Dressel Scholars Program

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Open to: All undergraduate students
Award: Varies
Application deadline: April 3, 2020

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The Dressel Scholars program, funded by an initial gift from the family of Melanie Jan LaPlant Dressel, provides support to students at the University of Washington Tacoma. This support is defined as:

  • Student Awards – Financial support is offered to selected students to use in support of their expenses while a student at UW Tacoma.
  • Mentorships – Each Dressel Scholar is assigned a team of mentors who is their “personal board of directors” while they are in the program.
  • Opportunities – Dressel Scholars are offered opportunities to participate in educational and community events intended to expand their potential and broaden their horizons.

The combination of student awards (scholarships), a robust mentorship program, and participation opportunities is designed to develop the leadership potential for students who have demonstrated an academic and service mindset, but may lack the opportunities necessary to fully realize their potential as community leaders. This program is intended to remove financial barriers that limit students’ ability to fully participate in their college experience. We have a diverse team of mentors to guide and assist Dressel Scholars with sound advice and guidance, giving our students a solid foundation upon which to build their leadership experience. Additionally, this program affords students the opportunity to have professional experiences that they might not otherwise have to help them achieve their full potential as UW Tacoma students and as leaders and citizens in our community.


Students currently enrolled or applying for enrollment for Autumn Quarter 2020 in any UW Tacoma undergraduate program. This includes: 

  • Currently enrolled UW Tacoma students not intending to graduate prior to Spring 2021
  • Current high school seniors applying for acceptance for Autumn 2020
  • Community college students applying for transfer to UW Tacoma for Autumn 2020 acceptance.

There is a strong expectation that the student will have completed the necessary credits and other requirements to be admitted to UW Tacoma for Autumn quarter 2020 to complete their baccalaureate degree. Should a prospective student accept the scholarship and then not qualify for transfer or enrollment, the award will be withdrawn and may go unfilled that year. 

To be eligible, students must be pursuing their first baccalaureate degree, having earned a high school diploma (or equivalent) by September 1, 2020. Those who already have earned a bachelor’s degree, or are pursuing graduate study, will not be considered for the Dressel Scholars Program. The Dressel Scholars application is open to students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

If a student is selected, he or she has three weeks to decide whether to accept the award. UW Tacoma reserves the right to offer the scholarship and program acceptance to other applicants should the first offers be declined.