Refugees Connecting Our Community Union Scholarship




YEAR 2021-2022


Provided by: A. Ray Olpin University Union

Value: $5,000

Number of awards: 1

Application deadline: Sunday, February 14, 2021 by 11:59pm (MST)



The purpose of the Union Scholarship Fund is to support the academic achievement of students representing a wide array of backgrounds and experiences; the students are currently attending or plan to attend the University of Utah. The fund promotes the retention and completion of students who demonstrate financial need and a commitment to the mission of the Union. Through this fund, the Union and its scholarship partners recognize students who are committed to bettering the communities they serve.


The Union Scholarship Fund provides one (1) scholarship of $5,000 to assist refugee students in accomplishing their academic goals. The purpose is to identify and recognize students whose community engagement and service have, or will contribute to the overall mission of the Union.  

The Refugees Connecting our Community Scholarship also values the importance of community and defines community engagement as the process of working collaboratively with community groups and individuals to address issues that impact the well-being of those groups. For purposes of this scholarship and application, we also have a broad interpretation of the definition of community to include the University of Utah, Salt Lake City area, or your own neighborhood.

This scholarship is open to students with refugee backgrounds. In addition, the scholarship committee recognizes the nuances in the legal definition of a refugee. As such, the Refugees Connecting Our Community Scholarship has a broad understanding of who is considered a refugee. This includes anyone who fits the broader definition as “someone who has been forced to flee [their] country because of persecution, war or violence”. Additionally, we also extend the understanding of a refugee to anyone who has experienced the intergenerational effects of the refugee and migrant diaspora. This includes having family members who are refugees and they themselves not falling under the legal definitions. Moreover, for the purpose of this scholarship, who is considered a refugee will be up to the applicant and their own definition and understanding of the word. 

Previous recipients of the scholarship are welcome to apply, with preference given to new applicants/recipients. 



  • This scholarship is available to refugee students (undergrad and graduate) currently enrolled at the University of Utah as well as incoming students anticipated to enroll for the 2021 fall semester
  • Candidates must take a minimum of 12 undergraduate or 9 graduate credits at the University of Utah for the 2021 fall semester.
  • Candidates must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 from the University of Utah or prior institution. Current high school students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.
  • This is a need based scholarship as such candidates financial need will be assessed.
  • Many students who are selected to receive a University scholarship after May 12, 2015, are required by state law to certify under penalty of perjury that they are eligible to receive the scholarship as a U.S. citizen or a citizen of another country who is lawfully present within the United States. Students who have both graduated from a recognized Utah high school and who are awarded a scholarship funded by a private donor are not required to certify their lawful presence before receiving a privately funded scholarship. (This scholarship is a privately funded scholarship.)
    • Students who are required to certify their lawful presence in the United States must also be submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for verification of their lawful presence within the United States. Once the University submits information to DHS for verification this federal agency may have the legal right to share information with other government agencies. If you do not know whether you are lawfully present within the United States you should seek the advice of an immigration attorney before accepting a University scholarship that requires certification and verification.


The recipient of this scholarship is expected to attend the annual Union Scholarship Celebration event during an evening in September 2021. The celebration promotes the scholarship on a community level and will be the time when the recipient is publicly recognized and awarded.


Hamza Yaqoobi

Communications & Development Manager

University of Utah, A. Ray Olpin Union Building

200 S. Central Campus Dr. Room 255 Salt Lake City, UT 84112

(801) 927-8301

Supplemental Questions
  1. How did you hear about this scholarship opportunity?
  2. Resume
  3. Please include the following two essays when submitting your application. 


    1. Please describe your relationship to the refugee community and your current and future intent to serve this community. (500 Word Maximum)
  4. AND

    2. An essay where you address your educational and career goals, your familial and personal background as a refuge or refugee backgrounds, and the reason why you believe you are qualified for this scholarship. (500 Word Maximum)

  5. Applicants may choose to provide additional information that may not be reflected in their provided materials. Additional information may include family or financial hardship, or GPA misrepresentation.