Rainier Scholars and University Prep

University Prep has a deep and long-standing relationship with Rainier Scholars, which began shortly after the organization’s inception in 2002.

Each spring, Rainiers Scholars cultivates the academic potential of approximately 60 talented and motivated young scholars from underserved communities by inviting them to join the program. The students’ twelve-year journey includes a fourteen-month intensive academic phase, placement into the area’s top schools (both independent and public), leadership development, and support which lasts throughout their college years. By offering access to exceptional educational opportunities and ongoing comprehensive support, Rainier Scholars works to increase college graduation rates and to develop a new generation of leaders.

University Prep currently has 42 Rainier Scholars, a record number, and more than any other independent school of similar size. To date, 42 Rainier Scholars have graduated from UPrep and gone on to excellent colleges across the nation. In 2014, University Prep created the Erica and Nason Hamlin Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor the legacy of departing head of school Erica Hamlin, and to ensure our continued support of Rainier Scholars.



Rainier Scholars and their families have changed the culture of University Prep in innumerable positive ways. Each one of these remarkable students has been successful academically, has demonstrated upstanding character, and has been an active contributor in diverse co-curricular activities. Each one of these scholars brings talents, perspectives, and life experiences that enrich the educational environment for all students and teachers at University Prep.

Rainier Scholars Statistics

  • 100% of scholars graduate high school on time and ready for college
  • 99% of scholars are admitted to at least one four-year institution
  • 90% of scholars are expected to earn a college degree within a five-year time frame
  • 90% of scholars come from a household without a college degree