NEW: Early learning internships, scholarships and fellowships

Made possible through a transformative $38 million gift from Ballmer Group aimed at drawing more people into careers in early childhood education in Washington state, the College of Education will fund more than 1,500 scholarships over the next eight years for students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, coaching certificates and high school internships in early childhood education. These cost-of-attendance scholarships cover tuition and other expenses and aim to reduce or remove financial barriers for students pursuing careers in early childhood education while attracting a more diverse workforce to the field. For inquiries, please email

Scholarship opportunities this gift funds

Support from this gift will specifically fund:

  • 80 high school internships (10 per year) connected to My Brother’s Teacher at Cultivate Learning, a program in the Seattle Public Schools focused on increasing the number of male Black and brown early childhood education teachers. 
  • 1,200 undergraduate scholarships serving at least 600 students in the Early Care and Education (ECE) and Early Childhood and Family Studies (ECFS) majors to support Washington state’s efforts to diversify the early childhood teacher workforce. (Keep scrolling for eligibility requirements and how to apply!)
  • 115 scholarships for a Master’s in Early Childhood Education Policy, part of the UW’s new Early Childhood Policy and Equity Center.
  • 230 Early Childhood Coaching Certificate scholarships to increase the number of coaches in early childhood education as part of a quality improvement effort in Washington state.  
  • Two endowed doctoral fellowships

Undergraduate student scholarships

General Undergraduate Scholarship

Applications for 2023-24 are CLOSED

This year's scholarship awardees will receive $900-$5,000, depending on funds available.  

There are four specific scholarships available through this application. Any student declared in any of the College's undergraduate programs is eligible to apply, unless otherwise noted below:

  • Early Childhood & Family Studies Scholarship (for students declared in the Early Childhood & Family Studies or the Early Care & Education Online Degree Completion Program only)
  • Education Undergrad Scholarship 
  • Kristy LeMond Memorial Scholarship 
  • Northwest Asian Education Scholarship


Students who have declared in one of the College's majors (Early Childhood & Family StudiesEarly Care & Education Online Degree Completion Program, and/or Education, Communities, & Organizations) and/or in the minor (Education, Learning, & Society) are eligible to apply.

Application process

Scholarship applications are completed online via CommunityForce,* where you can also find information about the individual scholarships that are offered. To start an application, you will log in with your UW NetID and password (you will be prompted after selecting the “CoE” option button under “Login”).

To apply, visit the application portal, find the application, and begin.

Zesbaugh and Anderson-Olsen Scholarship

Applications for 2023-24 are CLOSED

This year's Zesbaugh scholarship awardees will receive $5,000-$10,000, depending on funds available.  

The Zesbaugh and Anderson-Olsen Scholarships are intended to support selected undergraduate students who:

  • Demonstrate an interest in, and a commitment to, a career as an educator*, and;
  • Demonstrate financial need.

* Applicants may desire to pursue careers in P-12 teaching, education policy, higher education, school counseling, social services, or a myriad of other fields in education.


  • Demonstrated interest in a career as an educator, broadly defined;
  • Sophomore, junior or senior status by Autumn quarter 2023;
  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at the University of Washington or accepted as a transfer student to the University of Washington;
  • Currently declared in or admitted to a College of Education major or minor; 
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75;
  • Demonstrable financial need as shown by qualifying for Federal or State Student Aid or as explained in a one-page statement of need. 
  • Previous Zesbaugh and Anderson-Olsen scholars are eligible to re-apply.

Successful applicants will demonstrate:

  • An intent and preparation plan to pursue a specific career path within the field of education, defined broadly;
  • Demonstrated accomplishments in leadership, service or research.

Application process

Required materials for the application:

  • A narrative response describing your intended path in education and the ways you have prepared yourself for that path;
  • Unofficial transcripts showing your college-level coursework completed to date;
  • Resume' or CV highlighting your education-related experiences (leadership and volunteerism, awards and honors, professional involvement, experience with diversity, etc.);
  • Demonstration of financial need (confirmation of eligibility for state or federal aid, and/or letter explaining your financial need above and beyond the financial aid process)

Scholarship applications are completed online via CommunityForce,* where you can also find information about the individual scholarships that are offered. To start an application, you will log in with your UW NetID and password (you will be prompted after selecting the “CoE” option button under “Login”).

 To apply, visit the application portal, find the application, and begin.

NEW! Early Learning Equity Scholarship

The Early Learning Equity Scholarship seeks to diversify and increase the number of highly qualified early educators and leaders in WA state, reducing financial need barriers they encounter in obtaining an early learning bachelor's degree. The scholarship will cover all remaining unment financial need, including cost of attendance! Those who identify as BIPOC, particularly those who identify as Black or African American, Native American/American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and/or Hispanic/Latino/a/x/e* are highly encouraged to apply.

