As in previous years, the high school seniors will each receive $20,000 to complete their college education within six years, as well as technology, mentoring, and other forms of support. According to the foundation, these additional resources are a big reason for the program's graduation rate of 85 percent, well above the national average of 19 percent for students with the same socioeconomic profile.
The program does not require students to have exceptionally good grades. Rather, the foundation seeks to recognize academic potential and determination in students who have a need for financial assistance. Now in its ninth year, the program has helped 2,150 at-risk students, 425 of whom have finished college and 1,576 of whom are working toward graduation.
"It has become clear that these at-risk students need more than just a check to be successful in graduating from college," said Michael & Susan Dell Foundation co-founder Susan Dell. "By empowering students to develop a plan in addressing the personal issues these students face and offering them support in those areas, the Dell Scholars Program increases their likelihood of obtaining a college degree."