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Perusing the world of scholarships can be stressful. We’re here to help break down your search into six navigable categories. Strongly consider searching and applying for scholarships a year ahead of your intended departure date, as deadlines are often six to nine months before that. Even if you have not yet applied to a program, bookmarking scholarships will save you a lot of time later. Some scholarships, like the Gilman Scholarship available to Pell-eligible students, does not require you to be accepted to a program in order to apply.

Be sure to utilize the Writing Center to help you write personal statements and other required documents for any scholarship applications you find.

If you have questions about your Financial Aid package, contact the Financial Aid office, as that information is not available to us. However, we would be happy to relay disbursement dates, fees, and other standardized information related to study abroad. 

Download a list of Featured Scholarships here

Where can I start looking for scholarships?

How to apply

You will be automatically considered for a Study Abroad scholarship if you answer “yes” in the Scholarship Eligibility questionnaire in your Study Abroad application. We will notify you if you are selected for a scholarship (see the awarding and notification schedule below). You must also apply for Financial Aid in order to be considered, no matter what your situation is. We use it to determine how much funding you can receive, so fill it out ASAP every year.

Each time you are accepted to a study abroad program, you will be considered for a scholarship from our office. That scholarship can only be used for that particular program. If you have been accepted to more than one program and were offered more than one scholarship, you can choose which program and which respective scholarship you would like to go forward with.

If you completed your application after the program deadline, you will be considered for a scholarship in the following awarding cycle. 


Undergraduate Washington state residents with the greatest financial need are given priority for UW Study Abroad scholarships. You must have a FAFSA or WASFA on file with the UW Office of Financial Aid to demonstrate financial need.

You may only receive one UW Study Abroad scholarship during your time at the UW. This is important to consider if you plan to participate in more than one study abroad program while at the UW (for example, if you participate in a two week program during Spring Break freshman year, then a full quarter program in your junior year). Plan for the most likely scenario!

Award Amounts

Standard awards based on length of program:

  • Up to $2,500 for programs lasting 1 quarter or less.
  • Up to $4,000 for programs lasting longer than 1 quarter.
  • Awards may be less than the amounts above if the program is highly subsidized OR if financial need is otherwise met.

Awarding and Notification Schedule

Awarding cycle Date on which you are accepted to a program Scholarship notification date
Autumn A June 13 – September 13 September 24
Autumn B September 14 – November 13 November 24
Autumn C November 14 – November 27 December 9
Winter A November 28 – February 15 February 25
Winter B February 16 – February 27 March 12
Winter C February 28 – March 13 March 25
Spring A March 14 – April 13 April 26
Spring B April 14 – May 27 June 5
Summer A May 28 – June 12 June 24


Scholarships are typically disbursed the week before the quarter in which your program departs.  Please note the following exceptions:

  • Early Fall – disbursed the week before the start of autumn quarter
  • Spring Break (W) – disbursed the week before the start of winter quarter
  • Spring Break (Sp) – disbursed the week before the start of spring quarter

Be sure to complete all of your pre-departure requirements by the enrollment deadline and take care of any holds on your student account to ensure smooth disbursement.

COVID Deferrals:

  • Students who received the UW Study Abroad Scholarship for programs canceled between spring 2020 and spring 2022 can defer their awards to a future term until they graduate, or through the end of 2025 (whichever comes first).
  • Students who were awarded the Chang Scholarship over that same period can defer their awards to a future term so long as they are still undergraduates at the time they go abroad.

Financial Aid scholarships work the same as ours – you need to apply for Financial Aid and will be automatically considered for one. These can be either need or merit-based. Don’t be deterred by the “priority deadline” – you can apply for FAFSA/WASFA year-round, but the amount of wait times will vary greatly after the priority deadline. So apply as soon as you can!

This office exists to help you search and apply for scholarships. Take advantage of their scholarship search tools and resources, especially the scholarship guides, which includes a targeted list of study abroad scholarships. They can provide valuable feedback for personal statements, essays, and other tasks necessary for scholarship applications. You can also take advantage of their Scholarships Database and widen your search with more search tools. If you are Pell-eligible, strongly consider the applying for the Gilman Scholarship. Visit OMSFA’s website to start getting acquainted with their resources, events and advisors.

Ask your department/advisor/professor for scholarships specifically for students in your major. Often, they are not posted publicly, so it’s worth asking around.

Some of these scholarships are listed in the OMSFA Scholarship Database.

This category includes scholarships from trusted partners at CET, CIEE, DIS, IES, SIT, and SFS. Here are some detailed highlights on some of our partner program scholarships:

CET awards over $100,000 in scholarships every year. UW students receive an automatic scholarship of $1,000 for all semester-long programs.

CIEE has created guaranteed discounts exclusively for UW students:

  • $500 discount on any one block (1) Open Campus Program
  • $1,000 discount on any two block (2) Open Campus Program
  • $2,000 discount on any three block (3) Open Campus Program or traditional semester program
  • $500 discount on any CIEE summer program

In addition to that, CIEE also has several merit and need based scholarships available.

IES offers a variety of scholarships in addition to an automatic $2,000 scholarship for semester-long programs for all UW students. Additionally, UW students are eligible and highly encouraged to apply for additional funding from IES Abroad: including over 3 million dollars in need-based, diversity, and donor-funded scholarships awarded each year.

SIT offers a targeted scholarship to UW students participating in summer and semester-long SIT programs. In addition, SIT offers a broad range of scholarships and grants, including our award-winning Pell Grant Match. Semester scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000, and summer awards typically range from $500 to $3,000.

Remember to report any scholarships you are awarded to the Financial Aid office.

Any scholarships with no relationship to the UW falls into this category. When searching for non-UW scholarships, consider narrowing your search by the factors of your situation. For example, you might search for scholarships particular to language study, countries, regions, for first-gen college students, school year (freshman, junior, etc.), your major, and so on. List these potential factors in a document and start saving links to scholarships for each type of category to help organize your scholarship searching process.

As before, if you’re awarded a non-UW scholarship, you should report it to Financial Aid as soon as possible.