The Washington Award for Vocational Excellence (WAVE) honors three vocational students from each of the state’s 49 legislative districts, for outstanding achievement in vocational-technical education.

The WAVE program is jointly administered by the Washington Student Achievement Council and the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board. The Workforce Board is the primary administrator responsible for program policy and recipient selection. The Council serves as fiscal agent for payment of the monetary scholarship.

High schools, skills centers, and community and technical colleges nominate students based on occupational proficiency, leadership, community activities, work experience, and other qualities. A committee, representing business, labor, education, the Legislature and citizens, makes the final selection.


Program Updates

The following changes are in effect for the financial award portion of the WAVE program:

  • The monetary benefit for WAVE recipients awarded in spring 2010 or earlier (who have remaining eligibility) will not exceed the amount legislatively-authorized in the state operating budget for public tuition and services and activities fees.  

  • In 2011, public higher education institutions received new tuition-setting authority that allows each institution to raise tuition to levels higher than those assumed in the state operating budget. However, annual WAVE scholarship value adjustments will not reflect increases that exceed the assumed budget increases.
  • No monetary scholarships will be conferred to new WAVE recipients for two years, representing spring 2013 and spring 2014. The annual identification and recognition of new WAVE scholarship recipients for those years has been suspended.

Previously Selected Recipients

WAVE recipients named in spring 2010 or earlier (and who have remaining eligibility) remain eligible to receive the monetary scholarship benefit.

These scholarship-eligible students may receive grants equal to up to two years of undergraduate study at the public two-year and four-year colleges and universities as well as accredited private colleges, universities, and licensed private vocational schools in Washington.

For WAVE recipients selected in spring 2010,
or earlier who have remaining eligibility.

  University of Washington 
  Washington State University
  4-Yr Private, Semester-based Institutions
  4-Yr Private, Quarter-based Institutions
  Central Washington University
  Eastern Washington University
  The Evergreen State College
  Western Washington University
  Public Community Colleges
  (15 credit max., may vary by school)
Up to $4,000
  Public Technical Colleges
  (15 credit max., may vary by school)
 Up to $4,000


Award Amounts

The intent of the scholarship is to mirror the cost of resident, undergraduate tuition and services and activity fees charged by Washington public colleges and universities, however, the scholarship is subject to annual appropriations and may be prorated in some circumstances.

Scholarship values are re-evaluated annually. Adjustments to the scholarship amount may be made during an academic year as funding dictates. The maximum scholarship payable will not exceed the recipient’s actual tuition charges, and “overload” credits are not included.

For scholarship payment questions, contact:
Washington Student Achievement Council
Phone: 360-753-7843
Email: wave@wsac.wa.gov

For other information go to: WAVE Program
Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board
Phone: 360-709-4623
Email: tcolbert@wtb.wa.gov