Dell Foundation awards $6 million in scholarships for at-risk students

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The Michael & Susan Dell Foundationhas announced scholarships totaling more than $6 million to help more than three hundred at-risk students across the country graduate from college.

The Dell Scholars Program will provide the students with $20,000 each in financial assistance over six years, as well as access to a private scholar networking community, technology resources, and mentoring to ensure they have the support they need to attain a college degree. Studies have found that only 56 percent of college students earn a degree within six years and that low-income students are much more likely to drop out of college due to personal pressure related to family responsibilities. Indeed, many low-income underserved students are unable to meet the academic challenges of college because they need to work long hours to pay for college and help support their families.

According to the foundation, the Dell Scholars Program, now in its tenth year, has helped 80 percent, or 615 scholar-participants, graduate within six years with lower-than-average debt. With the implementation of new front-end support systems, including early warnings, summer orientation sessions, and the Student Risk Indicator, the 2010 class of Dell Scholars is projected to achieve a six-year college graduation rate of 93 percent.

"Our hope is that other organizations and scholarship programs will recognize that while these students might be financially challenged and face other related obstacles, they are more than capable of becoming college graduates," said Dell Foundation executive director Janet Mountain. "The success of the Dell Scholars who have already graduated from the program proves that, with the proper assistance, these students can earn degrees and go on to careers and post-graduate success."

“Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Invests in At Risk Students, Helping Them Graduate From College.” Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Press Release 4/11/13.

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