Scholarships & Grants

Our Education Program

Since awarding its first college scholarship in 1967, OTF has awarded more than $2.4 million in scholarships and grants and helped hundreds of students pursue undergraduate degrees. Scholarships are offered on the basis of both achievement and need to Thurston County high school graduates attending college within the state of Washington. OTF also awards grants to local school districts and early childhood programs for innovative classroom projects.

OTF's Education Program offers:

2023 top scholarship winner Meridee Hill from Yelm HS accepts her $15,000 award from board president Lee Wojnar.


Students Helped

$ 2,400,000

In Scholarships Awarded


First Scholarship Award

2023 Scholarship Ceremony

The 2023 OTF Scholarship Ceremony was held on May 31st, 2023, on the Schmidt House grounds. We awarded a total of $140,000 to 18 graduating high school seniors in Thurston County.

Our 2023 Scholarship Winners

Traditional Scholarships

Traditional scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 are awarded to Thurston County graduating high school seniors who plan to attend school within the state of Washington. Applicants will be screened for academic promise, 3.0 grade point average or better, work ethic, community involvement, and financial need.

Please see the current application for more details.

Committee Members

Katie Schmidt Hurley, Education Program Chair
John Dodge
Mary Eldridge
Ann Hampton
Hank Henry
Dan Jones
Rikki Martinez


Olympia Tumwater Foundation
PO Box 4098
Tumwater, WA 98501

Office: (360) 943-2550

Application and instructions for applying below

I will never be able to fully express my gratitude toward this scholarship--the peace of mind that I carry with me going into my sophomore year, knowing how much harder it could have been if we didn’t have members of our community who cared about the cultivation of the next generation’s success.
-Libby Kamrowski

Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

Graduating high school seniors in Thurston County who plan to attend a university within the state of Washington.

Via email: (recommended) or phone: (360) 943-2550

You can download an application through our website; follow the instructions for submittal to the Olympia Tumwater Foundation.

Applications are only available through the OTF website.

At OTF, a group of dedicated volunteers (traditional scholarship committee) screens all applications and selects finalists for interviews. Final selection follows the interview process.

Scholarship deadlines and instructions are detailed on the application.

Sorry, OTF offers scholarships only to students who plan to attend a public or private college, university, or technical school within the state of Washington.

Yes, you need to include a copy of your high school transcript, student aid report (FAFSA), financial aid offer documents, and any other materials that may be required on the application.

Financial need is different for each individual. The more information you can provide us the better equipped we will be to make a decision on your application. Did something change in the last twelve months or since you completed your FAFSA application? Let us know, take time to clearly fill out your application, and make a case to us on why you should be selected to receive the scholarship.

To invest in early learning opportunities that contribute to a solid foundation for lifelong success.

Early Learning Grants

OTF, in its efforts to increase and enhance educational programs in Thurston County, is dedicated to providing educators with funds to implement and administer learning opportunities that go beyond the basic available funding of the program.

Grants are offered to school districts, early childhood education programs, and K-3 curricula located in Thurston County to fund innovative, sustainable projects. Individual grants vary in size from around $300 to $2,500.

Applications will be evaluated based on the following goals of the grant program:

  • To stimulate student creativity and motivation to learn.
  • To enhance the current learning environment.
  • To leave a lasting impact on as many students as possible.

OTF has funded over $177,000 in early learning grants to deserving Thurston County educators since 2006.

2023-2024 grant applications must be received by October 20, 2023. Please contact Maddy Pennington for additional information: or (509) 393-9248.

Committee Members


Olympia Tumwater Foundation
PO Box 4098
Tumwater, WA 98501

Office: (360) 943-2550


Prior Grant Awardees

Boys & Girls Club Thurston / Enhance Learning Environment

Award amount: $3000

Community Youth Services / Building STEM Skills

Award amount: $3000

Child Care Action Council / Raising A Reader

Award amount: $2100

South Sound Pediatrics / Reach Out & Read

Award amount: $1300

Peter G Schmidt Elem / Kindergarten Centers

Award amount: $1,000

Rainier Elementary / Fine Motor Skills-STEM

Award amount: $900

Olympia School District / Building Blocks for Success

Award amount: $900

Westside Cooperative Preschool / Cooperative Learning for Youth

Award amount: $600

Peter G Schmidt Elem / Phonics Fun & Book Club

Award amount: $200

South Sound Reading Foundation / Creating Diversity in Books…

Award amount: $2000

Early Learning Grant Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you may print the grant application & grant evaluation packet from our website and mail it in.

If you are a school teacher, funds will be sent to your principal or school superintendent to be available for your use.

No! Private organizations are welcome to apply.