Scholarships are gift aid. Scholarships are an excellent resource for students seeking help with the cost of a college education.

Scholarship awards are usually based on academic achievement, performance, talent, leadership, community service or financial need.

Types of Scholarships

In general, there are two types of scholarships: institutional scholarships from the college you are attending and outside scholarships from community or government organizations.

Instituitional Scholarships

To recognize academic achievement, CWU awards tuition scholarships and/or scholarships to freshman and transfers entering CWU in the fall. This gift aid selection is based on a combination of high school GPA and standardized test scores for freshman and the GPA for transfers.

These awards are merit based and granted for the first year of instruction at CWU. To be eligible for this merit gift aid, students must be admitted to CWU by February 1. We encourage you to apply for admission through the CWU website. The online admission application will expedite the admissions process and enable you to be considered for these merit based scholarships and/or scholarships that are only available to early applicants.

The CWU Scholarships website includes a link to the Scholarship Central application and links to departmental scholarship information for active students to apply for CWU Foundation scholarships. 

Some CWU Foundation Scholarships are based on Financial Need and to be considered for these you must complete the FAFSA by the scholarship due date.

Outside Scholarships

Autumn is considered scholarship “hunting season” for the next academic year. We encourage you to contact service organizations from your community. From the Scholarship website you can access links to search engines. Please be aware that legitimate scholarship opportunities do not require an application fee. The Financial Aid Office staff updates the listing of scholarships year round and we are available to answer your scholarship application questions by phone, e-mail or in-person during business hours Monday through Friday 9 am – 5 pm in Bouillon 106.

You should direct the donor organizations of your outside scholarships to send their scholarship checks directly to the Financial Aid Office payable to “CWU F.B.O. (For the benefit of) Your Name.” Please direct the donor to include your student identification number on the check.

Most scholarships will be disbursed evenly across three academic quarters, unless the donor specifies otherwise. An outside scholarship may result in an adjustment to other aid. Our policy is to reduce the least desirable aid first whenever possible (i.e. PLUS, unsubsidized student loan, etc.). Please be aware that there are very strict federal rules regarding gift aid and financial aid Need. We will comply with all required regulations when processing your aid. Your other aid will be adjusted if necessary when we receive notice of a scholarship award. Please note that you are required to notify the Financial Aid Office of all outside resources, even if scholarship funds are paid directly to you.

Some donors may not send the funds in time for financial aid refund day. It is your responsibility to make sure you have enough funds to cover your financial obligation to CWU on the date your fees are due. Speak with a financial aid counselor if you need help. Enrollment in the CWU Payment Plan is available at the beginning of each term, and short term loans may also be available.

Students seeking verification of enrollment may submit a request via the Registrar's online verification of enrollment page. Paper enrollment verification forms can be submitted to the Registrar’s Office for completion.

Third Party Aid

Some students receive assistance with college costs from a third party. Some of these sources include DVR, ROTC, AmeriCorps, Army Tuition Assistance, and employer tuition-assistance plans. You are required to notify the Financial Aid Office of any resource or guaranteed source available to you for college costs. Your award will be adjusted to reflect these resources.

Learn more about Scholarships

Answering Your Questions

  • How do I get scholarships?

    CWU students can apply for over 300 scholarships using the Scholarship Central application.

  • What is Scholarship Central?

    The Scholarship Central search application will enter you into consideration for more than 300 scholarships available only to CWU students.

  • When does the Scholarship Central Application close?

    The Scholarship Central application opens on October 1st and closes on March 1st.

  • Why is my scholarship not showing on my bill?

    Your scholarship may not show as pending aid if CWU has yet to receive the check or if there is a delay in processing due to the volume of scholarships received.

    If a scholarship check does not have the student’s name and CWU ID number it can’t be processed and will be returned to the donor. And checks written to the student cannot be deposited if not endorsed. If the check does not clearly indicate it is a scholarship, it may be processed as a direct payment to the student’s account and not appear as financial aid.

CWU News

CWU Business faculty dedicated to helping small-town small businesses grow

November 29, 2023


Sponsors needed for annual CWU President's Holiday Gift Project

November 29, 2023


More News