Responding to unique challenges

Supporting non-traditional students on their journeys to living wage jobs

Mariam came back Seattle Central to launch a career in IT to support her son Noah;  Anthonese is studying to become a social worker; and Muatasim started his journey in basic studies courses to brush up on English before transferring to the University of Washington.

What do all of these students have in common? They all faced challenges funding their education and needed various layers of financial support while in school.

Students like these three come to Seattle Central for a variety of reasons, but most come for another chance at life-changing education. Often they are seeking degrees in fields like IT, healthcare and the maritime industry that will allow them to enter a career that provides greater financial stability for themselves and their families.

The average Seattle Central student is 27, and their life experience contributes to a richer learning environment. However, this also means their unique financial health needs differ from those of a graduating high school student.

Collaborating with local organizations like BECU helps the Seattle Central College Foundation provide flexible funding that supports students on their journey to livable wage career no matter where they are in life.  

mariamFor example, since Mariam’s immigration paperwork is pending, she does not qualify for financial aid, so the Foundation is funding her tuition in full through the Commitment scholarship. Since this scholarship’s inception, we have provided over $1 million in funding to all full-time students with financial need who have applied, as long as they maintain a 3.0.

anthoneseAnthonese on the other hand, covered her own tuition, but she needed extra Emergency Funding to cover costs for books, childcare and other fees. Incredibly, we have found 100% of emergency fund recipients like Anthonese continued on to the next quarter.

muatasimLastly, Muatasim received a scholarship to help him transition from his ESL classes to college level work, but needed completion funding to help him earn his degree. Like Muatasim, many of our students exhaust financial aid towards the end of their journey with us, and we are committed to providing responsive Completion Scholarships so they can cross that finish line successfully.

Thanks to support of our partners like BECU, we have brought awareness to the unique financial challenges our students face, and have collaborated on ways to help students overcome them. We are proud to partner with BECU to meet our students wherever they are at in life, and to remove financial barriers for all who seek education at Seattle Central.