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Federal, state and institutional aid are the three main sources of gift aid that reduce the student's need to borrow loans and/or lessen the burden on other family financial sources. Saint Martin's University strives to award as much gift aid as possible from our federal, state, institutional, and private donors; however, we strongly encourage our students to continue to seek out private scholarships to apply to their educational costs.

Below is more information about the different types of aid available to students, as well as information about grants, work-study and our institutional gift aid policy.

Understanding aid

Federal aid

The U.S. federal government provides billions of dollars each year in financial gift aid awarded in the form of grants. As gift aid, grants do not need to be repaid. Access to all federal aid begins when you file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (Federal loans do need to be repaid. Learn more.)

State aid

In addition to information submitted by the institution, the federal government forwards your FAFSA application to the state education agency responsible for state aid. State aid can take the form of grants and/or scholarships. State aid is determined using either FAFSA or WASFA data. The state often, but not always, requires you to be a resident of that state in order to qualify. Learn more about gift aid in Washington State.

Institutional aid

Institutional gift aid comes directly from Saint Martin's University in the form of grants and/or scholarships. Access to institutional aid from Saint Martin's begins when you file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA).

International students

International students are not eligible for federal or state aid. However, there are a number of institutional aid and private scholarship options available.

View international scholarships

Yellow Ribbon

As a former or active duty service member or dependent, aid begins when you apply for your VA benefits. As additional aid may be available, we encourage all our military students to file a FAFSA as well. 

Apply for VA benefits

Federal and state grants

General info

Eligibility for federal and state grants will be determined upon timely submission of the annual FAFSA or WASFA application and fund availability. It is important to remember that the aid possibilities listed in this section typically expire once a student has received their first bachelor's degree. If you have any questions about the information below, please contact Student Financial Services Center.


Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students to promote access to post secondary education.


Available to Undergraduates pursuing their first undergraduate degree and not enrolled in a professional program.

Grant limits
  • Awards range from $600 to $5920 per academic year depending on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated by the FAFSA.
  • The smaller the EFC, the larger the possible award.
Required credits
  • Students must be enrolled full-time (12 credits) to receive the maximum award
  • Students enrolled in 9 to 11 credits will receive 75 percent of the maximum award
  • Students enrolled in 6 to 8 credits will receive 50 percent of the maximum award
  • A minimum award may be made for student enrolled in less than six credits per term.

The Pell Grant is divided between the terms of enrollment. If a student exhausts his/her Pell Grant award in summer and fall term, the student may not have any Pell Grant funds left to apply to spring term. Students are advised to plan accordingly if they choose to apply their Pell Grant funds to their summer tuition.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is designed to assist undergraduates with the highest level of need. The award ranges from $100 to $750 per year, depending on the availability of funds and student's EFC.

*Based on federal allocation, SMU may not be able to award all students that qualify for FSEOG Grant

  • File your FAFSA by the priority deadline each year (January 1)
  • Student must be enrolled at least half-time (six credits)
  • Student must be Pell Grant eligible

Washington State Need Grant (WSNG)

The Washington State Need Grant is a state grant program for Washington residents with exceptional financial need.

*Based on state allocation, SMU may not be able to award all students that qualify for WSNG.

Award amounts

Award amounts vary each year based on available funds.

  • File the FAFSA application by the priority deadline (January 1) each year
  • Have a family income of equal to or less than 70 percent of the state median
  • Be a Washington resident (dependent students' residency is based on parents' resident status)
  • Be pursuing a certificate or bachelor's degree
  • Not be pursuing a degree in theology
Conditions of the award
  • The grant is awarded to assist in meeting educational costs. If you withdraw from all of your classes, repayment of all or a part of the grant may be required.
  • Students will need to sign a directive for disbursement to indicate if they would like the funds directly or to have the funds applied to their educational expenses.

TEACH grants

General info

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program is a non-need based grant program that provides up to $4,000 per year to students who are enrolled in an eligible program and who agree to teach in a high-need field, at a low-income elementary or secondary school for a least four years within eight years of completing the program for which the TEACH Grant was awarded.

