The concept of paying for college has always been a deciding factor on where students choose to continue their education or even if they will continue their education. Even more so, the task of figuring out how students will pay for college has become even more stressful. The current state of the economy, as well as the rising costs of secondary education, has made it next to impossible for many students to obtain a degree and so they end up working hourly paid jobs, or dead-end jobs with extremely low wages.
Fortunately, the State of Washington has an ample selection of scholarships, contests, grants, and repayment options for its resident students that are available to lessen the burden of paying for college and make the experience more enjoyable.
1. Aija Matthews Educational Scholarship Fund (AMESF)
This scholarship will pay $5,000 to applicants who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and who are going to attend a 2-year college or 4-year university. The fund was established in the memory of Ajia Matthews, who tragically passed away at age 14 because of medical conditions. Candidates are chosen based on involvement in school activities, leadership, character, academic performance, community service and employment history. The application process opens January 1, 2017, and closes March 31, 2017.
You can learn more about the Aija Matthews Educational Scholarship Fund (AMESF) here.
2. Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship
The APIASF is a three-year scholarship that will pay $5,000 per year ($15,000) for Washington residents who have Asian or Pacific Island decent. Students must be enrolling full=time during their second year at an accredited U.S. college or university. Applicant must also show commitment to working in the community and have a GPA of 2.75 or above. The application is due January 8, 2017.
You can learn more about the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship here.
3. Coyote Rock Ranch Veterinary Scholarship
The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) has multiple scholarships available. One notable scholarship for Washington and Oregon residents is the Coyote Rock Ranch Veterinary Scholarship. This pays $75,000 for one-year. It is reserved for students enrolled at an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approved college of veterinary medicine in the U.S. or Canada whose studies are equine focused. Students must have a 3.0 GPA to apply and preference is given to students with American Quarter Horses. However, significant experience with other breeds is encouraged to apply. Applicants must be enrolled as a third-year veterinary student when applying. The deadline is December 1, 2016.
You can learn more about the Coyote Rock Ranch Veterinary Scholarship here.
4. Margaret A. Haines Telephony Scholarship
This is another AQHA scholarship that pays a $35,000 for one year. Upon applying, applicants should be a member of the AQHA for at least one year. This scholarship is also meant for students in their third year of pursuing an undergraduate degree. After graduating with a bachelor's degree, students must continue practicing veterinarian medicine that is equine focused. Candidates are chosen for their academic performance, involvement with Quarter Horses, leadership and communication skills, and their need for financial assistance. The deadline is December 1, 2016.
You can learn more about the Margaret A. Haines Telephony Scholarship here.
5. Bachelor’s Degree Pathways Scholarship
This scholarship is tailored for Washington residents who are currently working in a child care center or a home child care setting. It will pay up to $6,000 for a year of tuition and fees, up to $1,000 a year for books, $100 per quarter for a travel stipend, $11 per hour, up to 3 hours a week for release time, and a $300 bonus upon completion of scholarship contract that is a condition of the award. There is no deadline, but may be a waitlist. Applicants must work in a licensed WA childcare center or family childcare program participating in Early Achievers for an average of 20 hours per week for at least six months. They must also pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or similar field. The applicant must work in their facility for at least six months after receiving the award.
You can learn more about the Bachelor’s Degree Pathways Scholarship here.
6. The Family Child Care Providers Scholarship
The Family Child Care Providers Scholarship awards all tuition and fees for coursework toward the State Initial ECE Certificate. Reimbursement is available for books up to $500 per year. Applicants also receive up to three hours of release time per week. Deadlines are September 1 for Fall Quarter, December 1 for Winter Quarter, March 1 for Spring Quarter and June 1 for Summer Quarter.
You can learn more about the Family Child Care Providers Scholarship here.
7. The BBB Foundation’s Students of Integrity Scholarship
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) pays $10,00 and is reserved for Western Washington, Oregon, and Alaskan residents. The applicant must illustrate ethics through academics, your history with the community, integrity, and leadership. Applications must be submitted by February 14, 2017.
You can learn more about the The BBB Foundation’s Students of Integrity Scholarship here.
