Project Opportunity: Access to Washington's Colleges'

“Coming from a middle-class family of five, I would not have been able to attend a private school had it not been for financial aid. I ultimately choose Whitman because of its rigorous academic reputation. However, without a generous aid package, it wouldn't have been possible to enroll.”

— Cindy Rios
Whitworth University


Searching for Scholarships

Finding scholarships can be a difficult process. There are so many to apply for, how can you know which ones will work best for you? These websites will help you figure out how to navigate this process.

Local scholarships often give you the best chance, since there are fewer students applying for them. National scholarships can sometimes be for a larger amount, but there may be hundreds of thousands of students applying.

Keep your security in mind as you search. Don't give out personal information unless you're sure the scholarship is reputable. You should never pay for information on financial aid. The Federal Trade Commission's $cholarship $cams has some guidance about what to watch out for. Also check out Don't Get Hooked on the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators web site.

Independent Colleges of Washington

This association has several scholarships for students who attend its member colleges (Gonzaga University, Heritage University, Pacific Lutheran University, Saint Martin's University, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound, Walla Walla University, Whitman College, Whitworth University). was created by the state Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Washington Scholarship Coalition (Independent Colleges of Washington is a member). It matches students with local scholarships in Washington. It is designed to make applying to scholarship easy, personalized, secure, and SPAM free.

Federal Government

This web site provides a scholarship search engine and an ability to search by key word.


This comprehensive web site will help you search for scholarships. It is a membership site, so your information may be sold to other companies. However it is an excellent resource for national and local scholarships.

A guide to the scholarship application process from Sam Lim, Washington student. This site can connect you with mentors who have been successful in receiving scholarships.

Scholarship America is the nation's largest nonprofit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization.

College Planning Network

This site allows you to search for scholarships based on criteria that fit your strengths.

A great all around guide to getting the money it takes to go to college.

In addition to a scholarship search mechanism, this website, sponsored by a large student loan provider, features many other resources for applying to college.

Funded in part by a grant from
the Ben B. Cheney Foundation
published by Independent Colleges of Washington