The Dease Scholarship Program

The Dease Scholarship Program is named in honor of St. Thomas’ 14th President, the Reverend Dennis Dease. Father Dease initiated this program to increase access to a St. Thomas education for students historically underrepresented at the university. These full-tuition scholarships are generally awarded to students of color, first-generation students and/or graduates from urban high schools who demonstrate commitment to academic excellence, leadership and their communities.

Over its ten-year history, the Dease Scholarship Program has successfully supported more than 200 St. Thomas students. Awarded to 10-15 first-year students annually, Dease Scholarships are renewable and thereby offer an outstanding opportunity for students to earn a four-year degree at St. Thomas.

The success of the Dease Scholarship Program is a reflection of the character and quality of the Dease Scholars. When current recipients of the Dease Scholarship were asked to describe their purpose, vision for the future and their personal values, the following themes emerged:

  • Education
  • Family
  • Advancement of others
  • Discovery
  • Making others proud
  • Humility
  • Perseverance
  • Dedication
  • Courage

The Application Process

The Dease Scholarship Program is competitive. Those wishing to compete must be admitted to the University of St. Thomas and meet all other scholarship program guidelines as outlined herein.

Students interested in being considered for the Dease Scholarship Program should take the following action:

  • Complete an application for admission to St. Thomas
  • Complete the Dease Scholarship Program application

The Dease Scholarship Program deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. The Dease Scholarship Committee will review applicant’s credentials and announce finalists in the spring of 2019.

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Program Expectations

To build a solid foundation of success, Dease Scholars live on campus for their first two years at St. Thomas and have a collection of programming initiatives that they are expected to participate in throughout their four years at St. Thomas. Every year, these include a retreat, several group-wide meetings, weekly community service opportunities, professional development and reflection sessions, a spring break service trip and occasional one-on-one meetings with professional staff.

The Dease Scholarship Program intends to serve the scholars by helping them realize their fullest potential, while connecting them with their fellow Dease Scholars at St. Thomas. This program includes civic engagement, leadership development, and social networking opportunities. Being a Dease Scholar involves a commitment not only to service, but also to learning how to be an effective changemaker for one's campus, community, and beyond.

Financial Information

The Dease Scholarship supersedes any merit award that St. Thomas may have already awarded. Students demonstrating financial need are eligible to receive need-based federal aid (Pell, SEOG, etc.) and MN state grants (if eligible) to meet the remaining cost for room and board. For many needy students, the combination of the Dease Scholarship, federal aid and MN state grants meets the full cost of St. Thomas’ tuition, fees, room and board. Federal Student Loans may be utilized to cover books and miscellaneous expenses if needed. Funds from all sources may not exceed the cost for tuition, fees, room and board, and an allowance for books and personal expenses.