8. WUE Award and GEM Scholarship
Boise State offers Washington residents with a $14,000 WUE award and a $10,500 GEM Scholarship. Candidates must have at least a GPA of 3.2, have test scores of 21 and up for the ACT or 980 and up for the SAT. Applications are due February 15, 2017, for new and transfer students and March 15, 2017, for current students. Ineligible majors include Nursing, Pre-Nursing, Radiology, and Pre-Radiology, and self-supported online programs.
You can learn more about the WUE Award and GEM Scholarship here.
9. The Henry Streuli Scholarship
This scholarship was established in the memory of Henry Streuli, who passed away from cancer at age 14 from cancer July 2015. The Cancer for College organization offers cancer survivors an award between $1,000 and $5,000. The application is due January 31, 2017, and the application process open November 2016. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are residents and attending a school in either Washington, Oregon, Montana or Idaho. This scholarship is specifically for students who are attending full-time at a 4-year institution and must maintain full-time status.
You can learn more about the The Henry Streuli Scholarship here.
10. The Pacific Northwest Scholarship
Cancer for College also offers Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho residents the Pacific Northwest Scholarship for $1,000 to $5,000. Students must be U.S. citizens, and enrolled full-time at an accredited institution in the U.S. Anytime students fall below full-time status, it will result in loss of scholarship funds. This application is due January 31, 2017. Students must also provide tax information if they are tax independent or dependents of their parents.
You can learn more about the The Pacific Northwest Scholarship here.
11. The Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest
This contest gives high school students an opportunity to compete for a $10,000 prize for college. The applicant couples must be attending their high school prom and wearing prom attire entirely made out of duct tape according to their own creativity and design. Students must apply before May 31, 2017.
You can learn more about the The Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest here.
12. The Eleanor Pinkham Scholarship
Students graduating from Roosevelt High School next year can apply for this scholarship. It will pay up to $4,000 for college. The student must be enrolled at Roosevelt High School, have a minimum GPA or 3.3 or above and be a resident of the U.S. Students must also demonstrate their financial need for the scholarship. The deadline to apply is April 22, 2017.
You can learn more about the The Eleanor Pinkham Scholarship here.
13. The National Scholars Program
Students looking to attend Eastern Michigan University have the opportunity to apply for this program. The award is $15,000 for students enrolling as a first-year or transfer students and who also has a 3.50 GPA or higher. This award is conditional in that the student must live on campus grounds for the first two years. Residents of all states are welcome to apply except Ohio and Michigan. Applications are due July 1 for Fall, November 1 for Winter, and April 1 for Summer.
You can learn more about the The National Scholars Program here.
14. Fannie and John Hertz Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship Award
Students pursuing their PhDs are encouraged to apply for this fellowship that has three options for funding:
1. Five Year Hertz, $32,000/9-month personal stipend and $5,000/year additional stipend for fellows (awardees) with dependent children. This is renewable each year as long as the fellow shows significant progress towards a Ph.D.
2. Five-Year Coordinated, $38,000/9-month personal stipend as well as additional $5,000/year for dependent children, and requires a 2-year Hertz fellowship and
3. Other Fellowship Period (up to three years), $6,000/year supplemental stipend, $5,000 additional with dependent children, from Hertz, and requires a 3-year fellowship from another source. The student's area of study must be focused on applied physical, biological, and engineering sciences. All U.S. residents are welcome to apply, however, awardees are required to submit their skills to the U.S. in times of national emergencies. The deadline is Fall 2016.
You can learn more about the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship Award here.
15. The Henry and Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship
This award gives Washington resident students $5,000 who are interested in theater arts. Candidates must demonstrate their need for financial aid in detail through the FAFSA and any supporting financial documents included within the FAFSA. Candidates should have a GPA of at least 3.0 evidenced through an official transcript. Applicants are also required to include their resume that showcases any and all theater experiences and three letters of recommendation, one from a theater instructor.
You can learn more about the The Henry and Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship here.
16. The Korean-American Scholarship
Korean-American students who are attending school within the Western Region are encouraged to apply for the Korean American Scholarship for awards of $500 to $5,000. Students must have a 3.0 or higher GPA and must also demonstrate financial need. The application process begins April 1, 2017, and the application deadline is July 8, 2016.
You can learn more about the The Korean-American Scholarship here.
17. Marsden Scholarship
The Marsden Scholarship awards $7,500 to residents of either Washington east of the Cascades or Idaho north of the Salmon River who are Seniors in high school. This scholarship was established to recognize academically successful students and to assist them in attending high-end institutions. The applications for this scholarship are due March 31, 2017.
You can learn more about the Marsden Scholarship here.
18. Moody’s Mega Math Challenge
An alternative to winning a scholarship is the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. This contest awards students who excel in mathematics a prize of $20,000. All juniors and seniors from all high schools in the U.S. can apply. Applicants are a maximum of two teams per high school of three to five and one teacher coach. Teams must register on the website to participate which opens November 2016.
You can learn more about the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge here.
19. The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program
This program pays it’s winner tuition, fees, stipends, and other educational costs in return for a commitment to work at least two years in primary care. Applicants must attend accredited institutions with areas of studies focusing on careers for physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and physician's assistants for the purpose of primary care. The application process opens Spring 2017.
You can learn more about the The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program here.
20. The NIADA Foundation Regional Scholarships
The NIADA Foundation awards high school seniors residing in any state within the United States $3,500 who have achieved an outstanding academic record. Preference will be given to students who have demonstrated an aptitude for college work according to SAT or ACT scores. Applicants must also submit an official transcript. This scholarship opens on November 1, 2016, and applications are due March 18, 2017.
You can learn more about the The NIADA Foundation Regional Scholarships here.
21. Pride Foundation Scholarship
The Pride Foundation offers individuals who are LGBTQ $10,000 for college if they can demonstrate how they are a leader within their LGBTQ community. This scholarship is reserved for LGBTQ students who are residents of Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska. Applicants must show that they lack a support system and are in financial need. The application process opens October 11, 2016, and will close January 11, 2017.
You can learn more about the Pride Foundation Scholarship here.
22. Robert J. Meyer Organic Farming Scholarship
The Friends of Olympia Farmer's Market established this scholarship in the memory of the avid organic farmer Robert J. Meyer. It is reserved for residents of Washington in Thurston, Lewis, or Mason counties as well as living or going to school in Elma or Montesano. Applicants must be enrolling in an accredited institution with studies focusing on agricultural sustainability, organic farming/ranching or sustainable ecosystems. This scholarship is conditional in that awardees must apply their education to the needs of the South Puget Sound area. Applications are due before April 30, 2017.
You can learn more about the Robert J. Meyer Organic Farming Scholarship here.
23. Stim Bullit Civic Courage Scholarship
This scholarship is an essay contest where 1st Place gets $5,000, and two 2nd Place winners get $2,500 for the cost of secondary education. Participants must either by working, going to school, or living in Seattle. Participants must also be high school seniors, enrolling in or accepted to attend school at an institution of two or four years. Essays are due March 15, 2017.
You can learn more about the Stim Bullit Civic Courage Scholarship here.
24. Sub Pop Loser Scholarship
The Sub Pop Loser Scholarship is another essay contest with winnings of $7000, $5000, and $3,000. This scholarship contest is available for resident students of Washington or Oregon of any area of study. However, applicants who are interested in music or the arts are strongly urged to apply. Applicants must be a graduating senior on the way to full-time enrollment at an accredited university or college. Students are also required to demonstrate that they are in need of financial aid as well. Essays are due March 20, 2017.
You can learn more about the Sub Pop Loser Scholarship here.
25. The Bill & Ann Sheperd Legal Scholarship Fund
Third or fourth-year law students fighting for the LGBTQ community are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be LGBTQ or the child of LBGTQ parents, residents of Oregon or Southern Washington, and are in need of financial assistance. Students must be enrolled or intending to enroll in an accredited educational program beyond the secondary level and have a cumulative 3.0 GPA. Applicants must provide a detailed financial needs statement as well as provide transcripts and letters of recommendation. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the The Bill & Ann Sheperd Legal Scholarship Fund here.
26. The Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP)
Licensed primary care health professionals needing some assistance paying student loans are encouraged to apply for The Federal-State Loan Repayment Program. Primary Care Providers who are awardees must provide healthcare in areas in Washington that have healthcare shortages. This program awards $70,000, and the applicant must work at least 40 hours a week. This program receives funding through federal grants. The deadline to apply is May 11, 2017.
You can learn more about the The Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP) here.