If you are eligible for the TEACH Grant, you must complete both TEACH Grant Counseling and an Agreement to Serve in addition to our internal form.

*Until further guidance is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, TEACH Grant awards must be reduced by 6.6 percent.

For more information about the TEACH Grant please visit their website.


To receive a TEACH Grant, you must:

  • Meet the basic eligibility criteria for the federal student aid programs.
  • Complete the FAFSA.
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at Saint Martin's University.
  • Be enrolled in a TEACH-Grant-eligible program.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25.
  • Receive confirmation from the Education Department of your eligibility.
  • Complete the online TEACH Grant counseling - that explains the terms and conditions of the TEACH Grant service obligation. You must complete counseling each year that you receive a TEACH Grant.
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.

What are high need fields?

High need fields include:

  • Bilingual education and English language acquisition
  • Foreign language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading specialist
  • Science
  • Special education
  • Any other field that has been identified as high need by the federal or state government.

*If you plan to teach in a high-need field, that field must be listed for the state where you teach either at the time you begin your qualifying teaching service or at the time you received a teach grant.

What are the terms and conditions?

In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to the following:

  • You must serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight years after you complete or otherwise cease to be enrolled in the program(s) for which you received TEACH Grant funds.
  • You must perform the teaching service as a highly qualified teacher at a low-income school or educational service agency.
  • Your teaching service must be in a high-need field.
  • You must provide the U.S. Department of Education with documentation of your progress toward completing your service obligation.
  • If you do not meet the requirements of your service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized loan. You must repay this loan in full; with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.

For more information about the TEACH Grant please visit their website.

Federal and state work-study

Federal work-study

The federal work-study award appears on your financial aid package if you have demonstrated financial need. It is awarded to students in their freshman or sophomore year in college.

Complete details are available for work study and student employment

State work-study

State work-study is funded through the Washington Student Achievement Counsel. It is awarded to students in their junior or senior year in college who have demonstrated a need for financial assistance.

Complete details are available for work study and student employment

Institutional gift aid policy

Saint Martin's University guarantees the amount of institutional gift aid (grants and/or scholarships) that an incoming undergraduate student is awarded.  After their award letter has been finalized, the amount of institutional gift aid they receive, although the name may change from year to year, will remain constant provided the student is continually enrolled, continues to make satisfactory academic progress, and files a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually or submits a FAFSA waiver to Student Financial Services per the restrictions listed below.

As tuition cost may increase during the tenure of the student with the university, families should create a financial plan to anticipate costs that exceed the student's allotted gift aid.

  1. Students receiving full tuition assistance* will not be eligible for institutional gift aid funds.
  2. Students must continue to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to remain eligible for institutional aid.
  3. Award amounts will not be guaranteed for students who are not continuously enrolled.
  4. Students must be enrolled at least half-time at the Lacey campus.
  5. Students are only eligible to receive institutional gift aid for a maximum of:
    • 4 years: Freshman
    • 2 years: Junior/Transfer student
  6. Students may appeal for an additional year of eligibility
  7. Institutional gift aid will be prorated based upon the total number of credits for which the student is enrolled at the Lacey campus if less than full-time. 
  8. Students taking courses through extended learning sites or receiving a reduced rate are not eligible for institutional gift aid for these courses.
  9. Students may use institutional gift aid at direct exchange universities.  If a student selects another study abroad opportunity whether a semester or a short term experience other financial aid may be applied but institutional gift aid is not able to be utilized.

*Examples of full tuition include, but are not limited to: Tuition Exchange, Tuition Remission, VA Voc Rehab, Ch 33, Yellow Ribbon, Boeing, Army ACS, ROTC, Army TA, Air Force TA, etc.

Questions? We're here to help!

Student Financial Services

Endorsing the Catholic Benedictine values of faith, reason, service, and community, the Student Financial Services Center supports the mission of Saint Martin's University to empower students in their pursuit of learning and honors their sacredness as individuals as well as their families and our community in an efficient and caring professional manner. Student Financial Services handles tuition/fees and room/board billing and payments, payment plan information, student health insurance and sponsored billing for students using outside sources such as VA benefits, Tuition Assistance, International Sponsors and other sponsoring agencies.