Can I apply to the WDI program prior to applying to the UW MSW program?

No, you must submit your application to the UW MSW program first, then submit your WDI application.

Can I apply to WDI if I am an out of state resident?

Yes, however, you must commit to becoming a resident and working in Washington State for at least three years in a WDI approved agency upon graduation.

Can I apply to WDI if I qualify for DACA status?

Yes, DACA recipients are encouraged to apply. Please submit a WASFA application, even if you are an out-of-state resident.

Can I apply if I am an international student?

Since this grant’s goal is to increase practitioners in Washington State, it depends on the international student’s visa. The student must have the ability to work in Washington State for 36 months (3 years) post-graduation. So, International students are not encouraged to apply.

Where can I find more information about the timeline process and due dates?

You may find more information on the UW/SSW website

Can I participate in both WDI and CWTAP?

No, you can only participate in one or the other program. Both programs are conditional-grant programs with post-graduation commitments at different types of organizations.

Do I need to be matched with a WDI-approved agency for both (Generalist/1st and Specialized/2nd) practicums?

Students are required to train at a WDI-approved practicum their Specialized/2nd practicum only.

Which specializations can I choose from?

All students must choose the clinical specialization available to them in their program.

May I pursue a concurrent degree with MPH or MPA?

Students may select the MPH concurrent-degree program. The same post-graduation requirement conditions apply. Graduates must secure a job at a WDI-approved agency/program within two months of graduation date. Students may NOT select the MPA concurrent degree program.

How quickly do I need to find a job upon graduation?

Graduates are required to secure a job within two months of graduation.

Do I have to work in the same agency where I did my specialized practicum?

You can, if it is a WDI-approved agency, you would like to, and you are offered employment; however, you are not required to.

Are graduates expected to move if the only WDI-approved position offered to them after graduation is in another part of the state?

There is a need everywhere. However, if there is not a job where you live, you would be required to move within Washington state.

What is considered full-time employment?

It depends on how the employer defines part time and full time. For example, some employers define "full time" as 40 hours and others define it as 32 hours.

If I work part-time, how would that change my work commitment?

If a graduate has a 36-month work commitment and decides to work part-time, they are required to work 72 months. If working a mix of full- and part-time, the commitment will be recalculated to match the time working.

What happens if my place of employment lays me off or goes out of business due to budgetary constraints?

This does not release a graduate from the conditional employment obligations. A graduate may apply for a job in another WDI-approved agency to complete their obligations.

What are the impacts of taking family or maternity leave during the 36-month employment service period?

Family and maternity leave are as the employer defines. If the employer says its employee is still employed during that leave, it is counted within your employment service period. If the employer says they are not employed, then those months are not counted towards the 36 months.

If somebody with a documented disability is unable to complete or if the workplace does not meet the student’s reasonable accommodation, would that allow for an exemption in commitment?

There are mandated ADA-compliance laws for employers. If concerns arise post-graduation, the grant recipients/graduates should communicate their concerns and needs with WDI statewide administrator who will work on their behalf to resolve the issue. If a graduate decides to leave an agency, they are not released from their work commitment. The graduate would be required to find employment in another WDI-approved agency to complete their employment requirement.

What does service timing look like for students who need to work part time due to a disability?

If the employer states and confirms that the employee is “part-time” in accordance with the employer’s hiring criteria, due to their formally documented disability, then the student’s employment requirement continues is 36 months for one year of funding and 72 months for two or three years of funding.

Am I allowed to move cities and transfer sites to another approved-WDI site?

Yes, graduates may transfer sites/employers to another WDI-approved agency. You will have two months before employment in a WDI agency is required.

How much time do graduates have to transition between jobs?

Graduates have two months between jobs.

Does the type of work at a WDI or tribal center need to be behavioral health-focused or can it be any type of work as long as it is at a WDI or tribal center site?

While we cannot tell a Sovereign Nation how to define a behavioral health position or how to supervise their employees, the assumption is that a student will be working in a behavioral health setting and providing behavioral health services.

I thought WDI-approved sites are private nonprofit, but I see that there are some county (government) run sites. Why is that?

Where there are “Service Deserts,” counties (government run programs) may be listed.

I already work at a WDI-approved agency, will I be required to get another job post-graduation or will my current job be approved?

If the site is a WDI-approved agency, you may retain your current position. However, the intent is for graduates to fill masters-level, behavioral health positions.

Do I have to have a specific job title?

There are no job title requirements. However the goal is to increase the number of highly qualified and diverse behavioral health providers.

Do I have to work in the same WDI-approved agency for all 36 months?

