2020-2021 FAFSA and WASFA applications are now open! 

2019-2020 FAFSA and WASFA applications are still available.

If you plan on attending school fall of 2019 through summer of 2020
complete your FAFSA or WAFSA as soon as possible.

Visit www.fafsa.ed.gov or www.readysetgrad.org/wasfa to complete your application. 

The WCC financial aid process takes approximately 6-8 weeks. 


1. Student completes FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov

  • Whatcom Community College school code: 010364   
  • It takes WCC approximately 1 week to receive student's FAFSA information
  • Need help completing the FAFSA? Call 1.800.433.3243 or go to this website for detailed information.

2. WCC receives student's FAFSA information

  • Student is sent an email alert (to email address listed on FAFSA) verifying FAFSA received and directing student to Financial Aid portal to see list of additional requirements. Please be sure to update the Financial Aid Office whenever you change your email address.
  • Processing will not continue until all requested elements are met.


3. Program admission

  • Student must be admitted into an aid-eligible program in order to qualify for financial aid.
  • Visit Whatcom's Registration Office for more information about applying to a program.


4. Review

  • After all elements are met and worksheets completed and returned, WCC is ready to review a student's application.
  • Review process may take 3 to 4 weeks.


5. Initial awarding process

  • The initial awarding process takes approximately 2-3 weeks.
  • Student awarded maximum amounts for grants, work study and scholarships.
  • Once awarded, student receives an email alert directing them to the Financial Aid Portal to see their financial aid awards.
  • If student is not eligible for grants, work study and/or scholarships, student is sent an email alert informing them and notifying them of their student loan eligibility and the WCC student loan process.


6. Student loan awarding process

  • Students who are not eligible for grants or scholarships or whose awards do not meet their educational funding needs may request a student loan award after the student has been notified of their potential student loan eligibility.
  • To request a student loan, visit the Federal Direct Student Loan page.


7. Awards released

  • Financial aid award funds are always applied to tuition and fees due, remaining credit balances are provided to the student via one of three BankMobile disbursement methods.
  • Student check availability and amounts can be viewed by using the Financial Aid Portal.


Items needed for a complete financial aid application

  • Completed FAFSA application (apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov)
  • Enrollment in an aid-eligible program
  • High school diploma, GED®, or high school equivalency, OR meet Ability to Benefit criteria (see below)
  • Registration with the Selective Service, if required
  • Completed financial aid requirements, which can be viewed on the Financial Aid Portal
  • Register for classes



Ability to Benefit

Whatcom Community College provides access to financial aid resources to students without a high school diploma or GED under Ability to Benefit (ATB) guidelines.


  • Must be 18 years or older and their high school cohort must have already graduated  
  • Must be pursuing a financial aid eligible degree or certificate at WCC that links to an approved career pathway
  • Must be eligible for FAFSA (Currently WAFSA requires a high school diploma)

Please click this link to access a video about ATB.

Individuals interested in accessing Ability to Benefit should complete the current FAFSA application online at fafsa.ed.gov and schedule an appointment to see an advisor. Individuals must see an advisor in order to complete the necessary paperwork including an educational plan and verification documentation.

For more information about Ability to Benefit please contact Entry & Advising in Laidlaw Center 116, email advise@whatcom.edu or call 360.383.3080.