Become a Scholar

Why We Do What We Do

While many students dream of obtaining a college degree, life sometimes gets in the way – particularly for those dealing with personal responsibilities at home or in their communities. The Dell Scholars program, an initiative of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, recognizes students who have overcome significant obstacles to pursue their educations. In turn, these scholars serve as positive role models and change the trajectories for their families, friends and their communities.

We award 300 scholarships annually and since 2004, have provided students with over $60 million in college scholarships and support services. The Dell Scholars Program places greater emphasis on a student’s determination to succeed than just academic record and test scores. Our GPA requirement is Grit, Potential and Ambition. We reward low-income, highly motivated students who are better than their numbers indicate and demonstrate the drive to succeed despite personal obstacles. Our scholars have demonstrated grit, potential and ambition in their quest for a college education:

  • Grit by overcoming personal challenges in their lives related to their families, schools or communities
  • Potential by participating in college readiness programs and seeking out academic rigor
  • Ambition by dreaming of obtaining a college degree

More Than a Check

We know how tough it can be to succeed in college, so we provide our scholars with the support and assistance they need to make it through. We’ve seen what works over the last 10 years, and we want more students to have the opportunity to earn a college degree. We have a very realistic view, through hands-on experience, of what it takes to complete college, and we’ve designed our program to meet those needs.
Well beyond the financial support of $20,000, a laptop and textbook credits, we also provide ongoing support and assistance to address all of the emotional, lifestyle, and financial challenges that may prevent our scholars from completing college. These pressures range from dealing with stress, to getting out of debt, to tackling substance abuse or child care if life circumstances should require it.