Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards


I received a scholarship from a private donor/foundation. Where should they send the check?

The UW Student Fiscal Services Office handles all scholarship payments to students’ accounts. Please see their Private Scholarships page for complete instructions regarding mailing and payment disbursements.

Can you give me a scholarship?

The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards does have a few scholarship programs that we manage which are open to UW undergraduate students through competitive application processes. Those scholarships are: UW Class of 1954 Endowed Scholarship, UW Class of 1957 Scholar Award, UW Class of 1962 Endowed Scholarship, Philip Yin & Friends American Dream Foundation Scholarship, and the Martin Family Foundation Scholarships. However, our main mission is to gather and disseminate information about scholarships available to UW undergraduates broadly, well beyond just those few scholarships we administer. The best way to stay informed about scholarships is to visit our online scholarship database.

Does your office provide scholarship information for graduate students?

The primary mission of the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards is to serve undergraduate students at the University of Washington. However, a select number of national scholarships require nomination from your undergraduate institution. If you are a graduate student who received your undergraduate degree at the UW, you must contact us to learn how to apply for national scholarships, such as the Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes etc.

Graduate students seeking funding information should contact the Fellowships & Awards Division of the UW Graduate School. In addition, the Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) helps identify resources for external funding for graduate students (masters and doctoral level).

Where can I get information about the Purple & Gold Scholarship?

The UW Admissions Office manages the selection process for the Purple & Gold Scholarship for incoming out-of-state freshmen. Disbursement of funds is managed by Student Fiscal Services. Please contact those offices for additional information.

What scholarships are available for out-of-state residents?

As an out-of-state student, it is more difficult to find local funding sources, but scholarships available nationally offer great opportunities. There are also some internal UW scholarships and local scholarships that are open to all undergraduate students regardless of residency or citizenship status. Departmental scholarships for students in a specific major don’t usually require in-state residency. Mary Gates Endowment Scholarships are open to all UW undergraduates. Please see our pages on searching for scholarships for further information.

I am not currently a student at the University of Washington, but would like a scholarship. Is this possible?

The UW Admissions Office is the best resource for students considering applying to UW. Unfortunately, the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards does not offer scholarships to incoming freshmen, nor are we involved in the awarding of scholarships to incoming freshmen. Instead, we serve as a clearinghouse of scholarship information. In this capacity, we gather information on funding opportunities (from both local and national sources) for which University of Washington students could apply. Please see our Prospective Students page for further information.

How do I get an athletic scholarship to play for a UW team?

Athletic scholarships for UW’s sports teams are handled by the UW Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Please visit their page for Recruits to learn more, and contact the coaches for your sport directly to inquire about scholarships.

What research scholarships are available?

There are a number of research scholarships available to undergraduates at UW. The Undergraduate Research Program (URP) is probably the best place to begin your search. You should also contact your department for information about resources for research scholarships.

Please see our page on Research Scholarships for a selected listing.

I am thinking about coming to the University of Washington. How do I find more information about and apply for scholarships?

As a prospective freshman, we suggest that you begin with the UW Admissions Office. They will provide you with important information about the University of Washington’s admissions process.

The Office of Student Financial Aid provides information for prospective freshman on the various scholarships offered through the Office of Admissions, academic departments and programs, and private foundations/programs.

Please see our Prospective Students page for further information.

How do I get funding as an international student?

If you are a current UW student, please see our Scholarship Lists by Category page for further information and additional resources specifically for international students. International students at UW do have access to limited institutional funding options. Though not exhaustive, this list includes merit-based scholarships available through academic departments, other scholarships open to all UW students, grants that support specific experiences (such as the research and leadership scholarships available through the Mary Gates Endowment for Students), and on-campus student employment.

If you are a prospective student, please see our Prospective Students page for further information.

When I apply for scholarships, should I list all the scholarships that I have received in the past?

Yes, absolutely! Previous awards provide external affirmation of your achievements and your strengths. They also indicate your interests and academic and professional paths. If you have not yet received any scholarships, don’t be discouraged. There are many ways to demonstrate that you are a competitive applicant for a scholarship opportunity.

If I have yet not received any scholarships, does this mean that I am not a competitive applicant for scholarships?

No, not necessarily. Remember: every scholarship recipient has a “first.” Applying for scholarships does take a commitment of time and energy, and there is no guarantee of selection, which can be frustrating. But each application process can be seen as a learning experience in itself. Even if you’re not ultimately selected to receive the scholarship, you can come away from the process with a greater sense of your motivations, goals, and next steps. And remember, our advisers are available to support you through any application process by giving feedback on essays and resumes, helping you to prepare for a scholarship interview, deciding who to ask and how to ask for letters of recommendation, etc.

Am I required to pay taxes on the scholarships and fellowships I receive?

The general IRS rule is: any scholarship or grant income over and above the amount paid during the tax year for tuition/fees and required books/supplies is considered taxable income. For complete information, please see the UW Office of Student Fiscal Services’ tax information page.