The Dease Scholarship Program

The Dease Scholarship Program is was 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 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 15 – 20 first-year students, 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

Dease Scholars will be expected to participate in a variety of activities including a retreat, meetings with university and community leaders, academic and career support and advising sessions, mentoring and events with other Dease Scholars. Scholars are also expected to become involved in service opportunities and activities on campus. 

The Dease Scholarship 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 application available online starting Dec. 15, 2017

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 2018.

Dease Scholarship Finalists:

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.

To build a solid foundation of success, Dease Scholars live on campus the first two years of their St. Thomas career, and have a collection of programming initiatives that they are expected to participate in throughout their four years at St. Thomas. These initiatives are focused on building community, providing one-on-one support, and fostering academic, career and leadership success. Click here for an example of the Dease Requirements. Program expectations may be subject to change slightly from year to year.