Frequently Asked Questions

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

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Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

We are excited to announce phase one rollout of the LaunchNW scholarship program for select graduating seniors at fourteen local high schools in 2024.

Here is what you need to know.

If you have further questions, you can contact our scholarship administrator via the button below.

Who is eligible?

Phase one of the scholarship rollout will be available for select seniors graduating from fourteen local high schools, along with senior students residing at Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington properties. Scholarship funds are available for students whose annual household income is at or below 150% of Washington State median family income levels.

Students from the following high schools will become eligible for the scholarship by participating in the Mpower Mentoring Program:

    • Medical Lake HS
    • East Valley HS
    • Riverside HS
    • North Central HS
    • Shadle Park HS
    • Liberty HS
    • Lakeside HS
    • University HS

In addition, select students at Rogers, Ferris, Cheney, Pomeroy, Dayton, and Lumen high schools will have an opportunity to apply.

What does the scholarship cover?

The LaunchNW scholarship will help fill the gap between existing financial aid and the cost of attendance at regional post-high school education programs, including two- and four-year degree programs, technical training, and registered apprenticeships.

For families making up to $85,000 yearly, this scholarship may be used for funding beyond tuition costs. For families making above $85,000 yearly, this scholarship may only be used for tuition costs.

Where can I use the scholarship?

The LaunchNW scholarship can only be used at one of our listed partner universities:

  • Eastern Washington University
  • Washington State University
  • Gonzaga University
  • Whitworth University
  • Spokane Community College*
  • Spokane Falls Community College*
  • Walla Walla University
  • Whitman College
  • Lewis Clark State College (for Dayton and Pomeroy students only)

*Registered apprenticeship programs and technical training programs must be taken through the Community Colleges of Spokane.

How large are the scholarship awards?

Scholarship awards will vary by a student’s family income and financial need.

For families making up to $85,000 yearly, the maximum award for phase one of the scholarship will be $5,000 yearly for four academic years.

For families making $85,000 –150% of Washington State median family income levels yearly, the maximum award for phase one of the scholarship will be $2,500 yearly for four academic years. 

*Actual award amounts are determined using information from the student’s FAFSA Submission Summary and financial aid package offered by their college or university.

Do I have to complete the FAFSA or WAFSA to apply?

Yes. Students will be required to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) to apply for the LaunchNW scholarship.

The FAFSA or WASFA unlock financial aid (grants, work-study, loans and more) that help you reach your post-high school education goals. Learn more and hear from local students how FAFSA Opens Doors.

General LaunchNW FAQs

LaunchNW is a collective impact initiative with a bold mission: Imagine our entire community coming together to create opportunities and support for children to pursue the post-high school education and career of their choice.

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.

How does LaunchNW impact existing efforts in the community?

LaunchNW supports and amplifies the tireless existing efforts of community-based organizations. We unite businesses, educational entities, nonprofits, government and communities to build holistic solutions that support every young person in our community.

Building upon the powerful existing foundations of student supports, LaunchNW braids and pools funding, identifies other sources available to the community (such as unclaimed federal dollars), and brings additional resources to our region. Learn more about who we are.

Does LaunchNW replace other scholarships, grants or financial aid?

No. The LaunchNW scholarship will “fill the gap” between other aid and the full cost of tuition. Students will be required to complete a FAFSA or WASFA to apply for the LaunchNW scholarship.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) and other financial aid applications are a crucial step to opening doors to a post-high school education and career.

LaunchNW convenes partners who support and facilitate students as they apply for federal and state aid, as well as institutional grants and scholarships of all types. Learn more about the opportunities FAFSA/WASFA unlock.

What makes this different than regular scholarships?

LaunchNW is a community and economic vitality initiative that will offer a promise scholarship to students who need it most and wraparound supports for every child so they can travel their best journey from birth to job attainment. LaunchNW is committed to collaborative governance, meaning every sector of our community is represented at the decision-making table. A disruption to business as usual, LaunchNW is a transformational investment in the future of our region.

This initiative is designed to be sustainable. It commits to using data and community input to align resources, demand accountability and drive results.

How is LaunchNW 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 $13.5 million, including American Rescue Plan Act funding from Spokane County, City of Spokane Valley and City of Spokane, and congressionally directed rural funding from Senator Patty Murray.

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

How does the community provide input?

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

LaunchNW also hosted a series of town halls in the summer of 2022 to engage and collect input from over 300 local community members. Numerous task forces are seeking community input as they begin their work, which you can learn more about through our e-newsletter.

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.

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. LaunchNW is an initiative of Innovia, born out of the strategic framework to ensure that every person thrives. Currently, Innovia provides staffing and resource supports for the initiative. Learn more about the Foundation at

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.

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