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info@wsac.wa.gov | (360) 753-7800

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. 

Navigators 

School/organization

Navigator

Contact info

BBCC

Tara White
Benefits Navigator

509.793.2312 TaraW@bigbend.edu

Visit webpage

BTC (Bellingham)

Maeg Demmons
Student Benefits Navigator

360.752.8572
mdemmons@btc.edu

Visit webpage

Clark College

Caitlin Malvar
Basic Needs Navigator

cmalvar@clark.edu

Webpage in development

Clover Park Technical College

Timothy Guntle
Community Resource Manager

253.589.5503 timothy.guntle@cptc.edu

Visit webpage

Everett Community College

Jessie Ulmer
Benefit Hub Navigator

425.388.9253
julmer@everettcc.edu

Visit webpage

EWU

Emily Migliazzo
Basic Needs Navigator

509.359.4279 emigliazzo@ewu.edu

Visit webpage

HU

Clare Wilmes
Food Pantry Coordinator

509.901.5684
wilmes_c@heritage.edu

LWTech

Maret Carrillo
Resource Coordinator

425-739-8100 x: 8474 maret.carrillo2@lwtech.edu

Visit webpage

Olympic College

Julie Schwampe
Basic Needs Navigator

360.475.7164
jschwampe@olympic.edu

Visit webpage

SBCTC 

Jennifer Dellinger
Policy Associate, Student Services

360.704.4339 jdellinger@sbctc.edu

Shoreline Community College

Rebekah Thorne
Basic Needs Program Specialist 

206.546.5853
rthorne@shoreline.edu

Visit webpage

UW Tacoma

Sa'mara Gonzalez
Basic Needs Navigator

253.692.4480
segaz@uw.edu

Visit webpage

UWKC

Tamarack Randall
Director for Poverty Reduction

Riham Hashi

trandall@uwkc.org

rhashi@uwkc.org 

 

WSAC

Ami Magisos
Associate Director, Policy & Planning

360.485.1213
amim@wsac.wa.gov

YVC

Lonni Rodriguez-Funk
Director, WorkFirst Education 

509.574.4607
lrodriguez-funk@yvcc.edu

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.  

Food

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. 

Health

Health

[This section is under construction.]

Childcare

Childcare

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 (IRS.gov/FreeFile) 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: