Scholarships are a great way to offset the cost of attending college, because in most circumstances (so long as you don’t drop out halfway through the semester) they don’t have to be repaid! States offer publicly-funded scholarships for resident students who attend and graduate from an in-state high school, but other requirements, like maintaining a certain GPA or earning a minimum SAT score, sometimes apply. Additionally, many private organizations offer scholarships to students with special interests or to those who are planning to pursue a specific major. Fortunately for students from the Evergreen State, Washington has a significant number of both types of scholarship opportunities!
Publicly funded scholarships for Washington residents:
Award Amount: Varies
Application Deadline: June 30
Minimum GPA Required: 2.0
This scholarship is intended for seventh and eighth students from low-income families who want to attend college in the future. Students (or parents) must complete one application while the student is in middle school, and then another application when the student is a senior in high school. Students must continue to meet income eligibility requirements as determined by the FAFSA or Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA). Students must commit to maintaining a 2.0 GPA throughout high school and plan to attend an eligible institution following graduation.
Award Amount: Up to $9,745
Application Deadline: ASAP after October 1
This award is available to students who meet strict financial need requirements. A full chart detailing family size and income levels can be found on the scholarship website, but for reference, a family of four would need to earn less than $61,500 annually for a student to be eligible for the grant. Furthermore, students must enroll in at least three credits each semester at a participating Washington institution and must be earning their first credential. Students studying theology are ineligible. Students must complete the FAFSA or WASFA to apply.
Award Amount: Up to $5,000
Application Deadline: ASAP after October 1
Low- and middle-income students can earn extra money to help pay for their education through the State Work Study Program. Note that this is not the same as a scholarship or grant; you must work a campus job to earn your award. Work hours are scheduled around class time. Students must be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution and maintain satisfactory academic progress for continued eligibility. Unfortunately, theology students are not eligible. Apply by completing the FAFSA or WASFA.
Award Amount: Up to $75,000
There are two award programs available to healthcare professionals who need assistance repaying their educational loans: the Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP) and the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP). The FSLRP uses both federal and state funds and offers a maximum award of $70,000. Participants in the FSLRP must make a minimum two-year commitment to serve in a rural or high-needs area. The HPLRP only uses state funds and offers a maximum award of $75,000. Participants in the HPLRP must make a minimum three-year commitment. This year’s application closed on January 15, but visit the provider’s website in the fall for the 2020 application.
Award Amount: Up to $22,500
Minimum GPA Required: 2.75
This scholarship provides monetary support to students from low- and middle-income families who are pursuing or plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a science, technology, engineering, math, healthcare, or a related field. Eligible candidates must graduate or have graduated from a high school in Washington state or earned their GED, and must attend or plan to attend an eligible institution in Washington. Additionally, applicants must enroll in at least six credits each semester and meet income requirements. The application will open again in January 2020.
Privately funded scholarships for Washington residents:
Award Amount: Up to $5,000
Minimum GPA Required: 2.5
Recipients of the Leadership 1000 scholarship are chosen based on academics, personal characteristics, and financial need. To be eligible, applicants must have be on track to graduate from a Washington state high school as part of the Achievers Scholars program or attend and be on track to graduate from Quincy, White River, Walla Walla, or Liberty Bell High School. Applicants must also meet income requirements. Students must complete a FAFSA or WASFA before applying. Awards are renewable each year. This year’s application has closed, but visit the provider’s website in January for the 2020 application.
Award Amount: $4,500 (partial) or $29,500 (full)
Minimum GPA Required: 3.0 (partial) or 3.5 (full)
Letter of Recommendation: Yes
Partial and full scholarships are available to current high school seniors who are planning to major in a science, engineering, or mathematics field that is related to aviation or aerospace. Applicants must have participated in programs supported by The Museum of Flight and have taken multiple math and science courses in high school (four years of math, one year of each biology, chemistry, and physics), plus taken one year of English literature. Additionally, all applicants must submit a 1000-word essay about why they want to pursue a career in aeronautics. Candidates applying for the full scholarship must also submit a 250-word essay responding to the following prompt: “Based on your research of the scholarship sponsors Frank and Betty Houston, please tell us how the traits and characteristics that defined these accomplished leaders are reflected in you.” Two letters of recommendation are required.
Award Amount: Up to $7,000
This scholarship is available to high school seniors from Washington or Oregon who will be attending college full-time in the fall. Candidates should be interested in and/or involved with the arts or music in some way, but students don’t have to be pursuing a related degree. To apply, candidates must write a page-long essay on one of the recommended topics (listed on the scholarship website) or a topic of their choice. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit supporting materials including artwork, videos, and/or examples of community involvement along with their essay. The 2019 application closed mid-March, so be on the lookout for the 2020 application toward the end of this year.
Award Amount: Up to $3,000
Application Deadline: March 1
Minimum GPA Required: 3.4
This scholarship is available to seniors who will be attending college the following fall. Students must attend a Washington state high school with an active Parent Teacher Association or Parent Teacher Student Association program. Applications are due on March 1 each year, so be prepared to apply in 2020!
Scholarships available to students attending specific schools and students from certain regions:
- Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation
- Community Foundation of Southwest Washington
- Independent Colleges of Washington
- Innovia Foundation
- Spokane Public Schools
Although many scholarships available to residents of Washington are limited to students pursuing specific majors or those from low-income families, there are other scholarships available for almost everyone! A focused internet search of your interests or planned major will likely provide even more results that can help you pay for college. A bit of work now can save you lots of money later!