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Aim Higher Washington

How We Can Aim Higher for Washington's Students and FamiliesAim Higher Washington Logo

Washington Lags Behind Most States in Financial Aid Applications and College Enrollment 

Education after high school is vital today. But year after year since 2014, only about 60% of Washington's high school graduates have gone on to directly enroll in education after high school. The state's goal is that 70% of adults complete a degree or credential. That number today stands at 62%. The perceived cost of college or training is often a critical barrier.

The Washington College Grant provides an exciting opportunity to engage and inform students and families about financial aid. More families are now eligible for state aid, and more programs and types of credentials, including apprenticeships, are covered.

How can families access this support? The first, best step is to complete a FAFSA or WASFA financial aid application. But while Washington ranks in the top three states in the country for need-based financial aid, we also consistently rank in the bottom five states for FAFSA completion.  

Aim Higher's Work

Aim Higher is a coordinated effort to help more students in Washington apply for financial aid. The initiative focuses on increasing equity in educational attainment for students of color and other marginalized groups. Aim Higher programs provide students with early financial aid information and application support. The initiative's partners help carry out this work and foster a college-going culture in communities across the state.

Learn more about Aim Higher's work, and how to get involved, in the tabs below.

Outreach & Events

Outreach & Events
  • Aim Higher is offering free financial aid trainings and strategy sessions for educators and advocates. Find out more and register today!
  • The 12th Year Campaign helps Washington seniors apply for college and complete the FAFSA or WASFA. The campaign hosts statewide virtual financial aid completion events. Participating sites receive free training, print and digital materials, and other resources to support their students.
  • Otterbot is a free texting service created to support high school seniors who have signed up for the College Bound Scholarship.

Digital Resources

Digital Resources
  • WSAC’s College and Career Compass is an interactive tool that lets students of all ages explore and connect with colleges and job training programs that match their goals and interests.
  • The Financial Aid Toolkit provides resources supporting the financial aid application process, including best practices and promotional materials.
  • The Plan Your Future web page helps high school juniors and seniors plan for college or career training.
  • The WSAC Portal provides educators with student-level completion data for increased outreach and engagement. It includes a new, in-depth FAFSA Completion Dashboard.

Get Involved

Get Involved
  • Sign your school or district up to be a 12th Year site, helping students and families apply for college and financial aid.
  • Register for Aim Higher training.
  • Spread the word through your communications channels. Sign up for WSAC Updates to receive plug-and-play messaging for students and families about financial aid, college planning, and more.
  • Join the Aim Higher campaign as a partner. We are asking educators—teachers, counselors, principals, and administrators—along with colleges, community-based organizations, businesses, and local elected officials to help with the campaign. Interested in becoming an Aim Higher partner? Email sarahwe@wsac.wa.gov for more information.

Aim Higher Leadership

Aim Higher Leadership

The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) is leading this effort, with help from community leaders, colleges, universities, and other partners, including: