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The Washington Scholars program recognizes the accomplishments of the most exemplary graduating high school students in each of the state’s 49 legislative districts. It is the highest meritorious academic honor conferred by the state’s educators and government leaders.

High school principals from across the state nominate up to one percent of their graduating classes for Washington Scholars consideration. The nomination is based on academic achievement, leadership, and community activities. Award recipients are announced in the spring.

Currently, there is no direct monetary scholarship benefit for new Washington Scholars.  Some in-state colleges may offer financial or other incentives to attract Scholars to their campuses. Washington Scholars who were awarded monetary benefits prior to 2011 retain eligibility to receive the scholarship based on appropriated funds.

2015 Washington Scholars Directory


To be eligible for nomination by your high school, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Washington state resident.
  • Be graduating from a Washington public or private high school in the current award year.
  • Not plan to pursue a postsecondary degree in theology.

Previously-Selected Recipients 

Washington Scholars and Alternates named to the award in spring 2010 or earlier, who have unused capacity for the monetary benefit, and meet other eligibility requirements may receive the scholarship for undergraduate level coursework, contingent upon appropriated funds. These eligible recipients may use their scholarship at any participating public or private college or university in the state of Washington. 

Award Amounts

For previously selected Scholars with unused capacity for the monetary benefit, the intent of the scholarship is to mirror the cost of resident, undergraduate tuition and service and activity fees charged by Washington public colleges and universities; however, the scholarship is subject to annual appropriations and may be prorated.

Scholarship values are re-evaluated annually. Adjustments to the scholarship amount may be made during an academic year as funding dictates. The maximum scholarship payable will not exceed the Scholar’s actual tuition charges, and “overload” credits are not included. Scholars attending private in-state colleges may receive the scholarship if the school matches the state scholarship on a dollar-for-dollar basis with institutional gift aid. 

Currently, the maximum scholarship values payable are legislatively-authorized public tuition, contingent upon appropriated funding. 


2015-16 Maximum Award Amounts
(Awards Vary by Institution)
For pre-existing recipients only

 For Washington Scholars (selected in spring 2010 or earlier) who have remaining scholarship eligibility


Maximum Award

University of Washington


Washington State University


4-Yr Private, Semester-based Institutions


4-Yr Private, Quarter-based Institutions


Central Washington University


Eastern Washington University


The Evergreen State College


Western Washington University


Public Community Colleges
(15 credit max., may vary by school)

Up to $3,800

Public Technical Colleges
(15 credit max., may vary by school)

Up to $3,800

How to Apply

Contact your high school principal or guidance counselor.

For more information
E-mail: Washington Scholars Program
Phone: 360-753-7843