Dell Scholarship FAQs Tailored Specifically for U.S. Students

Provided by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Dell Scholars Initiative is a college scholarship and so much more. The Dell Scholars Program was created in 2004, and is a scholarship and college completion system that allows students from underserved neighborhoods to fulfill their academic dreams. Discover the most detailed information targeted for college students looking for a financial aid, helping you to prepare for and win a Dell Scholarship today!

Dell Scholarship FAQs
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What is Dell Scholars?

Dell Scholars is a scholarship program that fosters and motivates students on their path to a college degree. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has sponsored 5,000 students since the system launched in 2004, including more than 2,000 college graduates.

How can scholarships funds be used?

The scholarship is planned to be adjustable in such a manner that students can use scholarship funds for the various expenses accrued through their university career. In addition to covering tuition, fees and full participation expense for undergraduate studies, scholarship awards may be used for graduate school, redemption of loans, study abroad, and internship grant.

You will be receiving individualized support programs as a Dell Scholar, along with the requisite tools personalized to you. You’ll also be part of a comprehensive support network composed of other students, peer coaches, and staff at Dell Scholars. You’re also granted tremendous versatility as to what you should use the reward money for.

Specifically, the Dell Scholars Program offers:

  • A $20,000 scholarship
  • Individually tailored, multidimensional assistance to the challenges of personal, financial and emotional life that may discourage students from completing college
  • A laptop with 4-year warranty
  • Chegg credits ($500 annually for four years) to be used for textbook purchases and rentals and/or textbook solutions (via Chegg Study)
  • A Scholars Resource Network that connects students and their families with resources to deal with stress, debt, managing child care, and life circumstance
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The Dell Scholars Program seeks to give continuous and continuing encouragement to students from the day they receive the scholarship to the day they graduate, making it one of the most life-changing opportunities for studying out there.

How many people win Dell Scholarship?

To date more than 4,800 students have been supported by the Dell Scholars Program.

How do I apply for Dell Scholarship?

To be eligible for the Dell Scholars program, you must have completed an approved college readiness program in grades 11 and 12 and plan to enroll at an accredited bachelor’s program the fall directly after high school graduation. You must also demonstrate financial need, be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant, and have at least a 2.4 GPA.

You should be able to answer a variety of short answer questions in addition to your transcript, test scores and personal information. You should plan to address questions about your personal interests and ambitions, your difficulties and your home and financial situation.

When you are selected as a semifinalist, you may need to apply your FAFSA documents and have access to your college background to receive a recommender.

To apply for a scholarship from Dell Scholars, the first step is completing the online application. See key application dates here:

When all applications are submitted, they will be reviewed and a selection of semifinalists will be chosen. Semifinalists are asked to request an up-to-date copy of their high school diploma, a comprehensive Student Assistance Evaluation (SAR) from their FAFSA and a recommendation online. Once the semifinalist information has been submitted, an independent selection committee must review all the information. View a sample application here:

How do you win the Dell Scholarship?

1. Review the sample application thoroughly

You can find a sample Dell Scholars application on their website which you can check before it is actually time to fill in. The more acquainted you are with this, the more you will be able to fill it out in a timely and precise manner.

Reviewing the sample application in advance will help you decide what material you do need to gather and help you become acquainted with the essay prompts (more on that in a moment).

2. Possess the Dell “GPA”

The Dell Scholars Program requires a minimum GPA of 2.4, but in students it is searching for something much deeper. They think talent is expressed in more than just numbers, and have developed their own special “GPA.”

To be a strong candidate, you should demonstrate the following “GPA”:

  • Grit by overcoming personal challenges in your life related to your family, school, or community
  • Potential by participating in a college readiness programs and seeking out academic rigor
  • Ambition by dreaming of obtaining a college degree

Such characteristics form the foundation of all the program. If you prove you have those qualities, you’re going to have a much better chance of winning.

3. Nail the short essays

As for other applications for scholarships, this one asks you to submit some short essays on scholarships. These essays take consideration and commitment, but they’re a great way to show off your “GPA” (girt, potential, and ambition). The better the essays, the more likely you are going to stand out.

There are 6 short essay prompts to respond, each with a 1200-1800 character-limit. That’s an average of about 250 characters, or around a written, double spaced paged word.

It that sound like a lot of writing but not every single article is very long. Remember, bear in mind that all numbers of characters are maximums, so you can write fewer if you wish. What it means is you’ll need to get to the point fast and keep focused on answering the issue.

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4. Know your federal and state aid eligibility

The application from Dell Scholars will ask about your qualifications for the following government funding services. Getting the details ready to go would help:

  • Food Stamps/EBT or other food assistance program
  • Free or Reduced Cost Lunch Program (example: National School Lunch Program (NSLP))
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or other utility assistance programs
  • Reduced Housing/Housing Assistance (example: HUD Section 8)
  • Social Security Death or Disability (not standard retirement)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • State or Federal Health Insurance (example: MediCal, CHIP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • The Medicaid joint federal and state program

If you don’t know offhand whether you’re qualifying for any of these services, the first move is to speak with your parents or guardians, who may have a better idea.

5. Choose your personal recommendation wisely

You’ll just need to provide contact information from your recommender for the first step of the application process. They will be contacted if you proceed, for a formal recommendation. Choosing the right person is important, because from a different perspective, they will provide insights regarding you.

Our top advice when selecting a recommender is to pick a person who knows you well. This person should appeal to both your academic ability and your personality. A teacher or advisor to the school is also a smart choice. Your recommender must be at least 21 years of age, and can not be associated with you. We also recommend you select someone with outstanding written and interpersonal communication skills who would do a decent job as a candidate to express your strengths.

Finally, be sure to ask your recommender in advance if they are able to support you in this way, because they won’t be disappointed if the Dell Scholars Program reaches them out! It’s a great decision to give them your resume, or a list of your achievements and abilities.

Is the Dell Scholarship renewable?

No, it is not.

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