How To Apply – Seattle

Learn about our 12-year pathway to college graduation

Rainier Scholars is a great fit for serious students with a strong work ethic and a determination to use education as a path to a brighter future.

Our challenging 12-year program opens doors of opportunity and a path to college graduation for hard-working students of color who are underrepresented on college campuses.

We invite teachers, community members and parents/guardians in the Greater Seattle area to nominate promising students for Rainier Scholars by emailing Rachel Tolano, Director of Recruitment & Community Engagement.

Applicants must currently be in 4th grade.

Fourth grade students of color in Seattle, Renton and Highline school districts are invited to learn about becoming a Rainier Scholar.

If your family is interested in applying to Rainier Scholars, you must register and attend a family information meeting, usually held between November and January.

During these meetings, our Recruitment team explains the program, the highly competitive admission process and answers questions.

We often have a Rainier Scholars family share their experience.

Applications are only available at family information meetings which will be held Fall 2023.

of all students served come from households without a college degree
of scholars are on college preparatory pathways in public or private schools
of high school seniors earn admission to four-year colleges or universities
of eligible scholars have graduated or will graduate from four-year institutions

Application Process

Applicants must:

  • Identify as a student of color
  • Currently be enrolled in 4th grade
  • Currently attend a school in the Seattle, Renton, and Highline districts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost to families to participate?

There is no fee to participate in Rainier Scholars. Scholars who are admitted to our program will be charged a transportation fee during the two summers of the Academic Enrichment phase only. This fee ranges from $25 to $600 depending on family income.

Does Rainier Scholars offer private school or college scholarships?

No, we do not offer scholarships. However, our scholars are highly eligible for scholarships offered by other organizations, and we work with families to secure financial aid. To date, scholars have received more than $50 million cumulatively in merit and need-based financial aid for private schools and colleges.

Do scholars give up their activities to be part of Rainier Scholars?

There is an impact to your child’s current activity schedule. Scholars take classes over the course of two summers, as well as on Wednesday afternoons and all day Saturdays during the fifth grade school year. Also, scholars can expect between 1 to 2 hours of homework to complete their assignments for Rainier Scholars, in addition to regular school work. Scholars are not expected to give up all other activities, but they are expected to prioritize Rainier Scholars during the 14-month Academic Enrichment phase. Program commitments are less intense after that.

Do all scholars go to private school?

No. Our goal is to prepare scholars for placement in the most rigorous academic settings, whether that is a private school or the Advanced Learning Program in a public school. School choice is a personal matter, and we support families in whatever choice they believe is best for their child.

What alternative programs should we consider if we are not selected?

Please review our Parent Resources Guide.