This page is for current Opportunity Scholars in the Career & Technical program. If you’re applying for the Career & Technical Scholarship, visit the Career & Technical Applicants webpage.
Career & Technical Scholarship (CTS) 101
Our Career & Technical Scholarship provides up to $1,500 each quarter to fund a high-demand associate degree, certificate, or apprenticeship program at Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges or approved apprenticeship program sponsors. Scholars can use this funding toward trade, health care, or STEM programs across Washington state.
CTS is more than a scholarship! As an Opportunity Scholar, you can access more than just financial support. WSOS provides connections, advice, networks, mentorship, and career development resources to help you succeed in college and in your professional career.
WSOS is a community of support that will be there at EVERY step on your pathway to a career in a high-demand field. Take advantage of opportunities to build your network and connect with other Scholars and professionals.
Find all the details you need to know about your scholarship below. You can also use the quick links for easy access to frequently used documents and processes.
If you’ve also received the Rural Jobs Initiative (RJI) award as part of your acceptance into the Career & Technical Scholarship, more information about your program can be found at the bottom of this page.
Support you receive beyond your scholarship funding
Opportunity Scholars can access more than just financial support. WSOS provides connections, advice, networks, mentorship, and career development resources to help you succeed in college and beyond.
The Scholar Lead Mentorship Program is our peer-mentoring program for first-year Scholars. The Scholar Lead program will pair you with an Opportunity Scholar who is further along in their academic journey. Your Scholar Lead is there to help you transition into your program and WSOS. They’ll hold community events with other Scholars to help you build community and can connect you to on-campus and WSOS resources. They will answer your questions and help you succeed!
The Skills that Shine (StS) Mentorship Program is our industry mentorship program. Scholars get to select an industry professional to serve as a mentor. Your mentor can help connect you to job and internship opportunities, expand your network, help you develop a resume and cover letter, and support your job search.
Scholar Lead Mentorship Program: Once you’ve completed one term as an Opportunity Scholar, you can support your fellow Scholars as a Scholar Lead! This is a paid opportunity to serve as a peer mentor to fellow Scholars around the state under the supervision and support of a WSOS advisor. You’ll engage with Scholars to help them navigate the college environment and foster a sense of community.
Opportunity Scholars are invited to participate in exclusive events and career–readiness training with WSOS partners, including:
- Tips on how to land a job with Washington’s best employers;
- Access to internships and jobs; and
- WSOS-exclusive training and career readiness resources.
Join the WSOS-exclusive Scholar and Alumni LinkedIn group. By joining the group, you can grow your professional network, hear first about internship and job opportunities, and learn more about professional development opportunities in their field of study.
These resources are invaluable. Make sure to read all emails you receive from WSOS, so you don’t miss these great opportunities!
Reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns about WSOS programming.
Scholar Portal Information
Access information about your scholarship
Looking for information about your scholarship? Visit the Scholar Portal to view key details and submit forms, including:
- Scholarship funding and disbursement information.
- Important deadlines.
- Contact information.
- Request a program change through the “Program Change” form in the Scholar Portal.
- Update your college information.
If you’re a new Opportunity Scholar, you will receive instructions on how to access the Scholar Portal after you complete your acceptance form.
How much funding do I receive?
CTS recipients will receive up to $1,500 per quarter for the duration of their program or until they have received 15 terms of state financial aid, as long as they meet all WSOS eligibility criteria and are enrolled in at least 12 credits. Scholars enrolled part-time will receive a prorated scholarship amount.
Depending on the amount of other financial aid you’re receiving, it’s possible that you may not receive the full WSOS amount noted above.
- Opportunity Scholars will receive the funding described above up to their Cost of Attendance (COA)* and after other financial aid has been applied.
- We encourage you to contact your Financial Aid Office to better understand COA and how WSOS funds stack on top of other financial aid.
*Cost of Attendance is the government’s estimation of the cost of a student’s education. It is provided once the student submits their FAFSA or WASFA.
Additional funding details
- If your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which can be found on your FAFSA or WASFA Student Aid Report, is more than your Cost of Attendance (COA), then you may be unable to receive WSOS funding.
- If you’re enrolled in fewer than three credits during the fall, winter, or spring terms: You will not receive funding for that term (see Deferment). Scholars are not required to enroll in summer term but are eligible to receive summer funding if enrolled.
- Scholars enrolled in eligible apprenticeship programs may be exempt from this policy depending on their program requirements.
When do I receive funding?
Your scholarship funding each quarter is sent directly to the financial aid office of the college or the apprenticeship sponsor before the start of each term, as outlined below.
When we send out your funding, we call this a “disbursement.”
|2023 summer quarter
|2023 fall quarter
|2024 winter quarter
|2024 spring quarter
|2024 summer quarter
How to keep your scholarship and maintain eligibility
- Remain enrolled in an eligible program. All Scholars can change their area of study/program once during the lifetime of their scholarship. Additional program changes must be approved in advance by WSOS.
- Remain enrolled in an eligible program at one of the state’s 34 community and technical colleges or an approved apprenticeship sponsor.
- Enroll in at least three credits during the fall, winter, and spring terms. You don’t have to enroll in any credits during the summer term, but funding is available if you do.
- Enroll in at least one course that is required for your program every quarter.
- Meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP). SAP is defined and determined by each college. Be sure to check with the financial aid office at your school to see how your college uses GPA to calculate SAP.
