Next Step Scholarship

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Open to: Students transferring from selected community colleges only.
Award: Determined yearly based on available resources
Application available: Available January for 2020-21 Application Cycle
Application deadline: Spring 2020 (check with your community college financial aid office for dates)
Community College Deadline: May 1st (New Deadline due to COVID-19, this is a 3-week extension from the original deadline) 

Next Step Scholarship 

Recipients will be notified by June 1st, 2020.  






The Next Step Scholarship recognizes and rewards exceptional scholarly achievement at the community college level. The fund was specifically created to motivate top students at seven South Puget Sound community colleges to enroll at UW Tacoma. In bringing top community college scholars to UW Tacoma each year, the endowment hopes to achieve the following objectives: Improve the quality of the South Puget Sound regional workforce

  • Strengthen the bonds between UW Tacoma and its primary transfer institutions
  • Improve the classroom experience for all UW Tacoma students

The scholarship is primarily intended to help students pursue their degrees as full-time students. Part-time students may use their scholarship award over at most a three-year period.


Seven scholarships are awarded, one for each community college shown below:

  • Green River College 
  • Highline College
  • Olympic College
  • Pierce College Fort Steilacoom  
  • Pierce College Puyallup  
  • South Puget Sound Community College
  • Tacoma Community College

Recent graduates from these institutions may also be eligible; however, they must have completed their coursework no earlier than September 1 of the previous year. Recent graduates who are already attending other four-year institutions are not eligible for the award. One student from each institution will be offered a Next Step Scholarship each year.

Students must be permanent Washington residents; international students are not eligible for this scholarship.

There is a strong expectation that the student will have completed the necessary credits and other requirements to be admitted to UW Tacoma for the autumn quarter. Should a prospective student accept the scholarship and then not qualify for transfer or enrollment, the award will be withdrawn and may go unfilled that year. The student should also currently post a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of no less than 3.5 (rare exceptions may be made for students who can show exceptional improvement over their last 45 credits).

Preference is given to students pursuing their first baccalaureate degree that have graduated from high school and subsequently enrolled in community college.

Application Deadlines

Each school determines its internal deadline dates for applications. Please visit your school's website for deadline dates not provided.

  • Green River College  -  
  • Highline College -
  • Olympic College  -  
  • Pierce College Fort Steilacoom  - 
  • Pierce College Puyallup  - 
  • South Puget Sound Community College  -  
  • Tacoma Community College  -  

Key Deadlines for Community Colleges:

March 15 - Admissions Application Priority Deadline
May 1st (New Deadline due to COVID-19, this is a 3-week extension from the original deadline) - Next Step Scholarship Application Deadline
May 15 - Notification to Next Step Scholarship Recipients

Next Step Scholarship Application 2020-21