Engaging minds, creating opportunity
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 12-year program is challenging and at the same time, opens doors of opportunity and a path to college graduation for hard-working students of color who are underrepresented on college campuses.
Each November, fourth grade students in the Seattle, Renton and Highline school districts who met standard on their reading assessment the previous school year are invited to a meeting where they can learn about becoming a Rainier Scholar.
We also invite teachers, community members, and parents to nominate promising students for Rainier Scholars by completing a nomination form.
Applying to Rainier Scholars
If your family is interested in applying to Rainier Scholars, please attend one of our family information meetings. 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.
For more information, please contact JT Williams, Director of Recruitment & Enrollment by email or phone (206) 407-2144.
We serve students from those groups that are most underrepresented on college campuses
- Over 90% of scholars come from households where they would be the first to attend college
- 85% of our families are low or moderate income
“For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by other kids like me. Kids who liked school.”
Jonatan Castillo, Cohort VIII, Lakeside School, University of Washington, class of 2019
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 college.
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 Saturday 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. Program commitments are less intense after the Academic Enrichment phase.
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 Resource Guide.