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About Whatcom: Whatcom Community College in Bellingham is regularly recognized as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. The College, a destination for cybersecurity, healthcare and business studies, offers a bachelor of applied science degree, transfer degrees, career preparation, online courses, and community education classes. WCC’s accomplished faculty and staff serve 11,000 students annually. For more information, visit whatcom.edu

More students will qualify for a tuition-free education at WCC beginning fall 2020

Post Date:06/24/2020 3:10 pm

Bellingham, Wash. – Beginning fall 2020, even more Washington state residents can attend Whatcom Community College tuition free through the expanded Washington College Grant program. The program, which replaced the State Need Grant last year, will provide larger grant awards to students and expand eligibility to more income levels this year. Funding is guaranteed to eligible students and students can apply by completing their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) applications online at www.whatcom.edu/finaid.

WCC’s summer quarter begins June 29 and fall quarter begins Sept. 22; most classes will be conducted online with some in-person labs and services available. Current students can register for classes now, and new students are encouraged to apply today at www.whatcom.edu/beginhere.

Funds that students receive from Washington College Grant do not have to be paid back, and can be used on expenses other than tuition, such as housing and transportation costs. Grant dollars can be used in coordination with the federal Pell grant or other scholarships. Students can attend WCC part-time or full-time, and earn more than one degree or certificate. WCC is also offering emergency funding assistance to students through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. More information can be found at www.whatcom.edu/emergencyfunds.

WCC’s annual tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year is expected to be $4,194 for a typical 12-credit course load per quarter for three quarters. A family of four with a total income[1] of up to $53,000 would receive $4,190 per student through the Washington College Grant, which is enough to cover WCC’s tuition and fees. A family of two, such as a single parent with one child or a married couple with no children, whose total income is at or below $36,000 will also receive free tuition, as will a single individual whose income is $27,500 or less. Families who earn more are eligible to receive partial college funding on a sliding scale, as outlined in the chart below.

Washington College Grant income1 eligibility and dollar award amount

 Family of 4 income

 Family of 3 income

 Family of 2 income

 Family of 1 income

 Dollars student will receive

 $53,000  $44,500  $36,000  $27,500  $4,219
 $58,000  $49,000  $39,500  $30,000  $2,953
 $63,000  $53,000  $43,000  $32,500  $2,531
 $68,000  $57,000  $46,000  $35,000  $2,110
 $72,500  $61,000  $49,500  $38,000  $1,034
 $97,000  $81,500  $66,000  $50,500  $422

1Combination of a family’s adjusted gross income plus nontaxable income.

In order to qualify for the Washington College Grant, WCC students need to be a Washington state resident, demonstrate financial need, enroll in at least three college credits, maintain a 2.0 GPA, complete their degree or certificate within 7.5 quarters, not hold a bachelor’s degree, or not be in default on a student loan or aid program. Students who completed the FAFSA or WASFA application for 2020-21 are already eligible. Students who have not completed their financial aid applications should do so online at www.whatcom.edu/finaid by the August 3 priority deadline for fall.

More information about the Washington College Grant program, including additional family income charts, is available at https://wsac.wa.gov/wcg

About Whatcom: Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA is regularly recognized as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. The College, a destination for cybersecurity, healthcare and business studies, offers a bachelor of applied science degree, transfer degrees, career preparation, online courses, and community education classes. While WCC's physical campus is closed, our online services and commitment to student success continue. For more information, visit whatcom.edu.

Contact: Marisa Ellis, Whatcom Community College PIO, 360.383.3310, pio@whatcom.edu

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