Scholars must also meet the following eligibility criteria on an annual basis:
- Complete the Annual Renewal & Graduation form in the Scholar Portal in May to renew your scholarship for the upcoming academic year, even if you are graduating.
- File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) for the relevant academic year by June 1.
- Apply for Federal Education Tax Credits if eligible. Each Scholar or family eligible to do so must take advantage of the available federal education tax. Visit the IRS page to learn more about education credits.
What happens if my funding is sent to my school after the tuition deadline?
Your college can place a hold on your account so that you won’t be dropped from your courses or charged. If you need a hold placed on your account, please reach out to your college’s financial aid office and notify them of your pending scholarship award.
How do I know if my funds were sent to my school?
Log in to the Scholar Portal and review the disbursements section on the homepage. If there is a date under “Disbursement Date,” that means your funding was sent to your school on that date.
Schools can take up to a month to apply the scholarship funds to your account. If you see a disbursement date, but you don’t see funds in your account, please allow your school to process. Contact your college’s financial aid office if you have concerns about your award.
How long will I receive funding?
As mentioned above, you can receive WSOS funding for the duration of your program or until you have received 15 terms of state financial aid.
As a reminder, you must remain eligible to receive funding by meeting all WSOS eligibility criteria and remaining enrolled in at least 12 credits.
To learn more about how we calculate your ‘scholarship expiration date,” read the section below about your scholarship review date.
Scholarship Review Date
Scholars are guaranteed to receive their scholarship until they reach their “scholarship review date” (as long as they continue to meet all other eligibility criteria). You can find your scholarship review date in the Scholar Portal under the “scholarship information” section.
- Your scholarship review date is your deadline for submitting a Program Progress Form, which provides information to WSOS about the progress you’re making toward your program.
- Apprentices should submit this form to email@example.com.
- We will use this information, including how many terms you’ve received funding from the Washington College Grant (WCG) (if you have), to calculate your “scholarship expiration date,” which tells you how much longer you’ll receive WSOS funding. This date will be added to your Scholar Profile in the Scholar Portal.
You can watch this video to learn more about how to submit a Program Progress Form.
Washington College Grant Funding
When you apply for WSOS, WSOS verifies your FAFSA/WASFA completion, income eligibility, and any Washington College Grant (WCG) terms you have used.
- WCG terms are the number of quarters or semesters that an applicant has received WCG funding.
- All Scholars can receive a maximum of 10 semesters or 15 quarters of funding from WSOS, including any previous WCG funding terms they’ve received. Once you accept the scholarship, we will confirm how long you’ve received WCG funding (if you’ve received any) and subtract that from the total 15 quarters or 10 semesters of WSOS funding you can receive.
- For example, if you received WCG funding for all three quarters of your first year of college, then you have used three WCG terms. Those three terms are then subtracted from the total WSOS funding terms you can receive – 15 WSOS total funding terms minus three WCG funding terms means you could receive WSOS funding for up to 12 terms.
- You will be notified when you approach your final academic year of funding.
Looking for community, campus or professional development resources?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What if I decide to attend a different school than what’s in my Scholar Portal and/or decide to change my program?
- Submit a Program Change Request form in your Scholar Portal.
- Go to Submit Request > Submit Program Change Request.
Why don’t I see my scholarship in my financial aid award letter?
Your scholarship may not show up in your financial aid award letter from your school before the start of the academic year because WSOS sends fall term funds later in the summer.
Can I use my scholarship to pay for remedial, transitional (ABE, ESL, high school completion), and continuing education classes?
WSOS funds remedial courses since they are college credit classes, and the cost is equivalent to the total cost of a college credit class. We do not fund transitional or continuing education classes, as they are typically free or low in cost.
Why did I receive less than $1,500?
Please contact your school’s financial aid office to confirm why you didn’t receive your full award amount.
WSOS sends your full award amount of $1,500 to your school each term. However, your school will prorate (adjust) your award amount based on the number of credits you are enrolled in:
- WSOS can be used to cover up to your Cost of Attendance (COA). COA = tuition, fees, books, supplies, and living expenses for one academic year. When you don’t receive the total WSOS amount, it could mean your COA is met for that term or academic year by other sources of your financial aid package.
- When you do the FAFSA this year, you will receive a Student Aid Index (SAI) number. If your SAI is higher than your COA, you are not eligible for WSOS funding.
- If you receive other forms of financial aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Washington College Grant, or other scholarships, it may impact how much WSOS funding you receive.
- If you’re enrolled part-time for the term, your school will prorate (adjust) your award amount based on the number of credits you are enrolled in:
- 12+ credits: Full award amount
- 9-11 credits: 75% of full award amount
- 6-8 credits: 50% of full award amount
- 3-5 credits: 25% of full award amount
- <3 credits: Not eligible for WSOS funding
Email is the primary way we communicate. Make sure to check your spam settings to ensure you are receiving WSOS emails, and mark WSOS as a “safe sender”. Unsubscribing from WSOS may result in missing important information and deadline reminders.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-899-5002
I’m a Rural Jobs Initiative (RJI) Scholar. What does that mean?
You will receive $3,500 your first quarter, $2,500 your second quarter, and $1,000 per quarter until you graduate (or receive the maximum of 15 terms of state financial aid).
RJI connects students who live in rural areas with the skills they need to access job opportunities where they live. This program ensures Washington residents who live farthest from the state’s community and technical colleges can earn a credential that leads to a high-demand job in their rural community.