Freshman Out-of-State Scholarships

Scholarships for freshmen from outside Washington

Western Washington University offers merit-based scholarships for talented students coming from outside of Washington State, including the highly competitive Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program and additional awards. Admitted freshmen are automatically considered for these scholarships based on information provided in the application for admission – no separate scholarship application is required. 

To be considered for out-of-state scholarships, a student must:

  • Be an incoming freshman admitted for fall quarter – transfer students and current Western Washington University students are not eligible
  • Be a permanent resident of a state other than Washington, or a resident of British Columbia
  • Have an exceptionally strong academic record

Additionally, students may major in any campus program, however scholarships cannot be applied to foreign study, off-campus, or other non-state supported programs. The WUE, WAE, WAA and IAA cannot be combined. Availability and amounts for all scholarships are subject to change.

Western Award for Excellence (WAE)

This highly competitive $32,000 merit scholarship for incoming freshmen provides an $8,000 per year tuition waiver for four years of study.  The WAE is awarded based on academic performance, including unweighted cumulative GPA and standardized test scores. On average, recipients have a 3.8 GPA and a 28 ACT or 1310 SAT and have taken rigorous coursework throughout high school.

The Western Award for Excellence is awarded based on information provided in the application for admission, no separate application is required.  Students are notified of their scholarship by mail typically 3-4 weeks after the point of admission. Scholarship notification begins in early December and students are notified by mid-April.

Western Achievement Award (WAA)

The Western Achievement Award is a competitive $20,000-$24,000 merit scholarship for incoming freshmen provides a $5,000-$6,000 per year tuition waiver for four years of study. The WAA is awarded based on academic performance measured by both unweighted cumulative high school GPA, and standardized test scores. Recipients have a 3.6 GPA and a 24 ACT or 1180 SAT on average and have taken rigorous coursework throughout high school. 

The WAA is awarded based on information provided in the application for admission, no separate application is required. Students are notified of their scholarship by mail after the point of admission. Scholarship notification begins in early December and students are notified by mid-April.

Western Undergraduate Exchange Program (WUE)

At Western Washington University, the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) Program is highly competitive. Approximately, the top 10-15% of our incoming freshmen from participating states are granted this tuition waiver based on their academic performance. The WUE program reduces non-resident tuition to 150% of the in-state rate for four years of study and cannot be combined with other out-of-state scholarships. For the 2017-2018 academic year, tuition for a WUE recipient at Western will be approximately $9,375. 

The WUE is awarded to students who are residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah or Wyoming. 

Selection for this scholarship is based on information provided in the application for admission, including unweighted cumulative GPA and standardized test scores. Past recipients have a 3.9 GPA and a 30 ACT or 1400 SAT on average and have taken rigorous coursework throughout high school.

Leadership, diversity & other scholarships

Western has a number of additional programs that recognize a student’s experience and potential for success in leadership, service learning and program involvement. Western’s Distinguished Scholars programs combine students’ interests and experience with distinctive opportunities on campus and may also include a scholarship. Additional scholarships are available for continuing students through their academic department or involvement on campus. Check out the Scholarship Center to learn more. 

Multicultural Achievement Program Scholarship

The Multicultural Achievement Program (MAP) Scholarship ranges from $2,000-$3,000 the first year and is awarded to freshmen and transfer students whose applications demonstrate an ongoing commitment to multiculturalism. Interested students are encouraged to use the application essay to demonstrate how they are actively promoting multiculturalism in their schools or communities. Alternatively, to be considered, students may also submit a separate MAP scholarship essay to admissions.counselors@wwu.edu. Priority is given to residents of Washington state who submit their application for admission by the January 31 deadline. 

Fairhaven College Entrance Scholarships

Fairhaven College Entrance Scholarships are awarded to freshmen and transfer students who are new to both Western Washington University and Fairhaven College. Selection is based on financial need and academic ability. Scholarships are approximately $500 per academic year. Contact Fairhaven College at (360) 650-3680 for details.

Pete Steffens Native American Scholarship

The Pete Steffens Native American Scholarship was established in honor of former professor Pete Steffens, an advocate, journalist and one of the founding professors of the Department of Journalism. Western students are eligible to receive the scholarship in any year of their studies, from their freshman year through graduate studies. Preference is given to Native American and other Indigenous students from the U.S. or Canada, those with financial need and students interested in studying journalism. Applications will be available mid-May.

National Merit Scholarship Program

Western Washington University recognizes National Merit Finalists with a guarantee of a minimum scholarship award combination of $10,000 across all university scholarships, distributed over four years of consecutive undergraduate study. To be eligible, National Merit Finalists must indicate Western Washington University as their first choice school on their Online Scholarship Application (OSA) with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation by May 15.