The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has announced scholarships totaling more than $6 million to help more than three hundred low-income students across the country obtain a college degree.
Each student will receive $20,000 in financial assistance over six years and will be invited to participate in the Dell Scholars Program support network, which provides access to a peer community, mentoring, and technology resources to ensure that students have the support they need to obtain a college degree. Research has shown that high-risk students are more likely to drop out of college due to financial difficulties, pressure related to family responsibilities, and the long work hours needed to pay for college and/or help support their families. By offering a suite of wrap-around services to students and their families, the program aims to significantly boost students' chances of graduating from college with lower-than-average debt.
Now in its eleventh year, the program to date has helped 867 students — some 80 percent of program participants — graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years — a significantly higher rate than the national average of 19 percent among students from similar socioeconomic backgrounds.
"It's our belief that all students — regardless of their economic status — should have the opportunity to receive a college degree," said Janet Mountain, executive director of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. "We work to understand the obstacles that this group of students faces, and then provide them with the support they need. With Dell Scholar Program graduation rates above the national average, we are seeing more promising results with our program each year."
For a complete list of this year's Dell Scholars, visit the Dell Foundation Web site.