the GI Bill? The Veterans Services Office at SFCC can help. 

Work Study

The work study program offers employment to students while you study. Work study programs often partner with an area of study offering valuable job experience and practical knowledge.

Specially Funded Programs

SFCC participates in a few special programs meant to increase access to higher education for certain marginalized goups.

Basic Food, Employment and Training Program (BFET)

The BFET program helps students that qualify for food benefits receive further educational assistance. Do you have food stamps? Learn more and see if you qualify for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) program.

Opportunity Grant

A Washington state program for low-income students in Washington with access to education and training to enter high-wage, high-demand jobs.

Passport to College - Foster Youth Assistance

Assistance for former foster youth offered until the age of 22.

Worker Retraining

Worker Retraining is a state program designed to help unemployed workers re-train for a job in a new field. It is in partnership with the Washington State Employment Security Department. 

WorkFirst

Tuition assistance is available for those who qualify for the WorkFirst Financial Aid program or the Basic Food Employment and Training program. 

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Start Next Quarter

Find out if you are eligible for a number of different grants and funds in one simple survey. Select Community Colleges of Spokane as your college, and sign up to attend a free workshop at the end.