Scholar standing in a science lab smiling
Jasleen, Opportunity Scholar
Applicants

Baccalaureate Scholarship

The Baccalaureate Scholarship is now closed. All applicants will receive an email in late April with their selection status.

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) 101  

We believe every Washingtonian deserves access to a job that can pay for their needs. Access to these jobs starts with a great education.  Completing a degree can feel overwhelming or impossible because of barriers like cost.  

WSOS has helped over 8,000 students graduate into high-demand careers in Washington state. Most Scholars are first-generation students, women, or students of color. Opportunity Scholars graduate faster, take on less debt, and earn a higher average salary than their peers.   

WSOS supports every Opportunity Scholar as they navigate college from start to finish. Career training and mentorship are part of the Scholar experience because we are committed to helping Scholars land their first great job.  

You belong here. Become an Opportunity Scholar.   

 The WSOS team will support you from application to college to career.  

Scholars:     

  • Receive flexible money that can be stacked with other aid like the Washington College Grant to cover costs beyond tuition, such as food, housing, or transportation.    
  • Learn the skills needed to find a job.   
  • Find mentors, build a community, develop a network, and launch a career.   

Baccalaureate Scholarship (BaS) 101 

BaS provides up to $22,500 in scholarship dollars and access to career-launching support services for high-demand STEM and health care majors. WSOS can cover costs beyond tuition such as housing, transportation, food, and more. Funding can be used for any eligible STEM or health care major at any eligible public or private college or university in Washington state. 

Interested in an associate degree, apprenticeship, or certificate instead? Check out the Career & Technical Scholarship (CTS).  

Application deadlines 

MilestoneDate
Application OpensJanuary 10, 2024
Application DeadlineFebruary 29, 2024
Extended FAFSA/WASFA Completion Deadline*April 5, 2024
Selection NotificationLate April 2024
Acceptance DeadlineMay 8, 2024

*We urge applicants to start and complete their FAFSA/WASFA applications as soon as possible to account for processing delays.

Is the Baccalaureate Scholarship (BaS) right for you?  

Do you want an apprenticeship or certificate instead? Or do you want to earn an associate degree and then immediately start your career? Consider applying for the Career & Technical Scholarship (CTS)!  

Do you want to get a bachelor’s degree in a field like computer science, nursing, engineering, or another STEM or health care field? Do you want to get an associate degree before studying to get a bachelor’s degree? Continue reading; BaS is right for you! 

How do I apply? 

First, are you eligible?

Second, before the application deadline, you must: 

  1. Complete the scholarship application.
  2. Complete the FAFSA or WASFA 
    • We recommend completing your FAFSA or WASFA as early as possible to account for processing delays. However, if you are encountering challenges with the FAFSA/WASFA, we have extended the deadline to complete your FAFSA/WASFA application to April 5. Learn more.
  3. Apply for Federal Education Tax Credits, if eligible.

Watch the video below to learn more about how to apply for the scholarship. Please note that this video was recorded in 2023, so it might look a little different than the current application.

Application tips 

  • Use this guide to see examples of possible answers for the short answer section of the application. Remember, we aren’t scoring your essay for grammar or writing ability! We want to learn more about you and your story.  
  • No references are needed to apply! 
  • Once you fill out every part of the application and press “Submit Application,” your application will be complete, and you will get a confirmation email. Check your spam folder if you don’t see it right away. 
  • The application will take about 60 to 90 minutes to complete.   
  • You can start the application, save progress, and complete it later up until the application deadline.   

Eligibility Requirements

Residency:

  • You must be a Washington resident. In most cases, a Washington resident lives in the state for one year immediately before starting college or a program. WSOS accepts undocumented applicants. 

Financial need:

Education plan:

Previous education:

  • Have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. 
  • Have earned or will earn a high school credential in Washington state by June of the year that you apply. 
  • By the application deadline, you must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale), demonstrated on either a current high school or college transcript, OR a passing GED score (45 on the 1988 series, 450 on the 2002 series, or 145 on the 2014 series). 
  • If you have been in college since graduating high school and earned more than 90 quarter or 60 semester credits by the application deadline, you are not eligible to apply. 
    • If you earned college credits from the Running Start program, they do not count toward your eligibility. You can still apply even if you have more than 90-quarter or 60-semester credits from running start.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How will I be told if I am selected?   

Check your email! Recipients will hear from us by email, asked to accept the scholarship, and complete an online orientation. Make sure to type your email accurately and add info@waopportunityscholarship.org to your list of trusted senders.  

You can reapply if you aren’t selected as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.  

How many credits do I need to take? 

Plan to enroll in at least three or more credits every term. Students can enroll in the summer quarter after their first year as a Scholar. 

How many terms of funding am I eligible for?

Please refer to the, “How long do I receive funding,” section, of our current Baccalaureate Scholars page.

How are recipients selected?   

The WSOS Board of Directors determines how we select recipients using criteria that includes factors such as a students’ financial need, commitment to STEM or health care, and academic achievement.  

Can I apply if I don’t know exactly what major I want yet and I haven’t yet chosen/been accepted to my school?  

For your major: When you apply, choose the major you’re most interested in/hope to pursue and double check that it is included on the eligible majors list. If you become a Scholar and end up changing your major, you can keep your funding as long as the new major is still WSOS-eligible.  If you do end up changing your major, you must notify us by sending an email to info@waopportunityscholarship.org.  

For colleges: Choose the college you hope to attend (even if you haven’t been accepted yet). To apply, your college must be included on our eligible colleges list. If you become a Scholar and this information changes, you can fill out a College of Enrollment update in your Scholar Portal at the beginning of June. 

How does this scholarship impact other funding I receive/will receive? (e.g., Washington College Grant, college bound, other scholarships) 

Baccalaureate Scholarship (BaS) funding is applied to your Cost of Attendance (COA) after all your other financial aid has been added, such as the Pell Grant and Washington College Grant. If the other financial aid you are receiving covers part or the total COA, then some or all your scholarship funding will be returned to WSOS. 

What support will I receive as a recipient? 

Opportunity Scholars receive exclusive resources on top of their scholarship, including connections, advice, networks, mentorship, and career development resources to help you succeed while in college and after you’ve graduated. Learn more about the support we provide on our current Scholars page.  

When should I complete my FAFSA/WASFA application? 

We recommend you complete your FAFSA or WASFA as soon as possible to account for processing delays. However, if you are encountering challenges with the FAFSA/WASFA, we have extended the deadline to complete your FAFSA/WASFA application to April 5.

Still have questions? We’re here to help. Email us at info@waopportunityscholarship.org.