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Student Resources for Basic Needs

Are you stressed about making ends meet? 

You’re not alone. 

Over half of all college students in Washington qualify as low-income. Many students don’t have the resources to cover food, housing, and other basics.   

Resources are available—and your college can help you find them. 

Most colleges have an office where students can go for help with basic needs. It’s usually called Student Services or Student Affairs. There you’ll connect with navigators who can help you find and apply for resources to help you cover the basics. They’ll be familiar with the resources available through your campus and community as well as state and federal programs. 




Contact info


Tara White
Benefits Navigator


Visit webpage

BTC (Bellingham)

Maeg Demmons
Student Benefits Navigator


Visit webpage

Clark College

Caitlin Malvar
Basic Needs Navigator

Webpage in development

Clover Park Technical College

Timothy Guntle
Community Resource Manager


Visit webpage

Everett Community College

Jessie Ulmer
Benefit Hub Navigator


Visit webpage


Emily Migliazzo
Basic Needs Navigator


Visit webpage


Clare Wilmes
Food Pantry Coordinator



Maret Carrillo
Resource Coordinator

425-739-8100 x: 8474

Visit webpage

Olympic College

Julie Schwampe
Basic Needs Navigator


Visit webpage


Jennifer Dellinger
Policy Associate, Student Services


Shoreline Community College

Rebekah Thorne
Basic Needs Program Specialist 


Visit webpage

UW Tacoma

Sa'mara Gonzalez
Basic Needs Navigator


Visit webpage


Tamarack Randall
Director for Poverty Reduction

Riham Hashi 



Ami Magisos
Associate Director, Policy & Planning



Lonni Rodriguez-Funk
Director, WorkFirst Education 


Learn more

Doing a little research before visiting student services/affairs can help you prepare. But try not to rule anything out or assume you won’t qualify until you’ve met with an advisor or counselor.

This list is not exhaustive. Your school’s student services/affairs office will have more info about all the options available in your area. 

College students can qualify for assistance with food, housing, healthcare, utilities, and more. Again, the best first step is to connect with your school’s student services/affairs office. They can help you apply.  

Online resources: 

  • Washington Connection: Learn more and apply for state-managed programs like Basic Food and TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families)
  • Washington 211: Find local public and nonprofit support for food, shelter, physical and mental health, utility assistance, and more. 

Students who are immigrants may be affected by the Public Charge Test when they apply for legal permanent residency. Find out if the test includes any of the benefits you're seeking before applying. The City of Seattle has more information about the public charge test and public benefits in multiple languages.  


Campus food pantries 

Most college campuses now offer food pantries. Your student services/affairs office can also connect you with free food from community sources

Basic Food Program from Washington State Department of Social and Human Services (DSHS)

Many students don’t realize they can qualify for Basic Food, also known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). If you are low income and meet the immigration status requirements, you might qualify. Ask student services/affairs to help you apply for Basic Food. 



[This section is under construction.]



Washington Connection
Washington State Department of Social and Human Services (DSHS) offers resources for early learning, youth programs, childcare subsidies, and more. 

ChildCare Aware
This independent organization keeps an updated and searchable list of local community childcare options. 

Family, Friends & Neighbor Program
Offered by Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF)

Cash Assistance

File your federal tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

If you’re expecting a refund on your taxes, it pays to file before the April 15. The sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get your refund. 

You may also qualify for tax credits including:

You can file directly with the IRS ( or get free tax assistance from United Way.

File for Unemployment benefits from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD)

Find out what you’re eligible for: