FAQs about Seattle Foundation Scholarships


Interested in learning more about the many different scholarship opportunities available through the Seattle Foundation? Please read through the following FAQs for more information.

General Inquiry

  • Where can I get more information about your scholarships and submit my application?
    The majority of our scholarships applications are run through either www.theWashboard.org or seattlefoundation.smapply.org. Please note that for scholarships applications run through the Washboard, students will first need to set up a general Washboard platform profile in order to proceed with their application of interest. 
  • For logistical support related to the Washboard, please call: 888-535-0747, option #3, between the hours or 8:00 am - 4:00 pm PST Monday thru Friday.
  • For logistical support related to Survey Monkey Apply, please visit here for more information.
  • Do I need to be a Washington State Resident to set up a profile on the WashBoard?
    While much of the information on this platform is specific to Washington state students, you do not have to be a Washington state resident to set up a profile with the Washboard.
  • When are applications open? When will I found out if I have received an award? 
    Our annual scholarship application cycle typically runs from late November to March of each year. Individual application deadlines vary. Final decision notifications are made in the summer, with awards distributed in early fall. 
  • What kinds of scholarships are available?
    Each individual scholarship has specific applicant criteria. Across the two platforms, awards are available for graduating high school seniors, undergraduate students, graduate students, and students attending trade schools. Some applications are only open to certain academic fields or geographic regions. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the eligibility prior to starting your application.

Notes on Submitting Applications: Please review the following information to ensure that your application is considered!

  • Students are encouraged to set up their application using a personal email account rather than their school account. In our experience, we have found that students do not retain access to these accounts upon graduation, thereby complicating official communications regarding the status of their application.
  • Applications must be complete, with all components submit in the specified file format (.pdf or.doc) to be considered by the review committee. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted. Providing links to Google Docs or other cloud-based application components for download does not qualify for official submission.
  • We encourage students to redact personal information prior to submitting their application materials. Eg: Social security numbers, Dates of Birth, Addresses
  • Please following the file naming convention of “Last Name, First Name - Type of Item” For Example: Mouse, Mickey -Transcript, or Duck, Donald- Letter of Recommendation.
  • Important: It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that transcripts and letters of recommendation sent in on your behalf are received by the application deadline.

Questions on Specific Awards

  • Remember, individual scholarship deadlines vary. You will need to view each scholarship application to view their deadlines. 
  • Specific to our Microsoft Opportunities: What year in school do I have to be to apply for Microsoft’s Scholarship Opportunities?
    The Microsoft’s Disability Scholarship and the Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship are only open to graduating high school seniors. Complete Details Here on BAM.
  • Specific to Microsoft Disability: Complete Details Here
    Do I need to provide a doctor’s note with my application? Does my condition qualify me to apply?

    To be eligible to apply for the Microsoft Disability Scholarship, an applicant must be a current high school senior living with a disability as broadly defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), whether that be visual, hearing, mobility, cognitive, speech or other disability. As formal list of disabilities recognized by WHO does not exist, their webpage offers the following guidance: 

“Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.”

This broad definition allows an applicant to make their case to the Microsoft Disability Scholarship committee as to how their individual diagnosis fits within WHO’s given criteria.

Acceptance & Renewal: Paperwork

  • I am being asked to provide an ‘official transcript’, does this imply a physical copy?
    In addition to official printed transcripts sent by mail, several academic institutions now offer official electronic transcripts that can be ordered online and emailed to its designated recipient. When possible, our offices now prefer to receive official transcripts in electronic format (send to scholarships@seattlefoundation.org). Please check with your academic institution’s registrar to inquire about this before submitting your acceptance paperwork.
  • Which transcript am I required to provide?
    If you are a graduating high school senior, the transcript in question is the final copy of your complete high school transcript. If you are an undergraduate or graduate student, the transcript in question is the most recently completed academic semester or quarter in your current course of studies.
  • What should information should I include in my thank you or academic progress letter?
    Students who receives a scholarship through the Seattle Foundation are required to provide a thank you letter for the donor. In past examples, students have shared information about themselves (interests, talents, hobbies etc.,) along with what they are most looking forward to in the coming academic year. For awards that are renewable, a thank you letter is required each year in the form of an academic progress letter. This letter is structured as an ongoing dialogue between the student and the scholarship committee, sharing any personal or academic successes that the student wishes to highlight and/or challenges that they have overcome in the course of the school year. The length for all letters is typically between 1 to 2 pages.

Award Processing:

  • I received an email confirmation stating that my scholarship was sent to my academic institution, but it has yet to post to my tuition statement:
    From prior experience, we have learned that institutions can have extensive check processing periods on their end as well before reflecting receipt in a student’s online portal. Please wait a minimum of 30 days from receiving an email confirmation from Seattle Foundations Scholarships Team that the award has been disbursed. If after this time, the award has not been credited to your account, please email us: scholarships@seattlefoundation.org.
  • Can I receive my scholarship award directly?
    Our policy does not allow us to process tuition/scholarship payments directly to students. When needed, we can make other accommodations, such as:
  • Deferral of the award for a term or year (if a student has other awards that year, this allows them to use their scholarship in the future);
  • Converting the award to a “last-in” scholarship and working with a school’s financial aid office to ensure other aid is applied and using the scholarship to cover any remaining tuition;
  • Breaking the award into 2 smaller distributions during the year rather than paying as a lump sum in; or
  • If a student is living on campus, the funds can be sent to a student’s housing department to be credited towards dorm and meal plan expenses as opposed to tuition. Similarly, funds can be sent to the official campus bookstore to cover textbooks and other class materials.

Our offices are also willing to be connected directly with a student’s financial aid office, to see what solutions might be reached on a student’s behalf.