Washington Grant Programs
Washington State offers a number of scholarships and grants that seek to help parents and students pay for the rising costs of secondary education.
The state offers a good mix of awards that help economically disadvantaged students, are designed to attract students into an industry experiencing a shortage or that reward educational excellence.
College Bound Scholarships
This is a four year scholarship that will pay the tuition plus $500 for the cost of books at any Washington public college or university. If the student has other state financial awards going towards their school costs, this scholarship will pay what’s left over after the other awards are applied.
The goal of this scholarship is to encourage kids to stay in school and be good citizens. As an income based scholarship, only low income seventh and eighth grade students are eligible to enroll in the program. Students are required to submit a pledge by June 30 of their eighth grade that signifies their commitment to:
- Graduate from high school
- Seek higher education
- Demonstrate good citizenship
Students are eligible if they meet one of the following requirements:
- Meet low income standards as set by the state. Family’s income will be rechecked when the student graduates high school.
- Are a foster care child
- Receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits
- Are eligible for reduced price lunch or free lunch
State Need Grant
Low income undergraduate students can receive money under this grant program to pay for the cost of school as long as they are attending an eligible institution – public two and four year schools as well as some independent and career schools. Students can check the list of eligible schools here .
The award varies with the type of school the student is attending but maxes out at the following amounts:
- Public Research Schools – $6876
- Public Comprehensive 4 year Schools – $5030
- Public Community and Technical Colleges – $2690
- Private 4 year Schools – $6876
- Private Career Colleges – $2690
To be eligible for this grant, students must:
- Be a resident of Washington State
- Have a family income of 55% or less than the state median
- Be enrolled in an eligible institution
- Working toward their first associate or bachelor’s degree or first certificate
- Currently enrolled a minimum of 3 credits in an eligible program (Theology programs are not eligible)
- Are not currently in repayment status to another student aid program
- Have not used more than 5 years or 125% of program length of the State Need Grant
Students apply for the grant when they submit their FAFSA. There is no specific application deadline.
Industry Based Scholarships and Grants
Future Teachers Conditional Scholarships and Loan Repayment Program
The purpose of this program is twofold. To encourage students and paraprofessionals to become teachers and to help current teachers expand their educational credentials to include subjects where there is a shortage.
Applicants must commit to teaching in a public K-12 school at a general ratio of two years of teaching to one year of funding. The yearly award amount varies according to the college or university attended and maxes out as follows:
- University of Washington, Washington State University, Private/Independent 4 year schools – $2480 per quarter for 3-4 quarters or $3720 per semester for 2-3 semesters
- Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College and Western Washington University – $1780 per quarter for 3-4 quarters
- Community and Technical Colleges – $960 per quarter for 3-4 quarters
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be a Washington State Resident
- Working on completing an eligible program ending in a residency teacher certification or an additional endorsement in one of the shortage subjects
- Planning to enroll in college for at least half-time
- Not pursuing or plan to obtain a degree in Theology
- Plan to work as a classroom teacher in K-12 Washington public schools
Candidates will be evaluated based on a selection of criteria including answers to essay questions, letters of recommendation, contributions made to the schools system, bilingual ability, academic ability, length of time to program completion and potential as a role model for students.
There are several subjects which allow applicants pursuing teaching certificates or endorsements in those subjects to request priority in the application process. Those subjects include Math, Science, Special Education, Agricultural Education, Business and Marketing Education, Family and Consumer Science Education and Technology Education.
Applicants who accept priority must agree to teach that specific subject in a Washington K-12 school to fulfill their teaching agreement. Applicants who decline priority status are able to teach any subject they want. Special Education can be taught at any grade level. All other subjects must be taught at a minimum of the 7th grade level.
To apply to the program visit the Washington Higher Education website or contact:
Mary Knutson, Program Manager
Phone: 360.753.7845 / Toll free: 1.888.535.0747 (option 2)
Health Professional Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs
These two programs were created to alleviate critical shortage areas by attracting and retaining licensed health care professionals such as doctors and nurses. There are two distinct programs. One is a loan repayment program that will pay part of the applicant’s student loan debt. The other is a scholarship that pays for training in an approved medical program. Both programs require that you serve a minimum of three years in an area experiencing shortage. Click here to see list of shortage areas .
The following professions are eligible for the program:
- Physician (MD or DO)
- Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner
- Licensed Nurse (any licensed level)
- Nurse Faculty (to teach undergraduate nursing)
- Midwife (certified-nurse or licensed)
- Dental Hygienist
Loan repayment program eligibility requirements:
- Have employment or have a contract to work at an eligible facility
- Be a US Citizen (Permanent residents are not eligible)
- Provide primary care (specialty care or mental health care not eligible)
- Sign a contract for the minimum three years of service in Washington in listed shortage area
- Have eligible debt (Parent plus loans or loans not in applicant’s name not eligible)
Scholarship eligibility requirements:
- Student must be working towards becoming a primary care professional in an approved profession
- Be a US citizen (Permanent resident does not qualify)
- All prerequisite coursework is completed
- Not in default on any student loans
- Must sign contract for the minimum three years of service in Washington in listed shortage area
The loan repayment program is based on current education debt owed by the applicant and awards up to $25,000 per year for a minimum of three years. Professionals can apply for a third or fourth year which awards up to $35,000 based on remaining debt owned.
The service contract is based on full time employment at 40 hours per week. The award is given on a quarterly basis at the end of each quarter and is subject to verification of service.
For the scholarship program, the amount awarded is based on the program pursued. There are no income qualifications, you are not required to attend a Washington school – though you must perform your service obligation in Washington- and you do not have to be a Washington resident to apply.
How long you are required to serve is based on the total number of years the scholarship is received, however, there is a minimum three year requirement. Urgent care, specialty care and emergency room hospitals are not eligible facilities. All applicants, with the exception of medical students completing their residency program, have a nine month grace period with which to gain employment in a field on the approved shortage list.
To apply for the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program click here.
To apply for the Health Professional Scholarship click here.
Academic Based Scholarships and Grants
This scholarship is awarded to three outstanding students from each of the legislative districts in Washington State. Students are nominated by school principals who must submit the applications to the Higher Education Coordinating Board no later than the Tuesday after Martin Luther King Day. Students can use the scholarship at any public or private school in Washington.
To be considered, students must:
- Be a Washington State Resident
- Graduate from a public or private Washington State School in the award year
- Enroll in an eligible university or college after graduation
- Theology degree students are not eligible
Maximum awards amounts are as follows:
- Washington State University – $6840
- Independent Colleges and Universities – $6840
- University of Washington – $6718
- Central Washington University – $4963
- Eastern Washington University – $4806
- The Evergreen State College – $4872
- Western Washington University – $4857
- Community Colleges – Up to $2633
- Technical Colleges – Up to $2959
Students should contact the principal or guidance counselors at their school to apply.
WAVE – Washington Award for Vocational Excellence
This scholarship is also awarded to three students from each of the state legislative districts. Students, however, are evaluated based on work experience, activities in the community, demonstrated leadership and occupational proficiency among other things. Nomination is made by skill centers, technical and community colleges and high schools. The scholarship can be used at any public two or four year colleges and universities, vocational schools and accredited private schools.
Eligibility requirements include:
- Must be a current student at a Washington High School, skill center or public college
- Must either have graduated high school with 360 hours logged into an approved vocational program or have completed one year of an approved vocational program at a public community or technical college by the June 30 of the award year.
- Not a previous recipient of the scholarship
- Theology degree students are not eligible
Grants are equal to up to two years of undergraduate tuition and fees with the maximum award amounts as follows:
- Washington State University – $7600
- Independent Colleges and Universities – $7600
- University of Washington – $7464
- Central Washington University – $5514
- Eastern Washington University – $5340
- The Evergreen State College – $5413
- Western Washington University – $5397
- Private Career Colleges – $7600
- Public Technical Colleges – Up to $3288
- Community Colleges – Up to $2925
To apply for the scholarship, contact the school’s WAVE coordinator, counselor or vocational administrator.
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program
This is another federally funded and state run scholarship that seeks to award academically exceptional high school students. The average award for this scholarship is $1500.
To be eligible students must:
- Have graduated from a public or private high school or have a GED
- Must be a US Citizen as well as a resident of Washington
- Have applied or been accepted to a university or college
- Have not defaulted on any other student loan obligation
- Must file a Statement of Selective Service Registration Status
- Students in a military academy are not eligible for the scholarship
Students must apply directly with the State Education Agency in Washington.
Administrative Assistant III
Title I/Learning Assistance Program, Learn and Serve, Honors Award, and Robert C. Byrd Scholarship
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
Telephone: (360) 725-6231
Other Specialized Scholarships and Grants
Passport for Foster Youth Promise Program
The Passport to College Promise Scholarship is a program developed by the state of Washington to encourage foster children to prepare for college. Coupled with other types of financial aid, the scholarship will help pay for up to five years of college. Students will also receive assistance in finding a place to stay over school breaks, get help finding work and receive special consideration for the State Work Study and State Need Grant programs.
To be eligible, students must:
- Have not earned a bachelor’s degree yet
- Are a Washington resident
- Spent one year or more in foster care after age 16
- Emancipated from foster care on or after January 1, 2007
- Will be attending an approved college at least half-time by the age of 21
- Theology students are not eligible
To apply for the scholarship, students must download the application and submit to:
Higher Education Coordinating Board
Passport for Foster Youth Promise Program
PO Box 43430
Olympia, WA 98504-3430
American Indian Endowed Scholarship
This scholarship awards $500 to $2000 for graduate and undergraduate studies to about 15 students who have cultural ties to a Native American community. The money can be used at any accredited independent colleges and universities, public two and four year universities and colleges and career schools in Washington State.
To be eligible, students must have a financial need demonstrated by their FAFSA application, be a Washington resident and enroll full time in an eligible program (as a graduate or undergraduate). Theology students are not eligible to apply.
To apply, download the application and submit to Higher Education Coordinating Board before the February 1 deadline.