Financial Aid Outreach Pilot Grant
Libraries Partnering With
Community Based Organizations
What are the Financial Aid Outreach Pilot Grants?
As of 2022, Washington State ranked 48th in FAFSA completion by high school seniors, with only 38.2% of graduating seniors completing the FAFSA. Financial Aid application is a major indicator of whether or not students end up in higher education, and Washington State would like to see these numbers improve. Students who go into higher education are more likely to end up in jobs that move them beyond minimum wage, be involved in their communities, live healthier lives, and more. In an effort to assist in bettering Financial Aid completion rates, House Bill 1835 was signed into law on March 30th, 2022.
As a part of this bill, the Washington State Library has been tasked with administering a grant pilot program to public libraries located within educational service districts that are in the bottom two for free application for federal student aid completion rates. Libraries will be required to use the funds to partner with with community-based organizations including, where appropriate, organizations with proven track records of working with historically underrepresented populations, to increase free application for federal student aid and Washington application for state financial aid completion.
All public and tribal libraries in the two educational service districts (114 and 123) will be allotted funds based on population, with $5,000 being the minimum amount awarded. See the "Library Eligibility Information" tab for a spreadsheet of allotted funds.
If you are an eligible library or tribe and were unable to attend the kick-off meeting held on 5/3/22, the recording and supplemental materials can be found on the Washington State Library Youth Services Niche Academy page. Note: You will be required to create a free Niche Academy account before accessing the recording. Watching the recording is highly recommended.