Spokane Community College is committed to supporting undocumented students.
It is important to remember that the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits schools from providing any outside agency—including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)—with any information from a student’s school file that would expose their immigration status. Immigration status are treated like other student information, such as participation in Running Start or receiving accommodations from Disability Access Services.
College employees should only inquire about a student’s immigration status:
If it is beneficial to the support of student’s educational goals.
To evaluate appropriate access to the same educational opportunities as all students.
To ensure that students are exposed to learning Hope actexperiences that focus on college aspirations.
Even after, the information given to the college staff should remain confidential.
On February 26, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the REAL Hope Act (SB 6523) also known as the Washington Dream Act. This new law expands eligibility for the Washington College Grant to non-citizens. Visit the page to learn if you qualify and how you can apply for Washington State Financial Aid through WASFA.
Effective July 1, 2003, Washington state law changed the definition of "resident student" allowing certain students eligible for resident student status- and eligible to pay resident (in-state) tuition rates when they attend public colleges or universities in the state. Learn about the requirements on the HB1079 page.
Learn more about how you can qualify for this program. A list of local and state-wide resources for DACA students is available at the DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals page.
Our resources page includes a list of local and statewide advocacy and support organizations. Among those listed are the Washington Dream Act Coalition, the Latino Education Achievement Project, and the Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project.
A number of scholarships are available for DACA and undocumented students. Spokane Community College offers various scholarships to help undocumented students continue on with their education. These scholarships can be found via our foundation page, CCS Foundation. Visit our scholarships page.
The Real Hope Act
(For HB1079 students and DACA students who are eligible for HB1079)
Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) for undocumented students in Washington State
On February 26, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the REAL Hope Act (SB 6523), also known as the Washington Dream Act. Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, this new law expands eligibility for the Washington College Grant to non-citizens who meet the program’s eligibility requirements in addition to all three residency criteria listed below:
Have graduated from a Washington high school or obtained a GED in Washington
Have lived in Washington for three years prior to, and continuously since, earning the high school diploma or equivalent
Sign a HB 1079 affidavit (written promise) to file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States when eligible to apply
*Students granted deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) must also complete and sign the HB 1079 affidavit.
The Washington Student Achievement Council has provided a new state application for students who are unable to complete a FAFSA due to their immigration status. This free application--known as the Washington Application for State Financial Aid, or the WASFA—will allow non-citizens to apply for student financial aid in Washington State. “WASFA replaces the FAFSA for undocumented students in Washington State” Upon successful completion of a WASFA, the college(s) chosen by the student will use the financial information provided in the application to determine eligibility to receive the Washington College Grant.
*Please note that the information provided by the student to the institution and the WASFA is protected and will not be shared with a third party, since it is protected through FERPA.
Financial Aid for Undocumented Students/DREAMers
Under Washington state's REAL Hope Act, you may be eligible for state financial aid. Just complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) to find out if you qualify for:
Washington College Grant
To qualify for the Washington College Grant, you must meet income-eligibility requirements and satisfy the following residency requirements by the time you begin college:
Graduate from a Washington high school or obtained the equivalent of a diploma (for example, the GED®). Your full senior year must have been spent at a Washington high school.
Lived in Washington for three calendar years (36 months) before, and continuously since, earning the high school diploma or equivalent.
Sign and submit a HB 1079 affidavit (written promise) to file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States when eligible to apply. The affidavit is included as part of the financial aid application.
Students granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) must also meet all the eligibility requirements listed above.
College Bound Scholarship
The College Bound Scholarship is an income-based program open to students who sign up in the 7th or 8th grade. Foster youth in grades 7-12 and have not yet graduated from high school are automatically enrolled. To receive the scholarship, students must:
Graduate with a Washington state high school diploma or approved home school program with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
Have no felony convictions
Apply for the FAFSA or WASFA every year you go to college and be income eligible
Be accepted to an eligible college or university and begin attending within one year of high school graduation
Meet program state residency requirements
State Work Study
The Washington State Work Study program is for eligible low- and middle-income students to work in an approved on- or off-campus job.
To be eligible, you must:
Meet Washington state residency requirements for state financial aid
File for financial aid using the WASFA for every year you think you might go to college. Applications for the next school year (which begins in fall) open Oct. 1.
The WASFA application is now available, visit the website below to apply:
Undocumented Students & HB 1079
A guide to understanding this law
Effective July 1, 2003, Washington state law changed the definition of “resident student” allowing certain students eligible for resident student status - and eligible to pay resident tuition rates when they attend public colleges or universities in this state. This bill allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates. Although, this law does make college more affordable for undocumented students, it does not make these students eligible to receive federal financial aid. In addition, the law does not make these students eligible to work legally in the United States.
SCC residency information can be found here: https://scc.spokane.edu/undocumented-residency-status.
Do I qualify for in-state tuition under HB 1079?
Have you resided in Washington State for three (3) years immediately prior to receiving a high school diploma, and completed the full senior year at a Washington high school;
Completed the equivalent of a high school diploma and resided in Washington State for the three (3) years immediately before receiving the equivalent of a diploma;
Continuously resided in the State since earning the high school diploma or its equivalent?
If you meet the above requirements, then YES! You qualify for in-state tuition under HB 1079!
I'm eligible! What comes next?
1. After you fill out the admission application for the college, you can sign the Washington Higher Education Residency Affidavit. Note: If you are still in high school, you will need to wait until you graduate in order to turn the affidavit in.
2. You can find the affidavit in the admissions office, on this website and it should also be available to you at any high school, college, or university in the state.
Download Residency Affidavit
3. Lastly, submit the HB1079 affidavit to your college admissions office. The admissions office is located in building 15 (student services building).
Where can I get help with this?
If you're not sure if you meet the requirements for HB 1079, or confused about the whole college application process, Call Multicultural Student Services 509-533-8875 and make an appointment to come in and see someone who can help you! We can answer your questions, and help you fill out any paperwork you need including your college application, your Washington Higher Education Residency Affidavit, and more! We can also help you find scholarship opportunities that will help you pay for school.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
On June 2012, the Department of Homeland Security formally announced an initiative that allows young people that were brought to the United States as children, who do not present a risk to the national security or public safety, to be considered for deferred action and work authorization.
Can I be considered?
You came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday.
You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15 2007, up to the present time.
You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
You entered without inspection before June 15, 2012 or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012.
Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, and do not otherwise pose a threat.
You are currently in school, have graduated or obtained your certificate from high school , have obtained an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed forces of the United States.
You were present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS.
*this is not to be considered legal advice and we do not have legal counsel for students, please see our resources below for information on where to find legal counsel.
Below are some helpful resources to help you understand more of the process and benefits of this program.
Legal resources for students who have DACA
Students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, can find information about the current status of this program and other DACA resources at OneAmerica. OneAmerica also has a Washington DACA Toolkit for undocumented people with or without DACA in Washington. The National Immigration Law Center also has DACA information.
Funding for DACA applications fees
Students who need to apply for or renew their DACA status can contact the multicultural student services office to find out if they offer DACA renewal application funding.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services may offer a DACA application fee scholarship. Anyone can apply.
DACA students who are also HB1079 may be eligible for funding through WASFA, Opportunity Grant, and other scholarships. Please see Scholarships for more information.
Legal immigration services
The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project offers free consultations to qualified individuals. They have offices in Seattle, Tacoma, Wenatchee, and Granger.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has an Immigration Preparedness Toolkit with immigrant rights and other legal information.
DACA Community Advisory Post Election – A pdf of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project recommendations following the recent Presidential election for community members who have applied for DACA or who are interested in applying.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—A very good site with questions and answers for those that qualify for DACA.
Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals– A pdf that visually demonstrates the process of Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
http://www.uscis.gov – The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, run by the Department of Homeland Security. Here you can access all the required forms to apply for DACA, as well as a description, guidelines and eligibility criteria.
http://www.nwirp.org – In addition to a large amount of DREAMer resources, this website can also connect you with workshops, community presentations, and legal clinics specifically targeted towards those interested in learning more about DACA.
Scholarships and grants for DACA and Undocumented Students
(WASFA) Washington Application for State Financial Aid On February 26, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the REAL Hope Act (SB 6523), also known as the Washington Dream Act. Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, this new law expands eligibility for the Washington College Grant to non-citizens who meet the program’s eligibility requirements in addition to HB1079.
*Please note that the information provided by the student to the institution and the WASFA is protected and will not be shared with a third party, since it is protected through FERPA. Important note: For every academic year you plan to be in college you must submit an application if you would like to receive financial assistance.
Any DACA student who also has the HB1097 tuition waiver and is interested in the following fields”: Allied Health Education (includes Nursing), Welding, Automotive Technology, Early Childhood Education, Manufacturing or Office Administration and Accounting Technologies may receive funds to cover tuition and mandatory fees up to 45 credits and up to $1000 for books and supplies for per academic year through the Opportunity Grant. Connect with our Workforce Transitions Office.
Beyond HB1079: Their mission is to provide a safe space for undocumented students, parents, and educators to have an open dialogue about the issues that our community is facing. They also have a list of scholarships (locally and nationally) for students to follow up with here.
DREAMer's RoadMap: will be a mobile app available for Android and Apple users that will help undocumented students find scholarship opportunities they are eligible for. Here users will be able to get information on upcoming scholarships available to them. They will receive a push notification to remind them when the application for a scholarship is due, users will also be able to add scholarships that they know of that are not in our database.
Immigrants Rising-Transforming lives through education has a mission to empower undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional and policy transformation. They have a scholarship and fellowship list here.
MALDEF: The Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America. MALDEF has developed a Scholarship Resource Guide to support high school, college, and graduate students in their attainment of a higher education. This is a free, informative resource guide for students, parents, and educators. Download MALDEF'S current Scholarship Resource Guide!
TheDream.US: Undocumented youth who will be first time college students or who will transfer to a four-year university to finish a bachelor's degree. The Dream US, is a national organization with $32 million to help young people. This scholarship only applies to certain states.
Hispanic Business/Professional Association (HBPA) of Spokane: HBPA’s mission is to promote and serve Hispanic/Latino cultural, business, professional, educational interests, and social justice in the Inland Northwest. They offer scholarships every year which are open to undocumented students. Find more information here: https://www.hbpaofspokane.org/get-involved.
Washboard.org allows students to search for scholarship that don’t require US Citizenship. One application for many, many scholarships!
Resources for Undocumented Students
Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) is a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that empowers undocumented young people to pursue their dreams of college, career, and citizenship in the United States. They address the holistic needs of undocumented young people through direct support, leadership development, community outreach, and advocacy. Their programming is designed by and for undocumented young people with support from committed allies. Click here for more information.
Latino Educational Achievement Project (LEAP) The Latino/a Educational Achievement Project (LEAP) was started in 1998 to improve academic achievement of Latino students. LEAP offers services such as an annual educational conference and legislative day, student leadership forums and public education workshops for parents, students, and educators. LEAP is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization in Washington State. Click here for more information.
The Path to College for Undocumented Students
This guide lays out the most common routes undocumented students can take to enroll in an undergraduate program:
Facts about the path to citizenship
The DREAM Act and DACA
Rights as an undocumented student
Searching for and selecting colleges
Applying for college
The challenges of financial aid and finding scholarships
Washington Dream Coalition
A grassroots youth movement founded by student leaders from the state of Washington in an effort to raise awareness and build support to push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act. Click here for more information.
My Undocumented Life
Website with many resources for undocumented students. Scholarships, community resources, and webinars. Follow them on Facebook for more up to date information.
Northwest Immigrants Rights Project
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project promotes justice for low-income immigrants by pursuing and defending their legal status. They focus on providing direct legal services, supported by their education and public policy work. Want to get involved? In this website you will find volunteer and internship opportunities, workshops and great tips for preparing for DACA clinics. This site is prepared for DREAMERs by NWIRP.http://www.nwirp.org/resources/dreamer.
College Guide for Undocumented Students
This website provides information to undocumented students about how to overcome obstacles when pursuing a college education, the DREAM Act, DACA, Applying for College and Financing an Education. The website provides an overview on how to navigate the college system while being considered an undocumented student. Click here for more information.
If talking to someone in person let them know that wait times can be long, from 1 week up to several months.