Lesley University’s Urban Scholars Initiative

Scholarship Name: Lesley University’s Urban Scholars Initiative

Status: CLOSED

Posted Date: October 31, 2019

Due Date: February 15, 2020

At Lesley University, we believe that potential isn’t defined by income level. That’s why we developed the Urban Scholars Initiative (USI). Launched in 2013, the program supports the financial, academic, and emotional needs of young adults, most of whom are the first in their families to go to college.

Urban Scholars Initiative provides tuition assistance, tutoring, and mentoring to enable low-income students to graduate from college with modest or no loan debt. To identify talented students, we’ve partnered with nonprofit organizations that prepare low-income students for the demands of higher education.

Families know that a college education is the key to economic opportunity. College graduates earn 84 percent more over their lifetimes than individuals with only a high school diploma, according to a 2011 Georgetown University study. But high costs can put college out of reach for many families.

By lifting many of the financial pressures—from tuition bills to books and class supplies—we help students focus on what matters most: their education. And providing greater access to college is critical to helping students realize their potential—whatever their background.

At its core, the Urban Scholars Initiative has a social justice mission. We want to close the education gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers. By helping these extraordinary students achieve their dream, we’re expanding Lesley’s outreach and transforming lives.

Our Urban Scholars receive:

  • Tuition discount of 50 percent off Lesley tuition each year for four years of undergraduate study
  • Book stipend to minimize the cost of textbooks
  • Opportunities for additional scholarships to decrease costs. USI students with a demonstrated financial need greater than 50 percent of tuition may apply for an additional donor-supported scholarship.
  • Peer mentoring: second-year USI students mentor first-year students
  • Advising to help set goals and expectations and to assess progress
  • Monthly seminars on topics ranging from professional development to personal health and well-being in college and beyond
  • Academic support such as tutoring
  • Career-oriented internships to gain hand-on experience (all undergraduate students at Lesley complete internships in their fields of interest)

To be eligible, students must have:

  • Participated in, and been recommended by, one of Lesley University’s partner organizations in the Greater Boston area: Artists for Humanity, Bottom Line, Boston Red Sox Urban Scholars Foundation, Breakthrough Boston, Higher Education Resource Center (HERC), KIPP Through Challenge, La Vida Scholars, Let’s Get Ready, Raw Art Works, Steps to Success (Brookline High School), Summer Search, The Graduate Support Program (Nativity Preparatory School), The Stepping Stone Foundation, and Trinity Education for Excellence Program (TEEP)
  • Met all criteria for undergraduate admission to Lesley University
  • Demonstrated financial need (determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students with DACA/undocumented status may apply without submitting a FAFSA

Program requirements:

  • Attend USI Summer Transition Week—All newly enrolled students are required to participate in the weeklong introduction to Lesley University and the USI program. Usually held during the second week of August (Sunday to Friday).
  • Remain in good academic standing—All students must remain in good academic standing and make satisfactory progress toward degree completion to remain eligible for the USI scholarship and any other related scholarships. A minimum 2.5 GPA is required.

To learn more and apply, click Urban Scholars Initiative.