Career and Technical Scholarship (CTS) Applicants

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The application for the Career & Technical Scholarship is open now until October 24 at 11:59pm.

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. 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. Learn more about BaS here.

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

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Applying for CTS during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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 read the FAQ below or reach out to

Q: Will I be negatively impacted if my spring quarter grades are pass/fail?
A: We recognize that many schools are moving to pass/fail models for spring coursework. This will not disadvantage any applicant’s likelihood of being accepted to WSOS.

Q: What’s the best way to send transcripts during the pandemic?
A: For those required to submit a transcript or score report, WSOS recommends uploading it electronically as part of the application. While we can accept transcripts sent from any mail carrier, if transcripts need to be mailed in we recommend sending them via USPS postal mail (from a post office). Please note: Many applicants, such as high school seniors, are not required to submit a transcript. See the Transcript Requirements Chart to see which applicants are required to submit a transcript.

Q: Should I still apply for funding even if I’m not sure if my program will be offered due to campus closures related to COVID-19?
A: Absolutely. Applicants should feel comfortable applying for any eligible program. If your program is not available this quarter, we will either hold your award until the campus reopens its programs or allow you to enroll in an available eligible program.

Q: How is WSOS supporting current Scholars during the pandemic and are there plans to provide additional resources?
A: We are in regular communication with Scholars and providing uninterrupted access to their scholarship dollars and support services. 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.

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, 2021January 5, 2022TBA
Application deadlineOctober 24, 2021February 6, 2022TBA
FAFSA/WASFA submittedOctober 21, 2021February 6, 2022TBA
Selection notificationDecember 2021March 2022TBA

Eligibility Requirements

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


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 each of the application components, see the CTS Application Toolkit.

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.

Still have questions?

We’re here to help.

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