Students gain scholarships and learning communities through DC-Up Program

Students gain scholarships and learning communities through DC-Up Program

Students gain scholarships and learning communities through DC-UP Program


Toluwalase Adetosoye

Toluwalase Adetosoye is among the DC metropolitan-area students whose strong academic performance in high school qualified them for a full or partial scholarship to the University of the District of Columbia through the DC-UP program. Participants with GPAs of 3.0 and higher become part of a learning and leadership community, which promotes critical and creative thinking and connects students to mentors.

A graduate of Fairmont Heights High School in Capital Heights, Maryland, Adetosoye graduated with a 3.2 GPA and excelled in six sports—soccer, indoor and outdoor track, cross country, wrestling and lacrosse.

He was accepted to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island with a partial sports scholarship for wrestling and cross country. However, Adetosoye’s decision to attend UDC was based on being offered a DC-UP Scholars Learning Community scholarship with the balance of his tuition covered by UDC STEM scholarships.

“People kept doubting my decision and wanted me to go to an ivy league for the name,” he said. “I made the decision that was best for me and my morals. My main goal was to go to college and not be in debt and do what I enjoy. When I got the offer from UDC that my entire tuition would be covered, it made me smile. I’ve made great friends and have a large support system.”

Adetosoye, who is an 18-year-old first-semester freshman majoring in civil engineering, has a dream of working in project management.

“In addition to working as an engineer, my goal is to flip houses. My project management background will help me with that,” he said. “I want to be able to work and know my passive income will allow me to live comfortably.”

DC-UP scholars are provided with advisors and a coach throughout the academic year. Students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA. The summer before admission to the University, students participate in workshops and team-building activities in preparation for the start of college. During the academic year, DC-UP students meet monthly as a group and stay connected with their peers and coaches.

The DC-UP Scholars was established to create a leadership community formed around academic programs, service learning, and career services. The learning community integrates UDC’s vision which promotes effective communication and community involvement and shared curricular experiences and collaborative connections among students, faculty and staff.

Scholarships for the DC-UP Learning Community are based on merit with a full-ride scholarship offered to valedictorians and salutatorians with a 3.7 GPA or higher from DC Public and Charter schools. The tiered scholarships are also offered to seniors from the DC metro area and out-of-state and international schools for students with a 3.0 – 3.7 GPA, which covers partial tuition and fees.

The program sets out to establish a sense of belonging to the University, which is a proven factor in retention and student success.

“I’m enjoying UDC,” Adetosoye said. “The teachers are great. Every teacher has a different style, but they all show that they care and want you to be engaged. I’m in class with two DC-UP students whom I consider among my group of friends. We all stay connected through the group chat. The DC-UP program helped me adjust to a new environment.”