Yakima Valley College was recently awarded $321,850 in grant money to provide financial aid to undocumented students who are residents of Washington during the Spring 2021 Quarter. The funding, provided through the state’s Emergency Relief Grant program signed into law last month, will support resident undocumented individuals who demonstrate financial need but do not qualify for federally-funded student financial aid due to their citizenship status.

Oscar Verduzco, YVC’s director of financial aid, said the funding will provide much-needed support to students who have submitted the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) and qualified for Washington College Grant funds.


“This emergency assistance is especially important for undocumented students, who do not qualify for many other forms of relief during the COVID pandemic,” Verduzco said. “Providing access to higher education for everyone in our community is essential to Yakima Valley College’s mission. We are grateful to be able to provide this funding to students who are working to achieve their dreams and are valuable members of the Yakima Valley community.”

Verduzco emphasized that students who believe they may qualify for assistance through the Emergency Relief Grant still have time to submit a WASFA application if they have not already done so for the 2020-21 academic year. He recommends that students submit their WASFA application as soon as possible.

YVC students who have already filed a WASFA and are enrolled for the Spring 2021 Quarter will automatically be considered for receiving Emergency Relief Grant funds.

The Emergency Relief Grant awarded to YVC was part of $5 million for undocumented students awarded to Washington institutions of higher education and administered through the Washington Student Achievement Council. The funding is part of a larger bill with a total of $2.2 billion used in the support of education, housing and other programs. Prior to this funding for Spring 2021, YVC had made over 455 awards totaling more than $220,000 in emergency institutional support to WASFA applicants. 

To-date, YVC has reported 5,373 awards totaling $2,362,193 to Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicants thanks to the Emergency Student Funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Federal emergency support for students will continue to be provided through the recently passed federal pandemic relief legislation. 

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