Why You Should Apply for a Washington State Opportunity Scholarship
Many academically gifted students give up on their career aspirations because of the high cost of quality education. They end up enrolling into obscure colleges that offer cheap degrees and settle for a basic job that pays the bills—while their potential goes down the drain.
The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) caters to such talented students from low-income households who:
- Have the drive to pursue a high-demand career
- Need funding to enroll in an eligible technical school
- Seek support and connections to find lucrative jobs
This article will guide you on how to apply for a life-altering WSOS program in no time!
WA State Opportunity Scholarship Programs Explained
WA State Opportunity Scholarships are one hundred percent academic scholarships that offer financial aid through three different programs:
- Baccalaureate or college scholarships
- Career and technical scholarships
- Graduate scholarships
You can find summarized details of all three programs in the table below:
|Baccalaureate or BaS scholarship||The BaS program offers you financial support of up to $22,500 if you are majoring in:
You must be accepted in an eligible public or private college in Washington State to qualify for this scholarship
|Career and technical scholarship (CTS)||The CTS program is dedicated to helping students who don’t want a baccalaureate degree but to gain technical, job-oriented skills in high-demand fields like:
This program will help you acquire employability skills through industry exposure, apprenticeship, and workshops.
You can receive up to $1,500 for each quarter throughout the duration of your course
|Graduate scholarship (GRD)||
Understand the General Eligibility Requirements for Washington State Opportunity Scholarships
Apart from the individual scholarship program requirements, you need to fulfill the general eligibility criteria for all Washington State Opportunity Scholarships.
The requirements you currently have to meet include:
- Residency rules—You must be a resident student as per the resident and non-resident Washington State Legislature classification rules (you may not be eligible for a WSOS program if you are a legal immigrant or an international student)
- Financial need—You can apply for a WSOS only if your family’s income is:
- Below 125% of Washington State Median Family Income (WSMFI)—for BaS or GRD programs
- Below 70% of WSMFI—for the CTS program
- Appropriate past academic performance—For the BaS program, your GPA as a high school senior should be above 2.75 (on a scale of 4.00). For CTS and GRD programs, your previous academic performance will be competitively analyzed by the assessment committee
- Enrollment proof—You must prove that you are accepted for an eligible program in one of the universities recognized by the Washington Student Achievement Council
- Post-degree plan—You may have to commit to a post-degree job, service, or practice agreement to be eligible for WSOS
The above requirements can be altered every semester, so you need to check for relevant eligibility updates before applying.
Is Any Washington State Opportunity Scholarship Awarded Based on Diversity?
Washington State Opportunity Scholarships do not have diversity-based options, but that hardly makes a difference as the majority of WSOS recipients are from minority groups.
As per the latest demographic assessment released on the WSOS website:
- 57% of WSOS beneficiaries are women
- 67% of their scholars are students of color (like Native Americans, Hispanics, Filipinos, Indians, Africans, and Asians)
There are, however, no WSOS programs that benefit economically struggling populations like veterans, transgender people, or foster youth.
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How To Apply for WA State Opportunity Scholarships
To apply for a WA State Opportunity Scholarship, do this:
- Complete the latest Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) form applicable for the appropriate semester
- Apply for federal tax credits—if applicable
- Submit the following to the official Scholarship Application Portal at the WSOS website:
- Resume and cover letter
- Two scholarship essays (if required)
- An unofficial degree transcript issued by your previous school
- Recommendation letters that address your suitability for the WSOS program
Remember that there is no guarantee you’ll be selected for the scholarship program despite meeting all the requirements. If you are not accepted, you can always reapply.
In case you are selected, you will receive an acceptance email that will contain instructions for your mandatory online orientation session.
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