Pay for College

Paying for college can be a challenge. We offer various options to help you. These options include state and federal financial aid as well as scholarships. Even if you believe you are not eligible for financial aid, complete the application anyway (Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA). You may be surprised. If you cannot afford to pay your tuition and fees all at once, we offer an interest-free Student Tuition Easy Payment Plan (STEPP) program.

Learn more about FAFSA and apply online by visiting Financial Aid.

Highline College Financial Aid

Get help paying for school

Looking for ways to finance your education? You are not alone. Most students at Highline receive some sort of help paying for college. Take a look at these options:

Your eligibility for federal and state financial aid—including grants, certain loans and work study—is based on your FAFSA application.

  • Grants: The funds do not have to be paid back—unless you fail to meet the conditions of the award.
  • Loans: These funds must be paid back.
    • For a subsidized loan: The government pays the interest while you are in college, the first six months after you leave school and during a period of deferment.
    • For an unsubsidized loan: You are responsible for interest payments from the time you take out the loan, even while you are in college. You can pay while in college or delay the interest payments.
  • Student Employment/Work StudyYou can earn a portion of your financial aid through working on or off campus.
  • Real Hope ActThe Real Hope Act helps noncitizens—who meet certain eligibility requirements—apply for a Washington State Need Grant using the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA).

  • Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET) program: BFET is open to students who receive benefits through the Department of Social & Health Services’ Basic Food program. Students can receive short-term assistance for tuition, books, fees, bus passes and child care.
  • Opportunity Grants program: This program helps low-income adults take classes for specific high-wage, high-demand careers. The grant covers tuition for short-term programs, as well as some fees, books and supplies.
  • ScholarshipsHighline offers scholarship opportunities through various campus programs and the college’s Foundation.
    • Scholarships do not have to be paid back.
    • Scholarship criteria varies for each award and can be based on academic achievement, athletic or artistic talent, financial need, fields of study or community service.
    • Scholarship applications are separate from the application for federal or state financial aid.
  • Student Tuition Easy Payment PlanThe STEPP program allows you to pay for your education on an interest-free installment payment plan.
    • Payments are due twice during fall, winter and spring quarters, or once during summer quarter.
    • Note: This program is not eligible for books, fines or parking costs.
  • Tax creditsThe federal government allows you to claim tax credits for out-of-pocket tuition and related educational expenses through the American Opportunity Credit. At the end of the tax year, Highline sends an IRS form 1098-T to students who qualify.
  • Veterans’ benefitsEducation benefits are available for qualified veterans. Highline’s Veterans Services can help you complete your paperwork.
  • Workforce Retraining: If you are unemployed or face imminent layoff, this program helps pay for your first quarter of college—including tuition, fees and books—so you can take courses in a professional-technical program.
  • WorkFirst Services: If you are a parent who currently or recently received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), then you may be eligible to receive financial help with tuition costs and required textbooks for these classes: Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Educational Development (GED), English-as-a-Second Language (ESL), employment skill upgrade and vocational training.

The lifetime earnings of the average student from Washington’s community and technical colleges will increase $5.90 over the course of his or her working career for every dollar invested in colleges (in the form of tuition, fees and forgone earnings).
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., an organization providing socioeconomic impact and strategic planning tools to community and technical colleges in the U.S. and Canada. To see the full documentation of the study, contact the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC).Learn More