Tuition Waivers & Discounts

You may be eligible for a tuition waiver under the following circumstances:

Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, and GED Preparation

Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language and GED® Preparation students pay $25 per student per quarter.  Colleges may waive the $25 charge for students who are unable to pay.  All ungraded course fees are operating fees and are subject to the requirements in RCW 28B.15.031 – "Operating fees"- Defined – Disposition

Children and Spouse of Deceased or Disabled Law Enforcement Officers or Firefighters

The college will waive all tuition (operating and building fees) and services and activities fees for the children and surviving spouses of deceased or disabled law enforcement officers or firefighters. 

Eligible children must begin their course of study at a community college within 10 years of high school graduation.

The officers and firefighters must have died or become totally disabled in the line of duty while employed by a public law enforcement agency, full-time or volunteer fire department in this state. Totally disabled is defined as totally and permanently disabled for life by bodily injury or disease and thereby prevented from performing any occupation or gainful pursuit.

Children and Spouse or the Domestic Partner of Totally Disabled or POW/MIA or Deceased Eligible Veterans or National Guard Members Waiver

The college will waive all tuition and fees for a child/spouse/domestic partner of an eligible veteran or National Guard member who:

  • Became totally disabled as a result of active federal military or naval service;
  • Is determined by the federal government to be a prisoner of war or missing action; or
  • Lost his or her life as a result of active federal military or naval service

"Eligible veteran or national guard member" means a Washington domiciliary who was an active or reserve member of the United States military or naval forces, or a national guard member called to active duty, who served in active federal service,  in a war or conflict fought on foreign soil or in international waters or in another location in support of those serving on foreign soil or in international waters, and if discharged from service, has received an honorable discharge.

"Totally disabled" means a person who has been determined to be one hundred percent disabled by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Washington domiciliary" means a person whose place of habitation is the state of Washington. "Washington domiciliary" includes a person who is residing in rental housing or residing in base housing.

High School Graduates Seeking Permanent United States Residency, SB-5194 (

In July 2021, a new law replaced 2003's HB 1079 making it easier for all Washingtonians, including undocumented people, to get resident tuition and state financial aid. This law makes college more affordable, and many people who didn’t qualify before are now eligible. 

To qualify, students must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Earn a high school diploma, GED, or diploma equivalent before their first term at the college determining residency.
  • Maintain a primary residence in Washington for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before their first term at the college determining residency.
  • Sign an affidavit saying they meet the above requirements and that one of the following is true: 
    • They will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States (green card) as soon as they are eligible to apply. And that they are willing to engage in activities designed to prepare them for citizenship, including citizenship or civics review courses or
    • They are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. permanent resident.

For more information on eligibility, please contact

Senior Citizen Space Available Waiver (Link to attached Senior Waiver PDF)

The college will waive tuition (operating and building fees) and services and activities fees for students 60 years or older who are enrolled for audit or credit. The waiver is not available to students using the course credits for increasing credentials or salary schedule increases. 

A nominal fee, not to exceed five dollars per quarter, is to be charged as tuition.  Students will also be charged fees associated with their class. These fees are not affected by the waiver.

Students enrolling under this waiver can register for no more than two courses per quarter. Students will be enrolled on a space available basis and must be Washington state residents.

Washington State Employees Space Available Waiver (Link to attached WA State Employee Tuition Waiver PDF)

Permanent Washington State employees may register on a space-available basis using the Washington State Employee Waiver. The Seattle College District will waive 100% of Building and Service & Activity fees and all but $20 of the Operating fee for State employees employed half-time (50%) or more on the first 6 credits of enrollment. These credits will be removed from the remaining tuition calculation and the Student Management System will calculate remaining credits beginning with the 1-10 credit tuition rate.

Official waiver registration occurs the 6th through the 10th instructional days of fall, winter and spring quarters and the 5th through the 8th days of Summer Quarter.  Students who register for courses to which they seek to apply the waiver prior to the designated waiver registration period will lose their waiver eligibility for those classes and will be charged regular tuition rates. Students registering after the waiver registration period must also submit a Late Add Petition (available in the Registrar’s Office) and will be subject to a late fee of $10.50 per credit.


State Waiver Use Process

  • Complete the Certification of Enrollment Form, and have your supervisor complete the second half of the form no earlier than 2 weeks prior to the start of the term.
  • Request instructor permission to attend the class the 1st through 5th day of fall, winter and spring quarter or the 1st through 4th day of summer quarter. Students seeking registration in online courses and classes that use Canvas should request class observer access from their instructor prior to the start of the class. 
  • If using the standard enrollment form, available online or from the Registrar’s Office, obtain instructor permission during the waiver registration period.  Alternatively, for online classes, request a faculty email approving enrollment in the class. 

Note: Students using this waiver may not be moved ahead of students on class waitlists or added to a waitlist. Additional class sections cannot be created to accommodate waiver students. Waiver students may not overload a class capacity.

  • Each quarter, submit the completed enrollment form and Certification of Employment form to the Registrar’s Office during the waiver registration period noted above.  For online classes, submit the faculty permission email, your student identification number, course information including course name, course number and item number, and completed Certification of Employment form to the Registrar’s Office. Incomplete forms may not be able to be processed.
  • A newly signed Certification of Employment form must be submitted with the enrollment form each quarter the waiver is sought.
  • South Seattle College reserves the right to update this policy at any time.

Policies and Exceptions to the Waiver

  • A new Certification of Employment form must be completed and presented each quarter.
  • You supervisor must complete the second half of the form no earlier than 2 weeks prior to the start of the quarter.
  • This waiver is for state-funded courses only. Courses offered through the Continuing Education Office and WAOL courses are not eligible for waiver use.
  • Employees in the K-12 system are eligible for the Washington State Employee Waiver with verification that they are teachers or certificated instructional staff employed at public common and vocational schools, holding or seeking a valid endorsement and assignment in a state-identified shortage area. Non-instructional classified staff employed at K-12 public schools and working half time or more, may use the waiver when the employee is taking courses relevant to their work assignment.
  • If a student is eligible for more than one waiver, the Registrar’s Office will apply the one waiver that is most financially beneficial to the student.