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Scholarship Overview

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 Michael & Susan Dell Foundation created the Dell Scholars program with the understanding that it takes more than financial help to support students to college graduation. From the start, Dell Scholars was designed as a college completion program that offers support services that go beyond a scholarship check.

What Sets Dell Scholars Apart

Our program includes a support network made up of students, peer mentors, and the Dell Scholars staff to help our scholars succeed. We created a financial award that is very flexible, so Scholars can use their award money for the many costs that arise during their college career. We offer an online community to meet Scholars where they are connect them with fellow Scholars. We are constantly evolving our program to serve our Scholars all the way to college graduation.

Today, the Dell Scholars program offers personalized, multifaceted support to our Scholars that extends beyond the financial support of $20,000, a laptop, and textbook credits. We offer students and their families services and solutions to address individual and systemic issues that can create major barriers to student success. Resources include:

  • Confidential
    Counseling

  • Financial Aid
    Coaching

  • Work-life
    solutions

  • Support Staff With
    Similar Experiences

And our approach is working. Dell Scholars are 25 percent more likely to earn their bachelor's degrees within four to six years of high school graduation compared to students of similar socioeconomic backgrounds. While the cost of college rises, only half of our scholars graduate with any debt, and the average debt for those who borrow is less than $15,000 (approximately half the national average).

Scholarship Criteria

Participate in a program-approved college readiness program in grades 11 and 12
View list of approved CRPs ►
Plan to enroll full-time at an accredited higher education institution in the pursuit of a bachelor's degree in the fall directly following high school graduation
Be eligible to receive a federal Pell Grant in first year of college
Demonstrate a need for financial assistance
Earn a minimum of a 2.4 GPA
Be on track to graduate from an accredited high school in the current academic year

OUR GPA: Grit, Potential & Ambition

While we have a required 2.4 grade point average, Dell Scholars targets 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 a unique "GPA" of 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

How To Apply

Completing the online application is the first step to becoming a Dell Scholar. Once submitted, all applications will be assessed, and a group of Dell Scholar semifinalists will be selected. Semifinalists are asked to submit a current copy of their high school transcript, a complete Student Aid Report (SAR) from their FAFSA, and an online recommendation. After the semifinalist information is submitted, all information is reviewed by an independent selection committee.