Opportunity Scholar standing in scrubs with a stethoscope around his neck
Daud, Opportunity Scholar

Graduate Scholarship

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) 101 

We believe that every Washingtonian deserves access to a family-sustaining wage in a high-demand career that can support and sustain them throughout their life. We know that access to these jobs is a result of a great education.    

There are many barriers to education, including high costs, that make completing a degree, certificate, or apprenticeship feel overwhelming or impossible.    

As of 2023, Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) has helped over 8,000 students graduate into high-demand careers in Washington state. Most of these students were first-generation students, women, or students of color.    

 WSOS is there to support every Opportunity Scholar as they navigate their credential and work to find a job. WSOS knows that everyone deserves a great education and career – and we know that access to a community that provides educational opportunities and targeted stipends helps you fulfill your goals. 

 You belong here. Become an Opportunity Scholar.       

Once you receive your scholarship, you will have the support of the WSOS team. We are here to guide you from application to college to career.   

If you get accepted, you will     

  • Receive scholarship funding to put toward your education. This can be stacked with other aid.     
  • Access training and stipends that will help prepare you to work in an underserved area.  
  • Be a part of a community and connect with other advanced healthcare Scholars across the state.   

On average, Opportunity Scholars graduate faster, take on less debt, and earn a higher average salary than their peers.    

Graduate Scholarship (GRD) 101 

GRD works to increase the number of nurse practitioners providing health care in medically underserved areas of the state. Funding can be used for eligible Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs at one of six nursing schools in Washington state for students who are pursuing a specialty in Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP- primary care), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Psychiatric Mental Health (PMHNP) or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP – primary care).  

The scholarship provides up to $25,000, up to Cost of Attendance (COA) and after other financial aid has been applied, over three years and can cover tuition, fees, housing, transportation, and more. Recipients can also receive a travel stipend when training at a remote site. The scholarship is divided evenly across the remaining academic terms beginning in the fall after selection. Funding does not exceed $6,250 per term.  


To help Scholars serve Washington’s Medically Underserved Areas (MUA) and Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), WSOS provides two stipends. We ask scholars to complete at least half of their clinical credit hours in a Washington State MUA or HPSA. Recipients can receive a travel stipend of $500 per term if training at a remote MUA or HPSA. Practicum sites in MUA or HPSAs can also receive a stipend of $3,600 per 120 clinical hours if they host a GRD Scholar. Learn about the preceptor site stipends


WSOS accepts GRD applications once each academic year.  

Application opens March 25, 2024
Application deadline May 14, 2024 
Unofficial transcript due May 14, 2024 
FAFSA/WASFA processed*May 14, 2024 
Reference Form submitted May 16, 2024 
Selection notification June 2024 

*Please submit your FAFSA or WASFA as early as possible to ensure it processes before the deadline. Processing can take up to a week if submitted online or longer if submitted via the mail.

How do I apply? 

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements
  2. Complete all sections of the application and complete the following materials by the deadline: 
    • Two essay questions 
    • A recent unofficial transcript from your DNP or MSN degree program 
  3. Submit the FAFSA or WASFA for the relevant academic year by the deadline on the application timeline. 
  4. Have one recommendation questionnaire submitted from a professional or academic reference who can speak to your commitment to working in a Washington MUA or HPSA.  

Application Tools

Application Tips 

  • There is no “submit button.” Once you fill out every part of the application, you will get a confirmation email. Check your spam folder if you don’t see it right away.   
  • The application takes about 30 minutes to complete if you have your essays prepared and your unofficial transcript ready to upload.   
  • You can start the application, save progress, and return to complete it later up until the application deadline.    

Eligibility Requirements 

Applicants for the scholarship must meet all of the following criteria: 


  • Be a Washington state resident. In most cases, a Washington state resident lives in the state for one year immediately before starting a college program. Note that WSOS accepts undocumented applicants.

Financial need: 

  • File the FAFSA or WASFA by the application deadline. 
  • Apply for Federal Education Tax Credits if eligible. 
  • Either have a family income at or below 125% of Washington state median family income based on family size OR provide information on the application about current and expected student loan debt, past reliance on income-based programs, and current financial situation. 

Education plan: 

  • Currently pursuing a specialty in Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP- primary care), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Psychiatric Mental Health (PMHNP), or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP – primary care) in a DNP or MSN program at one of the following eligible universities:  
    • Gonzaga University, Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, UW Seattle, or Washington State University (WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver).  
  • Must have completed at least one term (semester or quarter) in your DNP or MSN program.  
  • Must have at least 75% of your program’s required clinical hours left to complete. 
  • Be enrolled full-time as defined by your DNP program or part-time as defined by your MSN program 
  • Be in good academic standing as defined by your DNP or MSN program. 

Post-degree plan: 

  • Intend to practice in a Washington state MUA or HPSA for at least two years after program completion. 
  • Commit to sharing job attainment data post-degree completion with WSOS. 

Washington Medically Underserved Areas (MUA) and Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA)

Medically Underserved Areas and Health Professional Shortage Areas are located across the state of Washington. See below for maps provided by the Washington State Department of Health. 

Selection & Notification

The Board of Directors determines the criteria for selecting recipients, which varies year to year. The Board values applicants who demonstrate a commitment to practice in Washington state, study in an eligible program, and have financial need. 

Applicants will be notified about the selection decision by the date listed on the table above via the email address you provide on the application.  

Make sure to carefully enter your email and add graduate@waopportunityscholarship.org to your list of trusted senders. 

Still have questions?

We’re here to help. Email us at graduate@waopportunityscholarship.org.