Scholarships and grants available for Delaware students

STATEWIDE – Applications for several Delaware scholarships, grants and professional incentive loans are now open for those pursuing postsecondary education during the 2017-2018 school year. Delaware residents interested in applying for these opportunities should visit

Each year, the Delaware Department of Education awards millions in college scholarships, grants and aid to students across the state. In 2016, more than $3.14 million was given to students in need based and merit scholarships and incentive loans, including the B. Bradford Barnes, Charles L. Hebner, and Herman M. Holloway, Sr. memorial scholarships. These full scholarship offers pay tuition, fees, room and board, and books for students enrolled full-time in 12 or more credit hours each semester.

Last year, Sheena Stevenson, a 2016 graduate of Sussex Central High School in the Indian River School District, applied for scholarships on and received the Herman M. Holloway Memorial Scholarship.

Now a freshman at Delaware State University in Dover, the full scholarship is helping Stevenson “focus on school without stressing about how I’m going to pay for college. It feels surreal to me to actually be able to attend a great college and pursue my goals,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson heard about the scholarship opportunity from a friend. She said she hoped – but never anticipated – she would actually receive a financial award for school.

“I was sure I wasn’t going to be selected,” she said. “But as soon as I opened the email and read ‘It is a pleasure to inform you,’ I burst into tears and cried. I remember talking to my ma and one of my friends about it through my sobs.”

scholarshipsDelaware scholarships amounts vary and opportunities are available to students who attend colleges outside the state as well. The Diamond State Scholarship provides $1,250 a year to full-time students who attend regionally accredited, nonprofit colleges in any state.

The state’s Scholarship Incentive Program (SCiP) provides students who demonstrate financial need and are also enrolled in an eligible degree program approximately $1000 a year. This year the number of students who applied for SciP doubled, due in part to a targeted email campaign by the Department’s Higher Education Office reminding students to complete their applications and notifying families if their applications were incomplete. Of the approximately 5,000 students who applied for SCiP during the 2016- 2017 school year, 815 undergraduate and graduate students received more than $1.2 million to cover tuition, fees and other educational expenses.

Additionally, Delaware provided another $6.43 million to students in SEED and Inspire Scholarships during the 15-16 academic year. SEED and Inspire provide tuition to eligible Delaware students – from both public and non-public high schools – who earn a grade point average above 2.5 (SEED) or 2.75 (Inspire) on a 4.0 scale.

“Nationally and here in Delaware, college affordability continues to be a concern,” said Michael Watson, chief academic officer for the Delaware Department of Education. “Thanks to the Delaware Legislature, our students can apply for so many of these opportunities to make higher education more affordable. Even students who may not believe they meet traditional scholarship requirements are encouraged to apply.”

The department urges all students planning to enroll in post-secondary education to visit To apply for scholarship and awards, families must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well. New this year, families may use prior year taxes (2015) to complete the financial information on the FAFSA.

Applicants must apply for scholarships by the published deadlines, which vary by scholarship:

For a full list of Delaware scholarships, grants, loans and available aid, visit the 2016-2017 Delaware Scholarship Compendium: A Guide for College-Bound Students at Available online since last year, the compendium provides a free, mobile way for students to find scholarships by category and deadline. This year the Compendium is also available in Spanish. Students and parents can search scholarships by eligibility requirements such as county of residency, ethnicity or race, and profession – about 15 categories in all – as well as alphabetically or by due date. Users then can drill down for more details, including application information.

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