Frequently Asked Questions

This is a list of common questions received from the community about LaunchNW.

Don’t see your question answered? This list will be updated to reflect our latest key milestones and feedback from the community.

Join our mailing list to stay informed.

Who is LaunchNW for?

LaunchNW benefits all people in our region by increasing opportunity, prosperity and growth. The initiative’s community governance model requires collaboration with the community it serves, providing a seat at the table for all voices. Other communities in the U.S. with similar programs (such as Say Yes Buffalo) have seen increases in post-high school education, volunteering, community service and voting, paired with decreases in unemployment, reliance on government assistance programs and government spending on remedial services and interventions.

Who is eligible for the scholarship?

Our goal is for scholarships to be available for students in Spokane and Kootenai counties beginning with the high school class of 2024, with phased rollout to the rest of our 20-county region in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. We are currently in the fundraising and implementation phase. We will keep the community updated as we reach key milestones.

How can I apply for the scholarship?

Scholarship applications are not yet open. Information for the class of 2024 will be announced at a later date, but the work of LaunchNW is already underway. Join our mailing list to stay informed.

Do homeschooled students qualify?

Yes!

Are vocational schools and trades included?

Yes! LaunchNW ensures students have access to career training of all types, including apprenticeships, technical and associate degrees, credentials and bachelor’s degrees.

How can I learn more, support LaunchNW or get involved?

If you are interested in becoming a LaunchNW volunteer or partner, join our mailing list.

If you are interested in donating to the promise scholarship fund, you can do that here.

How does LaunchNW impact existing efforts in the community?

By braiding and pooling funding, along with identifying other sources available to the community (such as unclaimed federal dollars), LaunchNW supports and enhances the tireless existing efforts of community-based organizations. With support from local nonprofits, elected officials, school districts, business leaders, faith leaders and more, LaunchNW builds on the powerful existing foundation for student support in our region.

Does LaunchNW replace other scholarships, grants or financial aid?

No. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion and other financial aid applications are an important step in the pathway to post-secondary excellence, as outlined in research by Johns Hopkins University. LaunchNW supports and facilitates students as they apply for federal and state aid, as well as institutional grants and scholarships of all types. The LaunchNW scholarship “fills the gap” between other aid and the full cost of tuition.

What makes this different than regular scholarships?

LaunchNW is a community and economic vitality initiative that uses a promise scholarship as an incentive to create holistic, cross-sector collaboration. The scholarship provides important hope in removing financial barriers, but most of the work comes in the form of integrating comprehensive supports, leveraging resources to support students and families from cradle to career. The initiative is designed to be sustainable. It commits to using data and community input to align resources, demand accountability and drive results.

How is this funded?

There are two parts to LaunchNW funding: (1) the promise scholarship and (2) implementation. Scholarship funding is raised by public and private donors, businesses and other regional partners into a scholarship fund at Innovia Foundation.

Implementation dollars are secured separately and already include over $1.5 million from key corporate partners and private donors, as well as $8.5 million of pandemic recovery funds via Spokane County, the City of Spokane Valley and congressionally-directed spending via Senator Patty Murray.

If you would like to make a life-changing donation today, you can contribute to the endowed scholarship fund here.

How does the community provide input?

The community governance structure of LaunchNW is designed to involve local leaders to ensure each community’s unique needs are met. These leaders not only have “a seat at the table,” but they are also actively involved in the decision-making process for the initiative.

LaunchNW will also host a series of town halls in late summer and early fall 2022 to facilitate as much community input as possible. Join our mailing list to stay informed and get involved!

What is Innovia Foundation and how is it connected to LaunchNW?

Innovia Foundation is the community foundation for Eastern Washington and North Idaho with a mission to ignite generosity that transforms lives and communities. Innovia serves as the incubating entity for LaunchNW, providing staffing and resource supports for the initiative. Learn more about Innovia at Innovia.org.

What about data privacy?

Data privacy is very important to us.

LaunchNW will adhere to Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines to protect the privacy of student educational records. Learn more about FERPA here.

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