By Katherine Long
Seattle Times higher education reporter
Last year, the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce wanted to award two $2,000 scholarships to Issaquah students who showed motivation and improvement in their school work — a "second chance" for a college-bound senior.
But the chamber could find only one well-qualified student, according to the Seattle Foundation, which administers the Issaquah scholarship. No recipient could be found for the other scholarship, and the $2,000 languished, unspent.
A new website run by a public/private partnership of nonprofits and the state's Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) aims to help Washington scholarship-givers and scholarship-seekers find one another. The service is free.
The scholarship clearinghouse, theWashBoard.org
, works like an online-matchmaking service such as eHarmony, said Mary Beth Lambert, spokeswoman for the Washington Scholarship Coalition. But instead of finding you a date, it finds you money for college.
The site is funded in part with $100,000 from the HECB, which also hosts the site and provides one full-time staffer to work with students and scholarship providers. It's also funded by nonprofits, including the Seattle Foundation, the College Success Foundation and the Northwest Education Loan Association. The total budget for planning and development was $1 million, Lambert said.