Alan R. Spence Transfer Student Support Fund

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The Alan R. Spence Transfer Support Fund was established to support transfer students in their educational pursuits at the University of Washington.  Dr. Spence had a long career as an educational leader at several Washington state community colleges, including 24 years at Pierce College. Valuing the community college system as a place where student can begin their journey through higher education regardless of their circumstances and backgrounds, Dr. Spence worked tirelessly to ensure that institutional barriers would not impeded a student’s ability to be successful.

Scholarships will be offered every other year on even-numbered years. The next chance to apply will be in Winter/Spring 2024.

Read about previous awardees, including their tips for future applicants!

  • Applicants must be Washington State residents who are US citizens or permanent residents; or undocumented students who are Washington State residents and DACA-eligible or WASFA-eligible.
  • Applicants must have earned a minimum of 36 credits at a WA State community college by the time they matriculate at UW Seattle. Students who hold an Associate’s degree are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must be UW Seattle matriculated students during the current academic year, who have completed at least one quarter at UW by the deadline.
  • Applicants must be studying toward their first bachelor's degree(s).
  • Applicants must demonstrate financial need as defined by the Office of Student Financial Aid. (Students in unusual financial situations may apply, but must explain these circumstances in the additional comments section of the application.)
  • Running Start students are not eligible if they entered UW as a Freshman Admit.
Student Type
  • sophomore
  • junior
  • senior
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • Undocumented

The online application will open January 2024.

The application will request:

  • Basic biographical information
  • An unofficial copy of your UW transcript will automatically be included in your application; applicants have the option to also include unofficial community college transcripts;
  • A copy of your most recent curriculum vitae or resume (a listing of honor, awards, service, research scholarships, etc.),
  • Two short essay responses: (1) What are your educational goals and how will receiving this scholarship help you to meet those goals (500 words or less); and (2) Tell us about your personal and life experiences that have impacted your decision to attend community college and to pursue the educational goals discussed in the previous essay (500 words or less). Optional additional response: Is there any additional information you wish to share with the Alan R. Spence Endowment Committee? (300 words or less)
  • One letter of recommendation from an academic advisor or a faculty member from your community college or UW.

A campus selection committee will review all complete and eligible applications and select 3-4 scholarship recipients by mid-March based on:

  • Academic and professional promise
  • Articulation of learning goals
  • Depth of thinking and reflection about educational experiences, decision-making around school, and life experiences.

Alan R. Spence, Ed.D., began his career in educational administration in 1970 at the Evergeeen State College as a Chief Accountant. At age 29 he became the youngest business officer in Washington state as the Vice President of Business and Finance at St. Martin's College. In 1981, he moved to Pierce College as the Associate Dean of Administrative Services where he was later promoted to the position of District Vice President of Administrative Services in 1987. He spent a total of 24 years at Pierce College. The final years of his distinguished career were spent at Seattle Community College District as the Chief Financial Officer. He retired in 2008.

Valuing the community college system as a place where students can begin their journey through higher education regardless of their circumstances and backgrounds, Alan Spence worked tirelessly to ensure that institutional barriers would not impede a student's ability to be successful.

Contact Information

Questions? Contact the UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards: email or phone 206-543-2603.