Q & A

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question about the application process or Dell Scholars Program, please contact us.


When can I apply for the scholarship?

The application process opens on November 1 and closes the following January 15.

When will the semifinalists be announced and how do I find out if I am a semifinalist?

All applicants will be able to check their scholarship status on or after February 1. Semifinalists will be able to review the required next steps and deadline for the next stage of the application process on or after February 1.

Is there a minimum Grade Point Average requirement?

All applicants must have a minimum of a 2.4 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

I have a 2.4 GPA, do I have a chance to receive the scholarship?

Yes. The scholarship program is primarily a need-based scholarship rather than merit based. The GPA requirement reflects the Foundation’s mission to reach underserved students who are academically prepared and college ready, and to provide them with scholarship funds to achieve a college education.

How do I know if I have demonstrated need for financial assistance?

All applicants must have financial need. Financial need will be confirmed through eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a Federal Pell Grant?

This eligibility is determined by the financial aid office at your school from the FAFSA information you provide and takes into account such factors as your EFC (Expected Family Contribution), enrollment status, and attendance cost for your designated school. If you are currently eligible for the free or reduced cost lunch program – e.g., National School Lunch Program (NSLP), you should apply for the Dell Scholars Program scholarship.

Do I have to be a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident to apply for a scholarship?

All applicants must be United States citizens or have an immigration residency status that allows the applicant to qualify for federal financial aid after completing the FAFSA.

I am a home-schooled student, can I apply?

No. Only seniors who have participated in an Dell Scholars Program approved college readiness program are eligible to apply for the scholarship program.

I received a General Education Diploma (GED), can I apply?

No. Only seniors who have participated in an Dell Scholars Program approved college readiness program are eligible to apply for the scholarship program.

I attend an American Sponsored Overseas School or Department of State school, can I apply?

Yes, if you have participated in a Dell Scholars Program approved college readiness program at your school. Please check with your principal or counselor to confirm.

Is there a fee to apply?

No, there are no fees to apply for the Dell Scholars Program.

Are paper applications accepted?

All applications must be completed online. No paper applications will be accepted.

What is the FAFSA?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application is required to receive any federal financial aid (such as Pell Grant, Perkins, Stafford, etc.). You may complete this application online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

What does the scholarship pay for?

Scholarship funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Upon the Foundation’s approval, you may also be able to use your funds for approved internships and study abroad programs.

Can I use the scholarship at any college and for any major?

One of the goals of the Dell Scholars Program is to improve the outcomes of underserved students through the opportunities a bachelor’s degree can provide. As a result, the scholarship may usually be used at any regionally-accredited two-year or four-year nonprofit institution in the United States where credits can be earned towards a baccalaureate degree, including community and junior colleges. Any credits earned should generally be transferrable to a four-year institution, and all institutions should participate in Federal financial aid programs as well as award significant aid of their own. The scholarship may not be used at technical colleges, vocational programs, and for profit colleges. Scholarship recipients may pursue any baccalaureate degree program of their choice.

Where does funding for the Dell Scholars Program Scholarship come from?

The Dell Scholars Program Scholarship is funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, a private family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is not affiliated with Dell, Inc., the computer company.

Who are Michael and Susan Dell?

Please click here to learn more about Michael and Susan

Please click here to learn more about the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Do you have any hints for my application?

Having reviewed a large number of applications, we offer you the following words of advice to consider while completing your application.

  • Don’t use abbreviations or slang in your answers.
  • Proofread your essays before you submit your application.
  • Use the essays to tell the rest of the story that other questions don’t ask.
  • Choose a recommender that will be able to answer questions about you from a personal and academic perspective.