Undocumented Student Support

South Seattle College is a safe and welcoming space for everyone. 

We support and promote academic and career pathways for undocumented students.

On this page, students will find information on funding your education, the DACA program and steps to enroll in our programs.  Faculty and staff will find resources to support undocumented students.

For more information, contact the Undocumented Students Support Team at dennis.denman@seattlecolleges.edu

To view this page in different languages, please click the search/magnifying glass icon at the top of the website and select your language from the language tool drop-down.  On a mobile device, you will find the language tool in the menu drop-down at the top of the page.

Funding Your Education

You can do it! There is no federal or state law that prohibits undocumented students from admissions to public or private colleges/universities in Washington state. You have options.

Washington state offers in-state tuition and state financial aid to undocumented students. 

If you are planning to go to college, you can apply for the Washington state resident tuition rate and the State financial aid if you meet the following conditions: 

  1. Live in Washington for at least 36 months (3 years) before earning a high school diploma, GED or High School 21+
  2. Graduate from a Washington high school with a diploma, or earn a GED, or earn a diploma or High School 21+
  3. Continuously live in Washington after earning a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent until admitted to college

*Important: If students earn a High School diploma or GED before having lived in Washington state for 3 years, they might never be able to qualify for the resident tuition or state financial aid. 

Students may start taking High School 21+ credits or the GED class at South Seattle College, but must not complete their program until the student has lived in Washington State for 3 years in order to qualify for these benefits.

**Confidentiality is important. 

Any information you provide to the college is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and will not be shared with a third party.

On February 26, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the REAL Hope Act (SB 6523). Beginning with the 2014–15 academic year, this new law expands eligibility for the Washington College Grant (formerly known as the State Need Grant) to non–citizens who qualify for in-state tuition under HB 1079 and meet other eligibility requirements. 

To learn more about what is requested, review the WASFA Application Guide or find out if you qualify for State financial aid by filling out the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid).

*Washington State offers financial aid to students who are not eligible for federal financial aid because of immigration status. Students only have to fill out one application, either the FAFSA or WASFA depending on their immigration status. If a student is undocumented or has DACA, the WASFA might be the best application to fill out.

Students can contact Benefits Hub to get one-on-one support with filling out the WASFA application. Benefits Hub is located in the WorkSource Career Center in the Robert Smith Building, Room 79, and can be contacted by email at BenefitsHubSSC@seattlecolleges.edu or phone at 206.604.9420.

Undocumented students may be eligible for other funding resources through Washington state, South Seattle College, and other programs.

The following organizations provide information about scholarship opportunities that do not require proof of immigration status. Visit the individual scholarship website for more information on specific requirements.

Seattle Colleges Foundation Scholarships 

Some scholarships and other funding are available to all students enrolled at South Seattle, regardless of immigration status. Applications are based on a number of different factors, including school involvement, personal hardships, income level, and academic performance.

For the 2021-2022 academic school year, the application for scholarships is open from February 15, 2021 to April 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Students can apply online at seattlecolleges.academicworks.com. For more information, contact Kathie Pham at Kathie.Pham@seattlecolleges.edu

The Benefits Hub can offer one-on-one support to students who would like help completing the WASFA. They also assist students connect with help doing their taxes, finding and paying for childcare, health care, housing, and emergency financial assistance. They can also help identify scholarship opportunities for students who do not qualify for the WASFA. 

Visit the Benefits Hub webpage for their walk-in hours and information on how to schedule an appointment.


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program, announced on June 12, 2012 by President Barack Obama, that protects eligible applicants from deportation and gives them work authorization for a renewal period of 2 years. It is important to note that DACA provides lawful presence but it does not provide lawful status. 

DACA is a program fought for and won by undocumented immigrants. More than 800,000 undocumented youth/adults nationwide receive this temporary relief. In Washington, approximately 18,000 undocumented youth and adults are DACA recipients and the City of Seattle estimates about one-third to one-half of them live in Seattle-King County. 

For more information visit, United We Dream or the City of Seattle.

Important information about DACA requests: Due to federal court orders, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew deferred action under DACA. USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. For more information, visit Renew Your DACA.

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) and Colectiva Legal del Pueblo occasionally organize DACA renewal clinics in Seattle and across Washington. 

If you are a current DACA recipient, it is recommended that you consult with an immigration attorney or accredited representative to explore whether you might qualify for another pathway to obtain immigration status. If you live in King County or work in Seattle, you may qualify for Seattle-King County Immigrant Legal Defense Network services.

Steps to Enroll 

Your enrollment steps will be different if you are entering college level classes after receiving your high school diploma/GED or going into our Basic Studies programs. Follow the enrollment steps based on your student type. Visit the Enrollment webpage for more information.

If you are entering college level classes directly from high school or already have your GED, you may be eligible to complete the Washington State Higher Education Residency Affidavit.

For more information or to complete this form, contact Registration Office in the Student Services area of the Robert Smith Building.

If you are enrolling in English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Basic Education (ABE) or completing your high school diploma or GED at South Seattle College, you will need to visit the Basic and Transitional Studies office to register for classes in Cascade Hall (CAH) 311.

Community & Advocate Resources (Faculty & Staff) 

Do you have undocumented students coming to you with questions? There are many ways that you can offer support, including: 

Undocumented Students Support Team

The Undocumented Students Support Team works towards creating an empowering, inclusive, equitable, and supportive culture for undocumented students through:

  • Information sharing of resources for undocumented students
  • Helping to create a sense of belonging for our students to succeed at Seattle Colleges and beyond 

For more information, contact the Undocumented Students Support Team at dennis.denman@seattlecolleges.edu.