WSU expands scholarship programs for Fall 2007

PULLMAN — Washington State University has announced a broad expansion of its scholarship and grant awards, including full payment of tuition and mandatory fees for all low-income and lower middle-income in-state students and an increased pool for merit scholarships.

Dubbed the Cougar Achievement Scholarship Program 2007, the program establishes the new Cougar Commitment and expands the University Achievement Award for fall 2007.

The Cougar Commitment provides students full payment of tuition and mandatory fees if they meet the criteria for State Need Grants or Pell Grants, renewable for up to four years. Generally, this would mean that a  student from a family of four with an income of $46,500 or less could attend any of WSU’s campuses tuition-free.

“As the state’s land-grant university, WSU has long provided financial access to the broadest possible range of qualified students,” said President V. Lane Rawlins. “We are combining and streamlining our scholarship programs in a positive step toward making sure that financial barriers do not prevent any Washington student from pursuing a college degree and to continue to reward and encourage students who work hard and seek a college education.”

Rawlins said WSU re-examined its financial aid plans in light of the recent announcement from the University of Washington of its plan to make a similar guarantee to lower-income students. WSU already was meeting that commitment to most of its current students that met the income criteria.

Through some adjustments to financial aid formulas and an increased investment in aid, WSU now will fill the remaining gap.

University officials estimate that the first year of the Cougar Commitment program will require an additional expenditure of $400,000 in institutional aid. For the 2006 academic year, the university awarded undergraduates with approximately $34.5 million in federal, state and institutional grants to help meet the needs of individual students.

The commitment to lower-income students covers freshmen and transfer students entering the institution in fall 2007 and thereafter.

To qualify, students should apply for admission and complete the WSU scholarship application by January 31, 2007 and complete the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) by March 1, 2007. Qualified students may still receive additional aid based on both merit and need.

WSU also expanded its merit pool for entering freshmen through its University Achievement Award program. University Achievement Awards, which pay from $1,000 to $3,000 and are renewable for a second year, are guaranteed to students who meet scholarship criteria and apply for freshman admission to the Pullman campus by Jan. 31, 2007.

Award levels are set based on high school grade point averages and test scores. Further information on scholarship qualifications is available at

The university offers a variety of other financial-aid awards, based both on financial need and academic merit, for incoming students. WSU also offers Future Cougars of Color Scholarships, for outstanding entering freshmen. Those scholarships – of $1,000, $3,000 and $10,000 – are renewable for up to four years. Students should apply for this program early. Selected applicants are required to attend an event on the Pullman campus, where interviews with faculty determine award levels. Invitations for the event will begin mailing in December.

Incoming freshmen and transfer students may also benefit from more than 700 scholarship awards programs of varying amounts that are administered by individual colleges, departments, and academic programs. Awards in these programs are based on academic performance, extracurricular involvement, financial need and areas of academic interest. Award levels will be announced in March, 2007.

WSU also continues to offer the Regents Scholars Program, which rewards outstanding high school seniors with two- and four-year scholarships to attend Washington State University, ranging in value from $6,000 to more than $54,000. Every public high school and most private high schools in
the state of Washington are eligible to nominate two students in their junior year for these awards.

For more information on any of these programs, students may go to or contact their local Washington State University enrollment counselor.

Next Story

Recent News

Regents start search process for next WSU president

The Board of Regents will begin the search process for WSU’s 12th president this week. Applications for the Presidential Search Advisory Committee are now available.