Learn more and apply for the ELE Scholarship

Master in Teaching student scholarships (MIT students)

  • The CoE Teacher Preparation Office will provide scholarship application materials directly to MIT students. For questions, please contact
  • If you are interested in becoming dual language teachers in a K-8 setting, you may be eligible for the BECA fellowship. Learn more >>

Graduate student scholarships (MEd, EdS, EdD, PhD students) 

  • The UW College of Education at Seattle distributes a limited number of need- and merit-based scholarships to graduate students annually. Only newly admitted and continuing College of Education students are eligible for these scholarships. Most of these scholarships are made possible through the generous gifts of alumni and other supporters.
  • The application for 2023-2024 graduate student scholarships will open on February 17, 2023.   The application deadline is March 15, 2023, 11:59pm.
  • Scholarship applications are completed online via CommunityForce, where you can also find information about the individual scholarships that are offered. To start an application, you will log in with your UW NetID and password (you will be prompted after selecting the “CoE” option button under “Login”).
  • For future reference, you can click on the topics below for more details about the application process and these scholarships:
How to Apply

There is one general Graduate Student Scholarship Application for all College of Education need- and merit-based awards. Students apply for scholarships generally, rather than applying for specific scholarships. Based on the information provided in the application, students will be matched with appropriate scholarships for which they may be eligible.

Applications are submitted online via CommunityForce, where you can also find information about the individual scholarships that will be offered. To start your general application for all of the awards, you will log in with your UW NetID and password (you will be prompted after selecting the “CoE” option button under “Login”). Once you enter the application portal, navigate to “1. Graduate Student Scholarship General Application 2023-2024” and select the purple “Apply” button. 

The application process includes obtaining a statement of support from a faculty member or education professional (optional for recently admitted students). The application deadline is March 15, 2023 at 11:59pm PDT. 

Need-Based Scholarships

Many scholarships are need-based and require applicants to complete and submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) by the established deadlines. Eligibility regarding need-based financial aid is determined by the FAFSA or WASFA.

  • For more information about these processes, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA).   

  • When completing the FAFSA, all applicants must enter the University of Washington, Code #003798. 

  • International applicants/students who have a Social Security number should submit the FAFSA form per the above instructions.

  • International applicants/students who do not have a Social Security number must wait to have financial need evaluated until after review by the Scholarship Review Committee. This is a separate process.

Please note that financial need is not considered in the initial review of scholarship applications, but only to determine eligibility for certain need-based scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much financial assistance will a College of Education scholarship provide?

In general, most scholarship awards range from $2000 to $5000. They are intended to provide supplemental financial assistance, rather than major financial support.

How are scholarship applications evaluated?

Scholarship applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Academic history shows merit: strong academic record, consistency with goal statement, academic awards or honors
  • Goals related to education: clear, insightful goals articulating a contribution to research or practice
  • Life experience: linked broadly to education or learning, clear relationship between experience and goals, nonacademic awards and experience, service and volunteer work, experience with diverse groups or cultures, obstacles overcome
  • Potential to contribute to field of education: collegiality, enthusiasm, professional involvement, leadership, diverse talents or background

In the scholarship process, incoming students are generally given first consideration, as scholarships are primarily intended to assist incoming students during their first quarters of study. Continuing students will receive consideration for awards that are not granted to incoming students.

I’m a newly admitted student, but I have not yet accepted my offer of admission. Am I eligible to apply for these scholarships?

Yes! You do not need to accept your offer of admission in order to be considered for scholarship funding.

I’m a newly admitted student and I’m having trouble logging in to start my scholarship application. What is my UW NetID?

Your UW NetID (“University of Washington Network Identification”) and password are used to access a variety of UW online services. You can create your UW NetID and password online here:

I am not completing the FAFSA or WASFA this year. Can I apply for CoE scholarships?

Yes! The CoE offers need- and merit-based scholarships that you may be eligible for. If you do not or cannot complete the FAFSA or WASFA, we encourage you to provide information about your unique financial circumstances in the “Personal Statement” portion of the application (found in the “Application Materials” section).

I am preparing my application materials. Are there formatting guidelines for the goal statement?

The goal statement should not exceed one page in length, however, there are no specific spacing or font size requirements. 

How will I find out if I receive a scholarship or not?

Scholarship recipients are notified by email and will be provided directions for accepting their scholarship at that time. We anticipate that notifications will be sent the week of April 24, 2023. [Please note that this represents a revised notification timeline.]

What happens if I am selected to receive a scholarship?

Scholarship recipients will be asked to 1) formally accept their award(s) through the online application portal and 2) write a thank you note to the donor(s) who have made the scholarship award(s) possible. Once these two actions have been taken, the scholarship will be ready for disbursal based on the schedule indicated in the notification email.

If you have any questions or concerns about expectations related to an award, please contact us at

For information about additional College of Education Seattle funding sources, visit our Funding and Financial Aid hub.

For questions about these CoE scholarships, contact the Office of Student Services (