Washington State Governors' Scholarship for Foster Youth

Website: Washington State Governor's Scholarship for Foster Youth


The Washington State Governors’ Scholarship for Foster Youth is a scholarship program that helps young men and women from foster care continue their education and earn a college degree. The program is supported by Gov. Jay Inslee, The Honorable Chris Gregoire (former governor), The Honorable Gary Locke (former governor), and other former governors in Washington State.

Proceeds from the Governors’ Cup – an annual golf tournament – provide funding for approximately 30-40 new scholars each year who are planning to enroll in a Washington state college or university. Scholarship award amounts range from $2,000 to $4,000 depending on the college of attendance.

Selected students can access the annual scholarship for up to five years to complete undergraduate studies. Students must be enrolled full time and maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to renew the scholarship each year.


To be considered for the Washington State Governors’ Scholarship, students must:

  • Be a high school senior on track to graduate from a Washington state high school or be on track to obtain a GED from a Washington state institution by June of the year you apply
  • Have a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.0 through fall term
  • Plan to enroll full-time by fall at an eligible college or university in the state of Washington
  • Have resided in Washington state for at least three academic years prior to graduating from high school or obtaining a GED
  • Have applied for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the free Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA)
  • Meet one of the following criteria (either currently or until age 18):
    • Placed by a Washington state court order in any of the following living situations:
      • Foster Care, Guardianship or Dependency Guardianship (non-relatives, relatives, residential/group care)
    • Placed in federally-recognized care (a private nonprofit agency in Washington state), classified as an unaccompanied minor and rendered legal permanent residency in the United States
    • Placed under a dependency tribal court order outside of your home

Applicants are not eligible if they:

  • Have been adopted
  • Returned to live with their parents before turning 18 (regardless of whether the court continued to remain involved)
  • Have had their dependency court order dismissed
  • Were not dependent of a federal, state or tribal court prior to age 18

The Governors' Scholarship was established in 2001 by former Governor Gary Locke who remains a key supporter. Governor Christine Gregoire continues to support it and advocate for the program. The Governors' Scholarship was established to assist Washington youth who will emancipate from state or federally recognized foster, group or kinship care to enroll in and complete degrees or certificates at eligible colleges in Washington. The College Success Foundation manages the Governors' Scholarship program.

According to national statistics, only 50% of all youth who have been in foster care graduate from high school. Less than 13% of those will go on to college or vocational training. In the state of Washington, the high school graduation rate and college attendance rate appears to be even lower than the national statistics.

Contact Information

Applicant Questions and Documents

If you have questions about your application or to submit supporting documentation, please email us.

Please include the following information so that we can identify your application and answer any questions:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Preferred email address
  • Preferred phone number

This will allow us to identify your application and answer any questions. 

Phone: Call toll-free (877) 655-4097 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. PST time Monday through Friday.

If you have trouble logging into the application, please contact the Helpdesk.

Current Scholars

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