Denver Scholarship Foundation

A college education opens up a door of opportunity for our Scholars to explore a certificate, two-year, or four-year program. According to College Board, students who graduate with a college degree will have higher earning potential, lower unemployment rates, and better career opportunities than if they had merely graduated from high school. By 2020, 74 percent of jobs in Colorado will require a college degree or certificate. In Colorado and nationwide, average tuition and mandatory fees for college are on the rise.

The DSF Scholarship has a transformative impact on 1,800 DPS graduates each year, who now understand that college is possible. DSF scholarships help students finance their education and leverage additional financial aid resources to address the real and perceived financial barriers to college.


Your qualified gift to help fund Scholarships could be matched 1:1 by special and exclusive agreement with the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI), which is a fund administered by the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Your gift could be doubled, providing scholarships to students graduating from DPS.

General Scholarship Fund

Your gift of any amount will help fund scholarships and make college possible for Denver Public Schools’ students.  The impact of the Denver Scholarship Foundation on students enrolled in the DPS system is unrivaled. Denver Scholarship gives scholarships to twenty percent of graduating DPS seniors annually. By making an investment in our Scholarship Program, which is one of the three core aspects of our college access and completion program, you will have partnered with a game-changer for Denver’s youth, and a national leader in helping students gain access to the education and experience they need to thrive in our modern economy and contribute to the vitality of our community.

Named Scholarships – A Special Way to Designate Your Support

Your gift will provide a DSF Named Scholarship to one or more students.  Named Scholarships are designated by the donor and named for them, or in honor or in memory of a loved one, or to reflect the type of scholarship the donor wishes to fund.  We ask that you consider making this gift each year for four years – the amount of time in which we encourage students to complete their baccalaureate studies in order to graduate on time and with manageable debt.

For more information, please contact our Director of Development, Jessica Milnes, at or 303.951.4152.

A special thank you to all of our donors and supporters who currently have a Named Scholarship.

2018-19 Named Scholarships

Alpine Bank Latino-Hispanic Scholarship

Andrew T. Wade Scholarship

Awad Scholarship

Ball Scholarship

Better Business Bureau of Denver and Boulder Scholarship

Boys Night Out Scholarship

Cheryl Harmon Memorial Scholarship for the Arts

Connie Burwell White and William W. White Foundation Scholarship

DaVita Healthcare Pathways Scholarship

Dick Shahan Scholarship

Donna Boucher Scholarship

Enerplus Scholarship

Group14 Engineering Scholarship

Harvey Family Foundation Scholarship

Herbert and Judy Paige Family Foundation Scholarship

Joe Blake Scholarship

Katie MacWilliams Scholarship

Loan and Dan Maas Memorial Scholarship

Mabel and James Cook Scholarship

Matt Lopez and Marc Alvarado Memorial Scholarship

Newmont Corporation Scholarship

Organization of Chinese Americans Colorado Scholarship

Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC Scholarship

QEP Resources Scholarship

R. A. Hunt Foundation Scholarship

Rana Tarkenton Endowed Scholarship

Regis F. Groff Scholarship

Reverend Eugene P. Todd Memorial Scholarship

Roth Education Foundation Scholarship

Schierburg Family Scholarship

Sprout Foundation Scholarship

Stead Family Scholarship

Suncor Scholarship

Virginia Hill Foundation Scholarship

Willow Connery Scholarship

Women in Technology Scholarship

Incentive Scholarships

Many students have fallen off track from graduating college in four years because federal financial aid guidelines have encouraged colleges and universities to define full-time enrollment as 12 credits per semester, the minimum amount needed to qualify for a full federal aid package. Yet, if a student takes only 12 credits per semester, it is impossible to complete a bachelor’s degree in four years.  Colleges now define full-time enrollment in terms that makes college completion in six years the norm, leading to additional student debt and a higher risk of non-completion.

Time Is Money

The fact that students can be enrolled full-time and still not graduate in four years is a major cause of rising student debt. In a study by Complete College America: The Four-Year Myth, researchers looked state by state to find out what those extra years really do cost a student.

In Colorado, the cost of attendance* for a year of college is $23,029. Lost wages account for $45,327 per year. It can cost a DSF Scholar over $68,000 per extra year of college. To be sure there are many reasons why students do not take 15 credits per semester, such as having to work to support themselves and their families, critical courses that are unavailable, uninformed choices in majors and enrollment in classes that do not apply to their major. Also, in many Colorado colleges, being enrolled in more than 12 credits per semester can cost more.

Incentive Scholarships – New Leverage to Facilitate College Completion in Four Years

Given what has become a chronic and very serious situation, DSF is restructuring its scholarship policy to provide a $4,000 annual scholarship (instead of the average $2,800) for Scholars enrolled in 15 credits per semester. The increase in funding will be combined with DSF’s:

  • “Best-fit” advising at the high school level so students can identify a college/career pathway that best suits their interests and academic, social/cultural, and financial situation;
  • Assistance in applying for colleges and additional financial aid;
  • Personally connecting DSF Scholars with their campus contacts for college level advising;
  • Early alert communication between the campus contacts and DSF advisors so the student stays on track; and
  • Wrap around support services during the Scholar’s college career.

With this multi-level approach, including the additional leverage of the incentive scholarship, DSF can help minimize the student debt-load and keep more of our Scholars engaged and on track to graduate in four years instead of what has become the costly norm of six years.

*Cost of Attendance: includes tuition, fees, housing, insurance, books and transportation.


Contact us at or 303.951.4140 for more information.