APPLY for a Scholarship

APPLICATIONS FOR 2020-21 Now Available!

Note:  Due to the Coronavirus we will allow late applications anytime for winter or spring 2021 school. Applications for fall 2021 will be available in February.

Welcome applicants!!  We’ve made some important changes so please read all of the below information carefully.

For 2020-21, we have two different applications:  one for NEW applicants, and one for RETURNING applicants.  NEW applicants are students who have never received a scholarship from us.  Please click on the appropriate application below.

application for new applicants

application for returning applicants

Who is eligible for a scholarship?

Any student who has attended the Seattle World School (SWS) since 2007, and who is graduating or has graduated from any Seattle public high school, including the Seattle World School.  Past SWS students who have started college already are also eligible.

SWS alumni who aged out or will age out of any Seattle public school before graduating are also eligible.

Students who have been awarded in prior years are welcome to apply again.

Students are eligible regardless of immigration status.  If you cannot get financial aid due to status, you may be eligible for additional scholarship support.  We encourage you to continue with your education plans to the extent possible.

Students who sign up for the Promise program are eligible as Promise only covers tuition.  You may apply if you are low income and need additional funds to be able to continue your education.

What makes this scholarship special?

You can apply every year that you are in college or vocational training.  We get to know you and help make sure you have what you need to succeed in completing your education or training.  You can ask for as much or as little help as you need.  We are dedicated to helping Seattle’s English language learners — immigrants and refugees — continue their education.

How much money is available?

In 2019, $75,000 was awarded. This year, we hope to raise at least that amount for 2020-21 awards.  All money raised each year is given out to students.  Annual awards have ranged from $250 to $3500, as well as a laptop for all new students who need one.    Students who don’t need funds this year can still apply to be part of our mentorship program which provides tutoring, help with English, and other support.

This year we are partnering with the Rotary Club of the University District, Seattle.  We will be submitting 5-10 students’ applications for their larger awards.  If you are in another high school, you can also apply directly to the Rotary Club Scholarship.  It is okay to apply for both the Rotary and our scholarships.

We give larger awards to students who are not eligible for FAFSA, who are attending four year college, and who are juniors or seniors in college.  We try to give extra funds to students who are homeless, who do not have family support, are working many hours to support their families, and others with special needs.

How can you use scholarship funds?

Expenses related to continuing your education or training after high school, for public community college, University, or vocational training in the state of Washington.  This includes:

  • Tuition aid for community college, university, or work training program
  • Books or supplies required for educational program
  • Help with transportation to school or work training program (e.g., ORCA card)
  • Room/board expenses for 4 year college students
  • Help with purchasing a laptop or tools for vocational program
  • Fees for placement tests and other tests, and for applications (e.g. transfer applications to 4 year schools)
  • Food assistance
  • Help with emergency health expenses, glasses, dental, etc.
  • Other needs will be considered – tell us if you have special circumstances.

Funds will be paid directly to the institution, bookstore, or agency where they will be used.  No checks will be issued directly to students. Funds are awarded once a student has registered for their college or vocational program classes, has received their FAFSA or WASFA award (if eligible), and has a student ID.

How are scholarship winners selected and awarded?

A committee of Seattle World School Friends, administrators, staff, and community volunteers will review applications in June and July 2020.   Rotary members will review a select group and interview students. (Note: reviews are later this year due to Covid19.)

All new applicants who meet our criteria will be interviewed.  Selection is based on financial need, student effort, character, contribution to the community, and academic improvement and success.  We award not only those students with high GPAs, but also those with lower GPAs who are working hard to improve.  We look for demonstrated effort, commitment to a good future, and need for financial assistance.

Students will be notified by late June if they have been selected for an interview. Award amounts will be determined after students have received their FAFSA (financial aid) , WASFA, Promise awards, and other scholarships, so that the committee can identify gaps in funding.   All students must first apply for financial aid unless there are special circumstances.  Checks will be sent directly to the students’ educational institutions after students are registered for class.

To continue in the program, scholarship recipients will be expected to share progress updates quarterly with the scholarship committee.  This will require updating email and phone contact information as needed.

 How to Submit your Application

When completed, applications should be emailed to:   You can fill it out online in Word, save, and submit by email.  NO GOOGLE DOCS will be accepted.  No applications requiring permission to view will be accepted.

Make sure you follow instructions about format for essays, photos, etc.   Plan ahead – don’t wait until the last minute!!

Please email Nancy Peterfreund, Program Director, if you have any questions: