FAQs about Seattle Foundation Scholarships

Interested in learning more about the many different scholarship opportunities available through the Seattle Foundation? Please read through the following FAQs for more information.

General FAQ

  • What is a scholarship?
    A scholarship is a grant or payment made to support a student’s education, awarded based on academic or other achievement.  
  • How can I find a scholarship?
    You can find over 50 scholarships offered at the Seattle Foundation scholarships page. Scholarships are offered in partnerships with individuals, families, and businesses in the Seattle community. 

    Not all scholarships have the same deadlines and eligibility requirements, so it’s important to carefully read requirements. If you have questions regarding eligibility for scholarships, please feel free to reach out to our Scholarships Team telling us about yourself and your educational goals and we will reach out with options within 2 business days.
  • When can I apply for scholarships? 
    Most of our scholarships are launched on the last week of November and close by March 1 the following year. The earlier you submit your application, the better.
  • How can I apply for a scholarship?
    Most of our scholarships can be applied online through SurveyMonkey Apply, Scholarship America, or the Washboard. Please check the current scholarship opportunities for links to the online applications.
  • When will I know if I’ve received a scholarship? 
    Review committees typically take about 6-8 weeks after a scholarship deadline to announce scholarship winners. You will be notified via email on the decision.
  • When can I apply for scholarships? 
    Most of our scholarships are launched on the last week of November and close by March 1 the following year. The earlier you submit your application, the better.
  • If I cannot find any scholarships that I’m eligible for, where else can I look? 
    If you cannot find a scholarship offered at the Seattle Foundation, here are other resources we recommend:

    TheWashBoard (Washington-based students only): Create a profile, and the site will match you with potential scholarship opportunities. It is legitimate and not a scam. Also, check back often for new matches.

    Scholarship America: Check their website. They are a national scholarship provider, so definitely check them out. 

    Dollars for Scholars-This is a local chapter of Scholarship America. Seattle has several chapters. Just google Seattle Dollars for Scholars. If you are not from Seattle, try googling your region and “dollars for scholars.”

    Finally, remember to talk to your high school and prospective college, they may be able to help you find some funding. More places to look into include the following:
    • Businesses, big and small
    • Civic and community organizations
    • Employers
    • Ethnic and cultural organizations
    • High school counseling offices
    • Local governments
    • Military associations
    • Political parties and politicians
    • Professional or trade organizations
    • Religious organizations

Award Process

  • I was notified I won a scholarship. What are the next steps?
    Congratulations! Seattle Foundation will send you award paperwork to complete from our platform, DocuSign, via email. Please check your spam/junk folder if you have not received it. The deadline to accept a scholarship award is July 15. Notice for award deferral is September 1
  • I am being asked to provide an “unofficial transcript.” Which transcript am I required to provide?
    If you are a graduating high school senior, the transcript in question is the final copy of your complete high school transcript. If you are an undergraduate or graduate student, the transcript in question is the most recently completed academic semester or quarter in your current course of studies.
  • What information should I include in my thank you or academic progress letter?
    Students who receive a scholarship through the Seattle Foundation are required to provide a thank you letter for the donor. In past examples, students have shared information about themselves (interests, talents, hobbies etc.,) along with what they are most looking forward to in the coming academic year. For awards that are renewable, a thank you letter is required each year in the form of an academic progress letter. This letter is structured as an ongoing dialogue between the student and the scholarship committee, sharing any personal or academic successes that the student wishes to highlight and/or challenges that they have overcome during the school year. The length for all letters is typically between 1 to 2 pages.
  • What is a deferral?
    A deferral is a request to postpone claiming scholarship funds. Deferral paperwork must be completed by September 1. Deferral is on a case-by-case basis and will need to be approved by the scholarship committee. The maximum time allotted to defer is one school year.
  • What is expected family income?
    Expected family income (EFC) is an index number used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. Schools use the EFC to determine your federal aid eligibility and financial aid award. Payment of the scholarship award for mandatory fees up to and not exceeding your EFC such as tuition and housing/dining costs will be made directly to your college or university by Seattle Foundation and deposited to your student account. The scholarship does not pay for non-mandatory fees such as travel expenses, study abroad, school games, etc.
  • Can my scholarship funds be sent directly to me?
    Seattle Foundation cannot send checks directly to scholarship recipients. All scholarship funds must be sent to the student’s institution where financial aid can release funds into student accounts. Here are other options:
    • Deferral of the award for a term or year (if a student has other awards that year, this allows them to use their scholarship in the future).
    • Converting the award to a “last-in” scholarship and working with a school’s financial aid office to ensure other aid is applied and using the scholarship to cover any remaining tuition.
    • Breaking the award into 2 smaller distributions during the year rather than paying as a lump sum.
    • If a student is living on campus, the funds can be sent to a student’s housing department to be credited toward dorm and meal plan expenses as opposed to tuition. Similarly, funds can be sent to the official campus bookstore to cover textbooks and other class materials.