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The Washington Scholars program recognizes the accomplishments of four high school students in each of the state’s 49 legislative districts, three Washington Scholars and one Washington Scholar-Alternate. It is the highest academic honor conferred by the state to some of our state’s most exemplary high school students.

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. A committee comprised of high school principals and college administrators meets in mid-winter to review the candidate applications and make the final selections. Award recipients are announced in the spring.

There has been no direct monetary benefit associated with Washington Scholar status conferred since 2011, however, some in-state colleges 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.

2014 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.
  • Be enrolled at an eligible in-state college or university following high school graduation.
  • Not be pursuing 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

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 prorated at 90 percent of the legislatively-authorized public tuition and services and activity fees, contingent upon appropriated funding. Public higher education institutions received new tuition-setting authority in 2011 that allows each institution to raise tuition to levels higher than those assumed in the state operating budget, however, annual Washington Scholars scholarship value adjustments do not reflect any increases that exceed the assumed budget increases.


2014-15 Maximum Award Amounts
(Awards Vary by Institution)
For Washington Scholars selected in spring 2010, or earlier, who have remaining 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 $3,600

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

Up to $3,600

How to Apply

Contact your high school principal or guidance counselor.

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