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Frequently Asked Questions about the WAVE Award

What is the status of the WAVE program?
Because of the continued effect of the recession on the state's budget, the WAVE program is suspending operations effective with the announcement of the 2011 scholars. None of the 2011 scholars will receive a monetary scholarship through the WAVE program. Last year, there was only sufficient funding to award one scholarship per legislative district.

What about existing WAVE scholarship holders?

Sufficient funding has been provided for the next two years to cover existing WAVE scholarships. However, see "How do I maintain my eligibilty" and "How much time do I have to use the award" below.

When funding is available, what do I receive?
WAVE is a monetary tuition grant award, based on availability of funds, that provides tuition funding for six quarters or four semesters of undergraduate, postsecondary education. The amount of the grant is based on the tuition and fees in effect, capped at the state-funded research universities’ tuition rate.

What can I pay for with the award?
This is a tuition award. However, if your tuition is paid through some other means, you can now use WAVE funds to pay for other valid educational expenses, such as books, supplies, room, board, or transportation. If you decide to use your award for educational expenses other than tuition, your grant will not be increased. Funds received will be based on the amount of tuition charged, for the credits taken, by the school you are attending. This award does not cover tuition costs above and beyond full-time enrollment. The WAVE award is considered part of a student's financial aid package, and as such, disbursements may be adjusted by an institution to prevent an over-award status.

How much time do I have to use the award?
You must begin using the award by the fall term of the third year after receiving the award. For example: if you receive the award in 2010, you must begin using it no later than the fall term of 2013. You must complete the award no later than the end of spring term 2016 or forfeit any remaining eligibility. You are eligible to use your award for up to six quarters/four semesters, as long as you continue to maintain eligibility requirements. There are no exceptions to the time limit policy.   

Where may I use the award?
The WAVE award may be used at any of Washington state’s community or technical colleges, regional or research universities, accredited independent colleges, or licensed private vocational schools. If you plan to use the WAVE award at a private vocational school or a 4-year independent college, please contact the Workforce Board (www.wtb.wa.gov or 360-753-5677) to verify eligibility.  Not all institutions providing postsecondary courses are eligible for state financial aid.

How do I maintain eligibility for the award?
Your grade point average (GPA) will be examined at the end of each term (quarter/semester). If your GPA for the term just completed is a 3.0 or better, you will be eligible to receive the award for the next term. If you earn less than a 3.0 GPA, you will not be eligible for the award for the next term. You must complete a term having earned at least a 3.0 GPA to once again become eligible to receive the award. You may attend full-time or part-time to reestablish eligibility. There are no exceptions to the 3.0 GPA policy.

Can I use my award to attend school part-time?
You may attend school part-time and use your WAVE award. Please be aware that whether you are attending full-time or part-time, you will use one term of eligibility for each term you are attending, and the amount of your award will be prorated.

Can I use my award during the summer?
You may use the award for any quarter/semester of instruction. Funds for the summer term are limited. If funds are available, we will provide funding on a first come, first served basis. Contact us prior to the start of the summer term if you have a need to attend a summer term.

Can I use my award to study abroad?
Approval to use your WAVE award in your study abroad program is considered on an individual, case-by-case basis depending upon the details specific to your study abroad program. Generally, you must: 1) be continuously (parallel) enrolled at the Washington state college, 2) your tuition must be paid directly to, or through, the Washington state college, and 3) the Washington state school must continue to fund your financial aid during the study abroad. If you plan to study abroad, you must get approval prior to starting your study abroad program.

How do I let the school know I want to start using the award?
You must notify the institution when you register that you intend to use your award for that particular term. This notification must be done for each quarter/semester that you use the award. Each institution has a WAVE contact person who can help you in this process. Generally, the contact person is located in the Financial Aid Office. See our WAVE school contact list.

What if I change my address?
If you change your address, please notify us so that we can keep you updated about changes to your WAVE award.

How can I get more information?
If you have other questions or need additional information, please call Terri Colbert at 360.709.4623 or tcolbert@wtb.wa.gov.




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