Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Senior Class of 2024

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens on December 31, 2023. You will submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

    Both the student AND a parent (or "contributor") need an FSA ID before gaining access to the FAFSA.

    Step #1: Go to to create your FSA ID.

    • IMPORTANT: You will need:
      • Both student and parent FSA ID (see above link)
        • note: you will not have full functionality in FAFSA if you create the FSA ID and try to log in to FAFSA in the same sitting. FSA ID matching process takes 2-3 days. Plan to create FSA ID 2-3 days before logging into FAFSA to submit the application.
      • 2022 tax information and all 2022 W2s for both parents and student (if student filed 2022 taxes)
      • Social security numbers for both parents and student
      • Green Cards (if student and/or parents are permanent residents)

    The Washington State Financial Aid Application (WASFA) opens on December 31, 2023. You will submit the 2024-2025 WASFA.

      • Students submit the FAFSA OR the WASFA. NOT both. 
      • Students without a social security number will submit the WASFA
      • To determine if WASFA is the correct application for you, answer the eligibility questions here.

    Questions regarding financial aid, FAFSA, or WASFA?

    Contact Ferris College and Career Counselor, Dawn Hilsendeger, at or (509)354-6085


  • FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aidits fafsa time

    Class of 2024 will submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

    What is FAFSA and why should you submit it? 

    1. If you are eligible for federal or state grant money, FAFSA is required.

    2. If you are signed up to receive College Bound Scholarship, FAFSA is required.

    3. If you need to use the $5500 federal student loan offered to freshman, FAFSA is required.

    4. If a parent would like the option to use parent PLUS loans, FAFSA is required.

    5. If you are planning to apply for scholarships, many require FAFSA.

    Instructions for completing the FAFSA.

    FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is the application used by colleges to determine eligibility for need based aid programs. 

    1. First step – create an FSA ID. Go to Both student and all contributors (parent/guardian) will need to create a unique FSA ID. 
    2. Note there are instances when a student is considered FAFSA independent and in that case will not need a parent FSA ID or any parent information on the FAFSA. For more information, go to
    3. As soon as student and contributor FSA ID has been verified or matched, go to to complete and submit the FAFSA. (Note: if student does not have a social security number, go to to determine if you should submit WASFA instead).
    4. After you successfully submit your FAFSA, you will see your Student Aid Index (SAI). This is the number colleges will use to calculate your financial need for their school. 
    5. You may be selected for verification which is a sort of audit system. If you are selected, the college financial aid office will send the student emails requesting information. Comply with all verification requests.
    6. In early Spring, your student will receive an award letter from each college listed on FAFSA showing what forms of financial aid that school is able to offer. This could include:
      1. Grants
      2. Scholarships
      3. Tuition waivers
      4. Work study
      5. Loans (student and parent)

    After submitting FAFSA, all questions and inquiries should be directed to the college financial aid offices.

    ** note: all communications from college financial aid offices will be directed to the student. Encourage your student to be vigilant about reading emails.

    Not planning on attending a 4-year institution?

    It is a common myth that only 4-year university-bound students need to fill out the FAFSA. The FAFSA can pay for many trade school programs as well as apprenticeships and community colleges. All students who are furthering their education and job training after high school should submit the FAFSA.

    Not sure what to do after graduation?

    Fill out the FAFSA! You want all your options available to you. Also, if your primary plan does not work, and you need a back up plan, it will be helpful to have the FAFSA submitted and processed.
  • Scholarships scholarships

    What is the secret to winning scholarships?

    Apply! Apply! Apply!

    Scholarships are often time consuming and require organization. Each student should apply for as many scholarships as they can. Scholarship money is always worth your time!

    Tips for scholarships searching and applying:

    1. All though you could find and apply for scholarships throughout the year, there is a season to scholarships. Most scholarships are open in the December - March months. If you wait until late spring to apply for scholarships, you will miss out on many applications that have closed. 

    2. Watch out for scams. If you are asked to pay any amount of money, no matter how small, it is a scam. Do not pay and do not apply.

    3. Focus on local scholarships where the applicant pool is smaller and chances of winning are higher. Local scholarships are most often found by:

    • Reading the monthly Senior Scoop newsletter posted on FHS site.
    • Signing up for the Class of 2023 Remind group (@saxons23) to get scholarship alerts and notifications.
    • In SchooLinks, click on "finances" along left side menu, then "scholarship matching". You will need to put in your zip code, then click "next". Click on "district posted" on the scholarship page to see scholarships posted by SPS.
    • Visit the GearUp WA database HERE
    • Create a Washboard profile HERE and see if you match with WA scholarships in that database.
    • CareerOne scholarship finder is national, but very comprehensive, so worth looking at. Use filters to narrow search. Scholarship Finder.

    4. Many colleges manage a large number of scholarships and have a general scholarship application available on their websites. Submit that general scholarship application for every college you apply to if they have one. These applications can be time consuming, but remember...every scholarship is worth your time.

    5. Use your network! Ask parents, uncles, aunts, neighbors if their employer or charitable organization offers scholarships. Local banks often offer scholarships for their members. 

    6. Virtually all scholarships require some version of these. Plan ahead and get these done now.

    • personal statement/essay. If you didn't need to write one for college applications, you will for scholarships. Click here to find a helpful essay writing tool.
    • letters of recommendation. If you don't have any, ask at least 1 classroom teacher, and 1 other adult (non family member) to write a letter of recommendation.
      • Update your profile in SchooLinks so teachers can find details to use in their letter. 
      • Ask each recommender in person. This is critical. Teachers generally will not write letters if they receive an email request without a personal conversation. 
      • Make sure each recommender knows how to submit the recommendation. 
      • Give each recommender at least 2-3 weeks to complete.
      • Personally thank each recommender for the letter. Believe me. This last step is important.