27. The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program
Primary Care Providers also have the option to apply for this loan repayment program that awards $75,000 and includes a contractual condition of working at least 24 hours a week. Health professionals are strongly urged to apply for this program because, in 2014, at least 100 individuals served 38 Washington counties with healthcare shortages. Also, over 80% of these professionals stayed working in these areas at least two more years following their term. The list of health agencies that apply to their care needs varies every year. The updated list will be available January 2017. Lastly, this program gets it's funding from the state and does not come from any grants. The deadline to apply is March 27, 2017.
You can learn more about the The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program here.
28. The Scottish Rite Scholarship
This scholarship awards residents of Washington $3,000 that is based on merits. Applicants must also be citizens of the United States who are entering their third years of undergraduate school that is accredited. Students must also have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Online classes or distance learning is not included as attending full-time and therefore not applicable for this scholarship. Applications are due March 31, 2017.
You can learn more about the The Scottish Rite Scholarship here.
29. The Washington Thoroughbred Scholarship
Students pursuing a career in equine or agricultural industry are encouraged to apply for the Washington Thoroughbred Scholarship for $5,000. Students must be age 24 by September 1 of the year of application and have at least a 2.85 GPA. Lastly, the household income has to be less than $75,000 per year, or the student must be financially independent. Application due date is April 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the The Washington Thoroughbred Scholarship here.
30. The Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge
An opportunity for teenage drivers looking for money to pay for college is by signing up to participate in this video challenge. Toyota will pay $15,000 and other prizes to the winners. The applicant must create a video individually or with up to three friends and is 30-60 seconds long. The video must focus on the problem of distracted driving. In order to participate, teens must open a user account by registering for the challenge of the web page and is sure to include the TeenDrive365 end frame at the very end, which is downloadable from the web page. Videos must be submitted by March 7, 2017.
You can learn more about The Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge here.
31. The U of W Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholarship Program
This scholarship awards students $10,000 who have above-and-beyond academic successes and seeks to encourage them to attend the University of Washington Seattle Campus. Students will be judged based on their service to their community, courage, intellectual abilities, strength, purpose, and leadership. This scholarship is reserved for Washington residents who are currently attending or have attend a community college in Washington State. The students must have earned a minimum of 36 credits upon transferring to UW. Those with an associate's degree are encouraged to apply. Students that are already enrolled at UW must not have earned more than 18 UW credits by the deadline on July 7, 2016.
You can learn more about the The U of W Martin Family Foundation Honors Scholarship Program here.
32. University of Arizona Excellence Tuition Award
This Excellence Tuition Award is a scholarship that is offered every year to a select few of first-time college enrollees who have just graduated high school based on their high school achievements. The award is for $5,000 to $17,500 per year available to U.S. citizens and non-Arizona residents. The student must be pursuing their first bachelor's degree and be enrolled at UA before May 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the University of Arizona Excellence Tuition Award here.
33. U.S. Army Repayment Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
Certain members of the military are eligible to apply for the U.S. Army's LRP that can help with student loan debt. It will pay $1,500 or 15 percent of outstanding student loan balance, whichever is greater, after each year of service of up to $20,000. Loans need to have already generated and paid out to be eligible. Lastly, only certain Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) qualify.
You can learn more about the U.S. Army Repayment Loan Repayment Program (LRP) here.
34. Washington State Opportunity Scholarship
Students from low or middle-income families or who do not have much of an income themselves are encouraged to apply for this opportunity because it pays $7,500 and is available for Washington residents who are high school graduates or GED recipients before June 2016. Science, technology, engineering, math, or healthcare (STEM) are the areas of studies this scholarship is designed for. Students must be enrolled in a program surrounding those studies that is accredited in Washington State. Further, this scholarship applies to students working on their first bachelor's degree with no more than six quarters or four semesters completed by Fall 2017. Students must also hold a 2.75 GPA and have filed a FAFSA or WASFA by March 7, 2017. Applications are due February 28, 2017.
You can learn more about the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship here.
35. Washington State Scholarship
The Washington State Scholarship awards $5,000 to students attending a four-year institution and $2,500 for students attending a two-year institution. Students must be in need of financial assistance and be a first-time college student who has just graduated from high school or has achieved a GED in Washington State. This award is reserved for those planning on enrolling in any two-year or four-year institutions as well as trade schools and vocational tech schools. Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2017.
You can learn more about the Washington State Scholarship here.
We've worked hard to include a variety of scholarship opportunities within our list. If you have any suggestions on additional scholarships, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.