The Dell Scholarship Program, offered by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, is a college scholarship that grants students from underserved communities an opportunity to achieve their dreams. The program was founded in 2004.
What is amazing about the Dell Scholarship is that it is a strong support system that provides resources to students throughout their college careers and ensures that they earn a degree in their chosen field.
The mission of the program is to provide academic rewards and opportunities for students who have overcome difficulties or faced barriers to academic success but are motivated and promising.
To date, the Dell Scholars program has served more than 4,800 scholars. Typically, only about 20% of students who fit the Dell profile graduate in 6 years or less.
Interested in becoming a Dell Scholar? Read on to learn everything you need to know about the program, including how to increase your chances of winning!
The Dell Scholarship Program’s goal is to help students fund college and empower them throughout their academic journey.
As a Dell Scholar, you will receive a personalized support system that includes the resources you require.You will also be a part of a large support network that includes other students, peer mentors, and Dell Scholars staff.
Furthermore, you are given a great deal of flexibility in deciding how to spend your award money.
The Dell Scholars Program, in particular, provides:
- A scholarship of $20,000 (available for at least 6 years). The funds can be used to pay for undergraduate and postgraduate school tuition fees, student loan repayment, study abroad opportunities, and/or internship stipends!
- Personalized support resources that assist in reducing academic, financial, and emotional stressors that can make college completion difficult.
- A four-year warranty laptop
- Chegg credits ($500 per year for four years) for textbook purchases, rentals, and/or textbook solutions (via Chegg Study)
- Access to the Scholars Resources Network, which connects students and their families to stress management, debt management, childcare, and other resources.
- A service that connects students to professional counseling via teletherapy.
The Dell Scholars Program targets to provide college students regular and ongoing help from the day they win the scholarship to the day they graduate.
This makes it one of the maximum life-converting scholarship possibilities to be coveted for college students out there!
The official dates for the Dell Scholarship application in 2022 haven’t been released yet. But based on the previous application cycles, you can expect the following timeline:
October 1: Application opens
December 1: Application deadline
December 10: Semifinalists announced
End of January: Semifinalist materials due
Beginning of March: The Dell scholars are announced and are awarded the scholarship.
It’s obvious that the Dell Scholarship is a fantastic opportunity, but are you eligible for it?
The first thing to know is that the Dell Scholars Program does not place as much emphasis on your GPA or standardized test scores as many other scholarships do.
They’re looking for what drives you to succeed and potential, which aren’t always reflected in your academic record.
So, if you want to call yourself a Dell Scholar, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be a US citizen.
- During your junior and senior years of high school, you must have participated in a Dell Scholar-approved college readiness program.
- You are to graduate from an accredited high school during the year of application.
- Have a GPA of 2.4 or higher
- In your first year of college, you must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant (and demonstrate a need for financial assistance)
- Plan to enroll full-time in a bachelor’s program at an accredited higher education institution the fall semester following your high school graduation.
Furthermore, this scholarship program targets low-income, highly motivated students who outperform their numbers and demonstrate a desire to succeed despite personal obstacles. In their pursuit of a college education, the ideal candidate will demonstrate a unique “GPA” of grit, potential, and ambition:
- GRIT: by addressing or overcoming personal life challenges related to their families, schools, or communities.
- POTENTIAL: by taking part in college readiness programs and pursuing academic qualifications
- AMBITION: by arranging and preparing for their dream of graduating from college with a degree.
The first step is completing the online Dell Scholarship application form. To complete this application, you will need to submit the following information:
- Your personal information (name, address, phone number, email, etc.)
- High school transcript information (courses, grades).
- Top 3 colleges or universities of your choice and your intended major.
- ACT and SAT test scores
- Basic information about your parents (e.g. their employment status, marital status, etc.)
- Contact information for a personal recommender
Once you’ve submitted your application and you meet the necessary requirements, you will be notified that you’ve been selected as a semi-finalist. If that is the case, there are extra information and details you are to provide;
- An official copy of your high school transcript
- A complete Student Aid Report (SAR), which is generated by filling out a FAFSA (Free Application or Federal Student Aid). This is your first step to receiving financial aid from the government.
- An online recommendation
Once your application has been submitted, a committee will review all of your application materials and make a final decision.
Tips and Strategies For Winning the Dell Scholarship
Review the Sample Application Thoroughly
You can find a sample Dell Scholars application form on their website, which you can review before you fill it out.
The more familiar you are with it, the better you will be at filling it out accurately and on time.
Reviewing the sample application ahead of time will assist you in determining what information you still need to collect and will familiarize you with the essay prompts (more on this in a moment).
Possess the Dell “GPA”
The Dell Scholars Program requires a minimum GPA of 2.4, but it looks for much more in students. They believe that your potential is represented by more than just numbers and have developed their own, one-of-a-kind “GPA.” This was already mentioned earlier in the article.
These characteristics form the foundation of your entire application. You will have a much better chance of winning if you demonstrate that you possess these qualities!
Complete the Short Essays
This scholarship application, like many others, requires you to write multiple brief scholarship essays. These essays demand thinking, and effort, but they are an excellent method to demonstrate your “GPA” (girt, potential, and ambition).
The more powerful your essays, the more you will stand out.
There are six brief essays prompts to respond to, each with a character limit of 1200-1800. That’s around 250 words per page, or about one page typed and double-spaced.
It may appear that there is a lot of writing, yet each essay isn’t that long. Also, bear in mind that these are maximum character counts, so you can write less if you choose.
Know Your Federal and State Aid Eligibility
The Dell Scholarship application form will ask about your eligibility for the following government support programs. It will help to have this information ready to go:
- Free or Reduced Cost Lunch Program (example: National School Lunch Program (NSLP))
- Food Stamps/EBT or other food assistance program
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or other utility assistance programs
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Reduced Housing/Housing Assistance (example: HUD Section 8)
- Social Security Death or Disability (not standard retirement)
- State or Federal Health Insurance (example: MediCal, CHIP)
- The Medicaid joint federal and state program
If you don’t know offhand if you’re eligible for any of these programs, the first step is to talk to your parents or guardians, who may have a better idea.
Choose Your Personal Recommendation Wisely
You will only need to enter your recommender’s personal information in the initial stage of the application procedure. They will be approached for a formal referral if you proceed.
Choosing the right person is critical since they will reveal information about you from a different angle.
Our best piece of advice for selecting a recommender is to go with someone who knows you well. This individual should be able to speak to your academic potential and your personality. A teacher or school counselor is an excellent choice.
Your recommender must be over the age of 21 and not related to you.
We also recommend that you select someone with strong written and verbal communication abilities who will do a good job of explaining your ideas.
Finally, ensure that you ask your recommender if they are willing to help you in this way ahead of time, so they aren’t startled if the Dell Scholars Program contacts them!
Give them your résumé or a list of your accomplishments to guarantee they know how to create a strong scholarship recommendation letter.
The Dell Scholarship Program is one of the top scholarships available, but it is highly competitive.
Because obtaining a financial education in this day and age is tough, the Michael & Susan Foundation offers student assistance to students who have set lofty goals.
In your application, make sure to impress the committee with your perseverance and motivation to succeed in the face of difficult hurdles.
You will be able to accelerate your application and boost your chances of receiving an award if you understand the specifics regarding this scholarship opportunity.