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Prospective Students

Merit Tuition Awards for Incoming Freshmen directly from high school

To recognize the academic achievement of talented incoming high school graduates, CWU awards Merit Tuition Awards to selected students who are admitted to Central each year by February 1, and who will start school in the upcoming fall. These tuition awards are based on the applicants' high school GPA and standardized test scores.  You must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA or better for each term while receiving a merit tuition award. If you fail to maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA, your award will be canceled for that academic term.

Students must submit a final high school transcript showing graduation date to the Admissions office to be eligible for merit award disbursement.
Eligible students who apply after February 1st will be considered for merit awards as funds remain available.

Merit Tuition Awards for Transfer Students

To recognize the academic achievement of talented transfer students, CWU awards a limited number of Merit Tuition Awards to transfer students admitted to CWU on or before February 1st of each year and who will start in the upcoming Fall Term. The tuition awards are based on the applicant's transfer GPA of 3.50 and above. The number of transfer tuition awards available and amounts of transfer tuition awards are subject to change each year.

Freshman and transfer Merit Tuition Awards will be granted only for the first year of attendance. You do not need to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for merit tuition awards. You must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA or better for each term while receiving a merit tuition award. If you fail to maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA, your award will be canceled for that academic term.

CWU Employee Dependent Tuition Waiver Program

Eligible dependents of CWU Employees may have up to 50% of their tuition waived at CWU.  For more information, contact Human Resources or access this waiver request form.

Early Scholar Award Program

First-time freshmen with CWU enrollment prior to high school graduation through CWU Cornerstone, CWU College in the High School, or Running Start at CWU will be given a $500 tuition award, provided they have earned a 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher in their CWU courses.

The Douglas Honors College Tuition Awards

First-time freshmen who participate in the Douglas Honors College will receive a $1,000 tuition award.  For more information, visit the Douglas Honors College webpage.

Science Talent Expansion Program

First-time freshmen that participate in the STEP program will receive a $1,050 tuition award.  For more information, visit the STEP webpage.

All-Washington Academic Team Students

Any student who is part of Phi Theta Kappa's All-Washington Academic Team will receive a tuition award if they enroll full-time at CWU. 

If you have not been offered the Transfer Tuition Award as part of your financial aid package, you must contact the Financial Aid Office and inform us that you are a member of the All-Washington Academic Team and you intend to enroll at Central. We will verify your membership and add the tuition award to your financial aid package. If you have been awarded the Transfer Tuition Award of $1,200 as part of your financial aid package, you will not be offered an additional amount based on your All-Washington Academic Team status.

This award is for one year only; it is not renewable for subsequent years at Central.


Incoming freshman and continuing students may complete the General Scholarship Application to be considered for the many CWU Foundation scholarships available. Applications are accepted each year from October 1st to February 1st for incoming freshman, transfer students and continuing students. Students complete the GSA by logging into MyCWU and then "Self Service" to access "Campus Finances" and the "Scholarship Application. Many scholarships offered through the General Scholarship Application do not require submission of additional materials, but some do. Carefully read the descriptions of the scholarships to see if additional materials (essays, letters of recommendation, etc.) are required. You are strongly encouraged to take the extra step and submit additional materials for those scholarships for which you qualify.

Performance and Talent Awards

The departments of Athletics, Music and Theatre Arts offer aid based on demonstrated ability to academically qualified students. Individual coaches identify recipients through their recruiting process. For more information, visit the CWU Wildcat Athletics website.  The scholarships offered by the Departments of Music and Theatre Arts are available to both entering and currently enrolled students at CWU and are granted by audition. For more information, visit their respective websites.

To qualify for a Performance Tuition Award given by Music or Theatre Arts, you must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA for each term to continue receiving your award.

The Deans' Scholars Program

Each College Dean has funds available for academically gifted incoming freshmen or continuing students. Students receiving aid from the Deans' Scholars Program must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA for each term to continue receiving the award.

Financial Aid

Students who want to receive any state, federal, or institutional (grants, scholarships, tuition awards, work study, and loans) must complete the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the Financial Aid Office priority deadline of February 1 each year to be considered. Applications received after the priority deadline will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis subject to available funding. Merit tuition awards and many GSA scholarships do not require demonstration of financial need. Entering first-year students (freshmen) who meet the merit-based AI requirement and have need as calculated by the Federal Need Analysis Formula will receive a comparable need-based tuition waiver. New students who qualify for a tuition award through the admission process may also receive a need-based tuition award, but the total for both tuition awards will not exceed $3,000.

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