A total of 104 high school students received the Oakland Promise scholarship to attend UC schools for the upcoming fall semester — 23 of whom will attend UC Berkeley.
The East Bay College Fund, or EBCF, awarded 413 total Oakland high school students with nearly $3 million combined in scholarships at a ceremony May 30. Students who will attend a two-year university will receive $1,000 per year, while students attending a four-year university will receive $4,000 per year.
UC President Janet Napolitano launched a separate scholarship called the UC Oakland Partnership Scholarship Program in 2014. Annually, the top six applicants, who demonstrate a commitment to bettering their community through community service and volunteering, are awarded an additional $5,000 to support their first year at a UC campus.
“UC will not only help you get into college through the Oakland Promise, it will help you pay for college, succeed in college and graduate from college,” Napolitano said in a press release.
This year, one of the UC Oakland Partnership Scholarship holders is Uriel Lopez, who will attend UC Berkeley in the fall, according to an email from UC spokesperson Stephanie Beechem.
A UC press release stated that recipients receive special services, such as help with applications and support from UC alumni.
“We also assist with scholarship application review and serve as a liaison between EBCF and scholarship offices on the 10 UC campuses,” Beechem said in an email. “We have also raised nearly $1M in campus based Oakland Promise scholarships for students attending the UC.”
The EBCF provides up to $4,000 per year — or $16,000 total — to students who will attend a four-year university, half of which is funded by the UC.
The program is also open to students who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, recipients. While many scholarships require U.S. citizenship, the Oakland Promise does not.
“As an organization dedicated to equity and service, we reject any decision that stands as a barrier to opportunity, education, and security for our scholars and their families who call this country their home,” EBCF’s website reads.
The website also states that the graduation rate of the Oakland Promise scholarship holders is four times the national average.
According to an email from Grant Palmer, a communications and development associate at EBCF, the application requirements include the student’s transcripts, letters of recommendation and two written essays: one about the person’s motivation to apply and the other about the applicant’s personal resilience. Additionally, applicants must have a GPA of 2.7 or better if they are planning to attend a four-year college.
“In reviewing scholarship applications EBCF looks for students who demonstrated resilience, are academically prepared for the rigors of college work, and overcame challenges,” Palmer said in an email.
Contact Jan Schuermann at [email protected].