Regional Challenge Grants
Innovations in College & Career Pathways
Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) will award competitive Regional Challenge Grants. WSAC engaged with students and stakeholders to better understand the enrollment crisis in Washington State and to brainstorm solutions. Regional challenge grants are the result of that work. The Legislature passed Senate Bill 5789, providing $6 million in initial funding for regional challenge grants for 2022-23.
Regional Challenge Grants seek to advance statewide postsecondary attainment goals by expanding the number of community and regional partnerships—and supporting the further development of existing community and regional partnerships—that are focused on increasing postsecondary enrollment and credential completion (inclusive of certificates and degrees) for students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, English language learners, students with disabilities, and foster and homeless youth by doing one or more of the following:
- Increase direct enrollment of high school students.
- Increase enrollment of adults returning to education.
- Increase the completion rate of students’ postsecondary credentials.
Request for Letters of Interest
Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) is now accepting Letters of Interest (LOI) for the Regional Challenge Grants. Applicants are requested to read the full Request for Letters of Interest before applying.
Overview of Available Grants
WSAC plans to award two tiers of grants:
- Tier One: Partnership Formation. This grant will be awarded to a group of entities focusing on building a strong partnership, ideally supporting an early-stage partnership to create or solidify a plan aimed at improving postsecondary attainment and career pathways. This grant will be one year in length and will be up to $125,000.
- Tier Two: Implementation. This grant will be awarded to already established partnerships working to increase postsecondary attainment that are ready to test new strategies, expand efforts, or to scale up the number of students they can impact. This grant will be up to 2.5 years in length with an estimated average investment of $750,000 per year.
The grant process has two steps. First, interested applicants will submit a letter of interest that addresses the requirements for the type of grant they seek. Second, WSAC will select a limited number of both Tier One and Tier Two applicants to advance for further review and discussion.
WSAC will accept Letters of Interest until 11:59 pm on October 21, 2022.
View the submission instructions for application guidelines, including how to format your Letter of Interest and page limits.
All applicants should review SB 5693, Section 609 (23).
The formal period to submit questions has ended. However, WSAC staff invites questions related to the Request for Letters of Interest at RegionalChallengeGrant@wsac.wa.gov. A Regional Challenge Grants FAQ document is also available.