No, you may work in multiple WDI approved agencies to fulfill your 36-month work commitment. However, you can stay in the same agency all 36 months if you prefer.

How long after I have completed my employment service period do I have to provide my contact and contract information with WDI?

Graduates submit a quarterly statement for the duration of their contractual commitment.

After your service period, there will a survey/questionnaire to help improve the program to learn about your experience and the impact of this initiative

How are award amounts determined?

Award amounts are based on your financial need and determined using your FAFSA or WASFA application. A costing form is required to to determine your total cost of attendance which is inclusive of tuition, fees, room, board, and other living expenses. The WDI determines awards based from higher education standards known as last-dollar calculations This standard subtracts expected family contributions along with other scholarships and possible work study eligibility to determine net financial need. The remaining amount is the WDI award amount, not to exceed $51,500 (or $25,750 for Advanced Standing Students).

How can award funds be used?

The award is intended to offset the cost of obtaining your graduate degree. Since it is dispersed as cash, students have flexibility in spending. We highly recommend students prioritize paying their tuition, then school fees, educational supplies, rent, etc.

How is the award disbursed?

The award is disbursed as cash via the student’s chosen account on record with the Office of Student Financial Aid. It is highly recommended that students set up direct deposit through OSFA via MyUW. In this case, OSFA will deposit the cash award directly into the student’s personal bank account. If direct deposit is not set up, then a check will be sent to the student’s local address. If there is no local address on file, then the check will be sent to the home address on file.

Please see UW Office of Student Financial Aid website for more information:

Does the award pay my tuition directly?

No, the money does not go directly to tuition. You must pay tuition through the regular payment process. We highly recommend you utilize your funds for tuition to decrease debt/financial burden.

What Impact does the WDI award have on my SSW scholarships and WA & Fed Financial Aid this year:

SSW Scholarship: Each student’s financial need is different. In order to distribute as much funding through all SSW resources as possible to all students, the school usually does not double award; however, if the financial need is demonstrated consideration of additional awards may be considered.

Your WDI financial support will most likely affect your financial aid loan amount (fed and/or state funds), which is why you are directed to consult with the UW Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA.). A major goal of the program is to reduce overall student debt, hence, the substantial grants depending on financial eligibility. However, keep in mind that the WDI funds are a cash award that students do not pay back as long as they complete all conditions outlined. Unlike WDI grants, students are required to pay back federal student loans with interest.

What is the general award distribution schedule? Funds are distributed equally across the quarters:

FT Advanced Standing (1 year program)

  • 1 year: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring

PT Advanced Standing (6 quarter program)

  • 1st year: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring,
  • 2nd year: Summer, Autumn. (If a student plans on graduating early, the payment schedule can be adjusted to distribute funds evenly over the remaining quarters the 2nd year)

FT Day (2 year program)

  • 1st year: Autumn, Winter, Spring
  • 2nd year: Autumn, Winter, Spring

EDP (3-year program)

  • 1st year: Autumn, Winter, Spring
  • 2nd year: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
  • 3rd year: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring. (If a student plans on graduating early, the payment schedule can be adjusted to distribute funds evenly over the remaining quarters the 3rd year.)

How much can a grant award fluctuate per year?

Grant awards will remain consistent year to year. The amount a student is awarded the first year, will remain the same amount year to year, for multi-year programs, not to exceed the maximum award amount of $51,500. However, students may request a reconsideration of financial need with OFSA for subsequent years if Year One is lower than the maximum offered based on the program.

In the unlikely circumstance when a student must repay their conditional grant, what is the interest rate?

This is not a loan, so there is no interest rate. There is no established low-interest loan program to tap into to re-pay the conditional grant in this unlikely situation it becomes necessary.

Are there additional training funds available?

There are no additional funds specifically earmarked for training, but WDI includes require participation in additional career support seminars and learning opportunities.

Do I need to continue to submit a FAFSA or WASFA for each year of the program?

Not for WDI. Your Year One award is the bases for your Year 2 award (and Year 3 award, if relevant). The only exception is if you intend to ask for a reconsideration of the maximum award for Year Two and beyond.

My financial situation has changed significantly since last year; what is the appeal process, requesting an increased award?

  1. Contact the UW SSW Program Administrator to inform them you are initiating a new financial review process.
  2. Student submits FAFSA or WASFA.
  3. Student submits Revision Request for Change in financial Situation to UW OSFA
  4. Upon successful completion revision with OSFA, inform SSW program administrator via email at
  5. The program administrator will forward request to the SSW fiscal review officer for review
  6. Once the SSW completes the fiscal review process the Program Administrator will inform the student of the award amount.