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

To apply, complete the online application for the UW Alumni Reunion and Class Gift Scholarships, which includes seven different scholarships offered by the Class of 1954Class of 1955Class of 1957Class of 1962Class of 2016UW 50th Reunion Student Assistance Fund and the Alan R. Spence Transfer Student Support FundThe application will open in mid-February 2024 at

The online application will require:

  • A personal statement of 800 words or less describing extra-curricular activities, co-curricular activities, work and/or other forms of experiential learning (opportunities for learning outside of class through study abroad, research, community engagement, volunteering, etc.), and their relevance to your academic, career and/or professional goals.
  • If you are NOT receiving need-based financial aid AND are working full-time or part-time to finance your education, please tell us about your work experience during school here (and please make sure work experience is included on your resume). (Max 300 words)
  • If you entered UW as a transfer student from a WA community college, share with us how your community college experience has enriched your educational journey and your experience at UW. (Max 300 words)
  • A copy of your most recent curriculum vitae or resume (a listing of work experiences, service, research, honors, awards, scholarships, etc.). There is no page limit on this document. Please make sure it is both concise and thorough. Get resources to build or strengthen your resume or CV.
  • One letter of recommendation from a faculty member (UW or community college), adviser (UW or community college), supervisor from an extracurricular or experiential learning activity or work experience, or other mentor who knows you well. This letter should address your academic engagement and potential, engagement in extracurricular and/or experiential learning activities and/or work experiences, and how your engagements are building upon your academic work.
    • Please request and discuss this recommendation letter with your preferred recommender in advance of listing them in the application to ensure they are available to write and submit a letter.
    • Once you enter your recommender's contact information into the application, they will receive an automatic email with information about how to log in and submit their letter. Sometimes those emails get caught by spam filters, so it is your responsibility to follow up with your recommender to ensure they received that message and have all the information they need to submit a letter for you.
  • Your grades: your UW transcript will automatically upload into your application. Please submit unofficial transcripts from any other college or university you attended.

A selection panel of UW faculty, staff and alumni will review all completed applications and select 1-2 students to receive each scholarship. Scholarship selection will be based on:

  • Academic engagement and potential.
  • Sense of purpose about your studies and activities.
  • Potential to make positive contributions to your field and/or society in your future career.
  • Demonstrated depth of thinking and reflection about connections between activities, engagements, work, etc. and the value of those experiences to your learning or future trajectory.
  • Well-formulated ideas about the direction of studies and future career.
  • Alignment with each of the scholarships’ unique requirements.

Notification of the campus selection panel's decisions will be e-mailed to applicants in mid-May. Students selected to receive these scholarships will be able to choose when the scholarships will be disbursed (options will include spring 2024, summer 2024, or fall 2024).

Receipt of any scholarship, including these, can impact any financial aid you may be receiving, and the awarding of these scholarships can also be impacted by financial aid limits. This should not discourage you from applying! If you are selected, we can work through any of those circumstances that could come up.


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.