Career and Technical Scholarship (CTS) Applicants

Spring 2023 Career & Technical Scholarship recipients have been selected!

All applicants were notified of their selection status by e-mail. Selected applicants must follow the link in their email to accept their award by March 12, 2023.

Exciting news!
More Washington residents are now eligible for
the Career and Technical Scholarship.

What Changed:

  • CTS applicants no longer need to have earned their high school diploma or GED from a Washington state institution. They just need to be Washington residents with a high school diploma or equivalent.

  • Rural Jobs Initiative (RJI) applicants can now attend any community and technical college campus, so long as they're a resident of a rural county. Rural counties include all counties in Washington EXCEPT King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Thurston, Clark, Benton and Spokane. Note that applicants qualifying under the small school provision will still need to attend a campus located in a rural county.

The Career and Technical Scholarship (CTS) supports Washington students on their path to high-demand trade, STEM, and health care occupations. To be eligible, Scholars must enroll in an approved program, such as welding, manufacturing, or IT, at one of Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges or with an approved apprenticeship program sponsor. Scholars are eligible to receive up to $1,500 each quarter for the duration of their associate degree, certificate, or apprenticeship program. These scholarship funds are flexible and can be used to cover tuition, fees, and other costs of attendance, such as housing, transportation, food, and more.

Scholars that intend to earn their bachelor's degree after the completion of their program are not eligible for CTS and are instead encouraged to review the Baccalaureate Scholarship (BaS).

The information below describes the application timeline, eligibility requirements, and application requirements.

Application Timeline: Key Milestones & Dates

WSOS accepts applications for the CTS three times each academic year. Approximately half of the scholarships are awarded for the fall, with the other half awarded between the winter and spring. The table below shows the timelines for each scholarship window.

Application milestoneWinter Quarter DatesSpring Quarter DatesFall Quarter Dates
Application opensSeptember 21, 2022January 4, 2023April 12, 2023
Application deadlineOctober 23, 2022February 5, 2023June 6, 2023
FAFSA/WASFA submittedOctober 28, 2022February 5, 2023June 6, 2023
Selection notificationNovember 2022March 2023July 2023

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for the scholarship must meet all of the following criteria:

    • To be eligible for WSOS, a student must be a Washington resident. Students who are Washington residents pay resident (in-state) tuition and fees at all public colleges and universities, and in most cases, a Washington resident is someone who lives in the state for one year immediately prior to starting their college or program. 
    • However, there are other ways to be considered a resident. Applicants with questions should consult their financial aid offices and review the definition of a Washington resident that is outlined in RCW  28B.15.012(2) (a) through (e) and outlined in the WSOS residency summary. 
    • Please read the WSOS residency summary to determine if you are a Washington resident. 
    • Plan to enroll in an eligible program for the upcoming term.
    • Plan to enroll at an eligible Washington state community or technical college or with an approved apprenticeship program sponsor for the upcoming term.
    • Do not intend to earn a bachelor's degree after completion of your program.
    • Plan to enroll in at least six credits every term. Scholars are not required to enroll in summer term.
    • Do not have a bachelor’s degree.
    • For the Career and Technical Scholarship, an applicant must have received his or her high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate. The diploma or high school equivalency does not need to be from a Washington state institution.


Application Checklist

For your application to be considered eligible, you must complete the following steps by the application deadline:

  • Complete all sections of the online application.
  • Submit the FAFSA or WASFA.

Need help preparing for the short answer section of the application? Use the short answer section guide to view example answers and guiding points as you prepare for the short answer section of the application.

Selection & Notification

The Board of Directors is ultimately responsible for deciding which factors determine Scholar selection. The criteria upon which selection is based varies year to year but generally include a combination of students’ financial need, intended program of study and academic achievement.

Applicants will be notified about the selection decision by the date listed on the table above. Students who are not selected are invited to reapply in future application periods if they meet eligibility criteria.

Selection notification emails are sent to the email address applicants provide on the application; we strongly encourage all applicants to carefully enter their email and to add to their list of trusted senders.


The Rural Jobs Initiative (RJI) connects rural communities to the skills they need to access opportunities in their own backyards. RJI was created in recognition that rural residents face considerable barriers in accessing community and technical colleges, and rural communities struggle to attract and retain talent.

Our goal is to ensure those farthest from the state’s community and technical colleges have a path to earning a credential that will lead to a high-demand job in their rural community.

Eligible programs are carefully cultivated to represent the unique needs of each rural community and in recognition of the barriers facing rural students. We support programs that are short-duration, online, locally based and lead to jobs in that Scholar’s rural community.

Recipients of the Rural Jobs Initiative will receive an additional $2,000 in their first quarter, $1,000 in their second quarter and $500 per quarter for the remainder of their program.

Eligibility for the Rural Jobs initiative:


  • Either:
    • Be a resident of a rural county, which includes all counties in Washington EXCEPT King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Thurston, Clark, Benton and Spokane; OR
    • Have graduated from a Washington state high school in a district with fewer than 2,000 students AND be enrolled at one of Washington's community and technical colleges located in a rural county while receiving this scholarship
      • Campuses located in a rural county include: Bellingham Technical College, Big Bend Community College, Centralia College, Columbia Basin College, Grays Harbor College, Lower Columbia College, Olympic College (Shelton campus only), Peninsula College, Skagit Valley College, Spokane Community College (Colville, Inchelium, Ione, Newport and Republic campuses only), Walla Walla Community College, Wenatchee Valley College, Whatcom Community College and Yakima Valley College.



  • Be enrolled in a certificate, degree, or other industry-recognized credential or training program that prepares students for a high-employer-demand field.

We ask partners and stakeholders around the state to help us ensure we support trade, health care and STEM programs that reflect local workforce needs. Please contact if you would like to recommend an associate degree, certificate or apprenticeship program to add to the list. WSOS will consider adding programs that can be verified as high-demand through data and other evidence.


Application Process

Interested applicants must complete the entire application process if they are to be considered. Applicants must:

  1. Complete all sections of the online application.
  2. Submit the FAFSA or WASFA for the relevant academic year by the application deadline.
The application will require approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete. Applicants may start the application, save progress and return to complete it later up until the application deadline.
Applicants should know what college they will enroll in and what program they intend to complete. For more information about eligible programs visit the eligible programs list. 

Applying for CTS during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Looking for community, campus or professional development resources?

Visit the WSOS Resource Guide for Career and Technical Scholars.

WSOS is taking every effort to support CTS applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic. With thousands in our state out of work, WSOS is an important tool to help Washington get back to work and into economic and financial recovery. CTS is available to residents of any age who are out of work or looking to reskill, as well as to high school seniors looking to continue their education. Our funds are flexible, and we provide support beyond tuition to cover costs such as transportation, medical bills, food and housing.

If you have any concerns or questions please reach out to

In addition, we’ve compiled this list of resources to help students maintain their financial, mental and physical health and well-being. We encourage any Scholars or applicants whose financial status has changed significantly to talk to the financial aid office at their college to see if there is a possibility to adjust their award level and access more support.

Still have questions?

We’re here to help.

Sign up here for more information about the Career and Technical Scholarship.