Nearly 150 Delawarean students will benefit from a scholarship at Delaware State University thanks to a scholarship the state Senate unanimously approved on Tuesday, Sept. 21 in a special session.
Created by House Bill 399, the DSU Inspire Scholarship program is modeled after the Student Excellence Equals Degree (SEED) program, which provides scholarships for students to attend Delaware Technical & Community College or University of Delaware to obtain an associate’s degree. DSU was excluded from the original program because it does not offer an associate’s degree. The new DSU program would provide financial assistance to 140 students in the same amount that SEED scholars receive.
DSU President Harry L. Williams (r) thanks Sen. Nancy W. Cook for her support of HB 399. Dr. Dolores Finger-Wright (center), DSU associate professor of social work, looks on.
Rep. Darryl M. Scott took up the issue this year after several conversations with DSU officials about how the SEED scholarship program was affecting the Dover-based college’s enrollment. Rep. Scott said providing opportunities for Delaware students to attend DSU is critical to their continuing education and sends the right message to students, families and the university community.
“It is important to continue to invest in our future – our children,” said Rep. Scott, D-Dover. “I truly believe the small investment we make today will pay huge dividends, not only for the students, but also for our state. Having a qualified work force is a key criteria companies use to select where they start or move their business.”
Under the program, DSU Inspire scholarship recipients would receive the same amount of funding as SEED recipients for six semesters – the same length as the SEED scholarship. Eligible students must have and maintain a 2.75 GPA and perform 10 hours of community service per semester. SEED students must maintain a 2.5 GPA and do not have a community service requirement.
DSU President Harry L. Williams said that the state Senate’s passage of HB 399 represents a great day for the University.
Dr. Harry L. Williams (l) and Sen. Margaret Rose Henry share the happiness over DSU Inspire Bill Senate success.
“The legislature has made a statement that reflects the importance it attaches to investing in higher education and the understanding of the economic impact that it will have on the state,” Dr. Williams said. “You can’t go wrong in investing in education and making it more affordable for Delawareans. Today’s vote by the Delaware Senate clearly shows that consensus among these state elected legislators.”
HB 399, which passed the House unanimously in June, now goes to Gov. Jack Markell for his signature.