The innovative public-private partnership known as the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) announced its newest cohort of 750 Scholars from across the state this week — 500 of these are current high school seniors, 250 are current college freshman or sophomores.
In total 137 local high-school seniors submitted applications (3,402 applications statewide) for the WSOS scholarship toward the Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) baccalaureate program at the Washington college or university of their choice – 35 local students were selected to receive the award, combined these awards totaled up to $787,500.00.
This cohort of scholarship recipients represents the ninth since WSOS was first created in 2011. Supporting STEM education across the state is critical to Washington’s future economy. Every region in Washington continues to grapple with a shortage of students graduating with the STEM degrees and training needed to meet employer demand. The unique model of private sector investment from companies like Microsoft and Boeing, matched dollar-for-dollar by the state of Washington is helping fill the gap.
The scholarship provides up to $22,500, over 5 years, in financial aid along with innovative student support services designed to reduce barriers for low- and middle-income students to pursue a high-demand STEM, or health care degree, and launch a career in Washington State.
This year’s applicant pool represents the most competitive yet as the number of scholarships offered this year was reduced. In 2015, a generous donor enabled WSOS to increase the number of scholars selected to as many as 1,850 for four years. The last of these large cohorts was selected in 2019. This year, WSOS returned to a cohort of 750 scholars.
Locally, the Apple STEM Network and the North Central Educational Services District, partnered with dozens of high school counselors, educators, administrators, and community partners to support and encourage students to submit their applications. These champions have a tremendous impact as they ensure that students in rural districts are aware of this opportunity.
“In these highly unusual times, it is truly uplifting to have an opportunity to celebrate these students and their plans for the future.” Jenny Rojanasthein, Executive Director, GWATA and Co-Director, Apple STEM Network.
|WSOS Scholarships Awarded – $22,500 each