Training Scholarship Program
What is the scholarship program?
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is responsible for administering the Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) with funding provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The RTAP program supports a variety of services including the provision of technical assistance and training to meet the specific needs of transportation operators in nonurbanized areas. Included in those services is the provision of scholarships to cover tuition and expenses for individuals to attend training courses, workshops, and conferences. The scholarship program is administered by the WSDOT RTAP Coordinator.
What is the purpose of the scholarships?
The purpose of the scholarship program is to provide funding support to eligible agencies to help defray the cost of sending personnel to approved training courses, workshops, and conferences. The intent of the program is to supplement existing training resources, not to supplant them.
Who is eligible for a scholarship?
Eligible transportation agencies include:
• Recipients of FTA 5310 and 5311 grants
• Rural transportation providers
• Small urban transportation providers (on a space available basis, or at the discretion of the RTAP Coordinator)
• Providers of special needs transportation services
• Officers and staff of the Washington State Transit Association (WSTA) and the Community Transportation Association of the Northwest (CTA-NW)
• Others at the discretion of the RTAP Coordinator
Where do I get an application?
The RTAP application can be downloaded by clicking the following link:
How do I apply for a scholarship?
- Complete the designated RTAP application form, including your estimated expenses. Be sure that your agency's chief exectuive officer signs it.
- Click here to download an application form.
- Note: The signed application form must be submitted on paper.
- Send your applicaiton using either of the following methods:
Mail it to: Nicole Rutledge
Washington State Department of Transportation
PO Box 47387
Olympia, WA 98504-7387
Or email a signed, scanned copy to: firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the requirements?
To receive an RTAP training scholarship, you must meet the following requirements:
- The recipient must meet all scholarship program eligibility requirements.
- The training or conference you want to participate in must further the development of the professional skills and abilities of rural, small urban, and specialized transportation providers in Washington State.
- The recipient must comply with all application process requirements, including receipt of written confirmation from the Department.
- The request for a scholarship must be sponsored by an agency and signed by the chief executive officer of the agency.
- You must provide a written summary of the training you receive before you can be reimbursed. You must also provide receipts for your expenses.
Who makes decisions about the scholarships?
The RTAP Coordinator reviews each application and awards scholarships. Criteria used in that determination include:
• Justification in terms of financial need and anticipated value to the agency.
• Relevance of training to the individual’s job at the agency.
• Financial contributions provided by the agency.
• Amount of funds requested.
• Agency and individual scholarships previously received within the last year.
• Availability of funds remaining in the scholarship program budget.
• Only training in Washington State is eligible.
What will a training scholarship cover?
A RTAP training scholarship will reimburse you for the following expenses:
• training or conference fees
RTAP scholarships will not cover the cost of food.
How does a scholarship work?
1. You send an application, including your estimated expenses, to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
2. WSDOT receives your application and, if appropriate, approves a scholarship; then WSDOT uses the state travel rate to calculate the expenses the scholarship will cover.
3. WSDOT confirms in writing that you have a scholarship and the amount it will cover. There is no scholarship if it is not confirmed in writing.
4. Following your training or conference, WSDOT reimburses you for your actual expenses up to the limit of the scholarship. To accomplish this, the recipient must submit a written request for reimbursement (including copies of relevant receipts), and a written summary of the training received and its benefits.
How much funding is available?
RTAP will reimburse for approved scholarships based upon the following guidelines:
- Costs up to $600 are reimbursed at 100 percent
- Additional costs of $601 - $2500 will be reimbursed at 50 percent.
- All costs beyond $2500 are the responsibility of the recipient's agency/organization.
- Total reimbursement will not exceed $1550 per scholarship.
- There is a limit of three scholarships per individual per year.
- There is a limit of three individuals from a single agency, per training opportunity.
- Exceptions to these limits are at the discretion of the RTAP Coordinator and must be applied for in writing at the time the scholarships are requsted.
When are applications due?
You must send a scholarship application to the RTAP Coordinator at least one month before the training or conference begins. You can always call the RTAP coordinator to ask if applications for the training are still being accepted.
What about special events?
The WSDOT recognizes that certain conferences have special value to transportation providers in Washington State. For those events, a specific number of scholarships will be set aside to encourage participation. The number of such scholarships will be determined by the RTAP Coordinator in consultation with the Washington State Transportation Training Coalition. Members of the Coalition include WSTA, CTA-NW, and the Washington State Transit Insurance Pool (WSTIP). The RTAP coordinator may offer a specific number of scholarships to WSTA and CTA-NW and require each to submit a prioritized list of candidates that meet scholarship eligibility standards. The RTAP Coordinator will make the final award from those lists. Special events include:
• The Annual Washington State Public Transportation Conference
• Tha Annual ADA Conference in Leavenworth, WA
What if I want a scholarship but don’t meet the requirements?
The RTAP Coordinator can make an exception to many of the requirements. To be considered as an exception, send a request in writing one month before the training or conference.
How do I get my reimbursement?
Following the training or conference—and within 60 days—you must:
• Re-submit a copy of the designated application form.
• Include a written report summarizing the training you received.
• Attach all receipts for your expenses.
• Mail it to the address listed above.
You will not be paid if your application, report, and receipts have not been received within 60 days of the training.
Have a question?
For questions about applications, reimbursement, or program please call Nicole Rutledge, the RTAP Coordinator, at 360-705-6930, or email@example.com