Disclaimer: The 2018 Legislature established the Passport to Careers program to help more Washington students—specifically those who have been in foster care—prepare for careers. Changes implemented as of July 2018 include expanded eligibility to youth in Washington state foster care, the federal unaccompanied refugee minors program, interstate compact program, and tribal foster care. In addition to college, students who prefer to enter the trades may participate in pre-apprenticeships or apprenticeships. The legislation also adds eligibility for unaccompanied homeless youth beginning July 1, 2019. Program updates are currently being developed for phased-in implementation. Continue to check this page for updates.
Passport to Careers
The Passport to Careers program helps students from foster care prepare for and succeed in college, apprenticeships, or pre-apprenticeship programs.
Under the Passport to Careers program, there are two sub-programs:
- Passport to College
- Passport to Apprenticeship Opportunities
Through the Passport to College program, students receive a scholarship that assists with the cost of attending college (tuition, fees, books, housing, transportation, and some personal expenses), support services from college staff, and priority consideration for the State Need Grant and State Work Study programs.
In the 2016-17 academic year, the program served about 340 students, with a maximum annual award of $4,500.
If approved for the Passport to College Scholarship, students must notify the college financial aid office of their eligibility. They can also contact the Passport Designated Support Staff person at their college to begin receiving help navigating through college.
The Passport to Apprenticeship Opportunities program will assist students participating in registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs with covering occupational-specific costs such as tuition for classes, fees, work clothes, rain gear, boots, and occupation-related tools.
The Washington Student Achievement Council will work with non-governmental organizations to administer the Passport to Apprenticeship Opportunities program.
To meet eligibility requirements, Passport students must:
Have been in Washington state, federal, or tribal foster care after age 15.
Enroll at least half-time in an eligible college, apprenticeship, or pre-apprenticeship by their 22nd birthday.
Maintain Washington residency.
Not pursue a degree in theology.
Be working toward earning their first bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or certificate, or pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship.
Students with questions about eligibility for the Passport to Careers program should contact 1-888-535-0747 (option 3), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional support for Passport students
Forty-five colleges throughout Washington have committed to developing a viable plan for providing support services to students who are eligible for Passport. These colleges have a designated support staff (DSS) person to help Passport to College students navigate through college.
To apply, complete the Passport Consent Form.
Students who have experienced tribal foster care must complete the Passport Tribal Verification Form.
Send forms to:
Washington Student Achievement Council
Passport to Careers Program
PO Box 43430
Olympia, WA 98504-3430
Other opportunities for students from foster care
Foster youth in Washington who have not yet graduated from high school may be eligible for postsecondary preparation and support through the Supplemental Education and Transition Program (SETuP).
Get more information
Phone: 1-888-535-0747, option 3