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.
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:
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).