Increase Overview

All Opportunity Scholars enter the program at Award Level 1.  While at Award Level 1, the academic year total received by students is $2,500. Students will receive Level 1 funding until they submit an Award Increase Request. See Annual Award Amounts for more details.

The Awards Increase Request process described below applies for all Opportunity Scholars except:

  • Scholars studying nursing at a community college on the ADN/DTA track. Click Award Increase Request - ADN DTA Program to review how the award increase request differs for this program.
  • Scholars at The Evergreen State College. We acknowledge that The Evergreen State College (TESC) does not provide the documents required for the increase request. WSOS will work with TESC to confirm credits and major of study at time of renewal.

To increase their scholarship beyond Level 1, Scholars must:

  • Have earned at least 90 quarter or 60 semester credits
  • Been accepted into an eligible, high-demand major from the list of approved majors
  • Be enrolled at an eligible institution offering a bachelor’s degree in the field of study.

Increase Deadline

To maintain their scholarship, Scholars must submit an Award Increase Request by October 1 of the year they are required to do so.  (See Annual Award Amounts for more details.) Scholars can find their personalized increase deadline by logging in to the Scholar Portal.

Although Scholars have until the increase deadline to submit their paperwork, they are encouraged to submit their Award Increase Request as soon as they meet the requirements, as this will allow them to maximize the funding received.

Required Documents

Award Increase Requests must be submitted through the Scholar Portal. For an Award Increase Request to be complete, Scholars must upload the required documentation within their request:

  1. A Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) letter from the college or university
  1. An unofficial transcript


What is a CIP code? 

The Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code is a national classification system for all majors, minors, options, and courses.

All majors have a CIP code. Universities and colleges may have the same CIP code for a major, but the name of the major/program may be displayed differently depending on the institution and department. WSOS references CIP codes as they are same across all institutions.

  • Example: CIP Code: 11.0103 Program Name:
    • University of Washington - Seattle: Human Centered Design and Engineering
    • University of Washington - Tacoma: Information Technology
    • Central Washington University - Information Technology & Administrative Management

The CIP letter will be produced by colleges and universities (typically a department head, advisor or registrar) upon request. College officials may use the letter/email template for guidance. We do not accept major acceptance letters. The CIP letter must comply with the following guidelines:

  • The format can either be printed on college letterhead or an email with signature line.
  • The letter must be signed or include the signature block from the college or university registrar or faculty member in the department from which a Scholar will receive the degree.
  • The letter must state the:
    1. Name of the major into which the student has been accepted (not a “declared” major);
    2. CIP code for the eligible major; AND
    3. Date the student was accepted into the major (not an major/program acceptance letter).

The unofficial college or university transcript must confirm:

  • Student has earned at least 60 semester or 90 quarter credits.
  • The student is enrolled at either a four-year, eligible college or university or at a community college that offers a bachelor’s degree.


Why submit a transcript?

  • This will be will used by WSOS to determine the next corresponding award level based on total credits earned (including all running-start or transfer credits).



  • See eligible CIP codes and their corresponding majors here.
  • UW scholars may learn more about UW CIP letter requests here.



Q: I am an incoming scholar with running start credits, have been accepted into my major, but I do not have a transcript yet from my new institution, can I apply for an increase?

A: Yes! However, your next institution must accept 90 or more credits upon entering the program. If this is the case, please provide our Awards team with a contact from your program to confirm your credit rollover to your new institution.

Q: My increase was denied due to an ineligible CIP code, can I still be eligible for WSOS funding?

A: If the CIP code does not match one of those listed on our approved majors list, you will become ineligible for funding through WSOS. Unfortunately, we are not able to fund all majors, and because we are partially state funded, we must act in accordance to state statute. We are unable to make exceptions for programs that are not on our approved programs list. In order to maintain eligibility within our program, you would need to consider pursuing similar, approved degrees, or perhaps double majoring in a separate approved degree.

Determining in Which Term Increase Will Take Effect

Once a valid Award Increase Request is approved, WSOS staff will determine in which term the increased award will take effect. Two factors impact this: date accepted into major indicated on the CIP letter and date the increase request was submitted. WSOS staff will consider both dates and choose the later of the two. That date will determine when the increased award amount will be applied:

If it is determined the increase should take place in the current term and an initial disbursement was sent out prior to the increase being processed, a second disbursement will be scheduled to account for the owed difference.  If the award increase is to take effect in the following term, future disbursements will be scheduled reflecting the increase.

Determining Award Level

When a student’s Award Increase Request is approved, Scholars will be assigned the appropriate Award Level based on the credits on their transcript. If the increase will take effect in the current term, WSOS will count only earned credits.  If the increase will take effect in the following term, WSOS will count all earned plus pending credits. Those credits will then be compared against the table below to determine the appropriate Award Level:

Award Levels and Amounts

For each term after increase, the student’s funding will automatically progress to the next sequential award level. There is no need to submit increase paperwork or confirm credits at any other time as long as the student remains enrolled in the same college or university and major you were approved an increase for.

If a student does decides to make change after  another eligible major after they have been approved for increase, they will need to notify WSOS and email a new CIP letter from the college or university. See the Required Documents in the section above to review  the CIP letter requirements. When students reach the end of leveled funding (beyond Level 10Q or Level 7 S), they will be withdrawn from the program. See Annual Award Amounts for more details.