dell scholars programdell scholars program

Applying For The Dell Scholarship Program

Are you a high school senior looking for scholarships to help fund your college education? The Dell Scholars Program awards $20,000 scholarships to students who demonstrate academic potential and determination to overcome personal hardships. Read on to learn more about the Dell scholarship and how to submit a competitive application.

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Overview of the Dell Scholarship Program

The Dell Scholars Program was established in 2004 by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The organization has awarded over $100 million in scholarships to more than 6,000 students across the country.

Some key facts about the Dell scholarship include:

  • Awards 300 scholarships annually worth $20,000 each
  • Designed to help high-potential students facing socioeconomic challenges
  • Scholarship can be used for undergraduate or graduate tuition, fees, books, and room & board
  • Recipients also gain access to college readiness workshops and networking opportunities

To qualify, you must:

  • Have at least a 2.4 GPA
  • Be a high school senior planning to enroll full-time in a bachelor’s degree program
  • Demonstrate financial need and personal hardships.

When and How to Apply

Dell Scholarship Program Applications open every year on October 1st with a firm deadline of December 1st.

To start the Dell scholarship application process:

  1. Visit
  2. Click on “Apply”
  3. Create an account/log in
  4. Fill out the online application

In addition to the basic application, you may need to submit:

  • High school transcript
  • FAFSA Student Aid Report
  • Recommendation letter
  • Short answer essays

Take your time and put effort into all components of the application for Dell Scholarship Program. The selection process is highly competitive, with only 1,000 semi-finalists chosen from 30,000+ applicants!

Eligibility Requirements

Meeting the Dell scholarship eligibility criteria is key.

You must be:

  • A high school senior graduating this academic year
  • A U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Earning a minimum 2.4 GPA
  • Enrolling full-time in a bachelor’s degree program next fall

And most importantly, you need to demonstrate:

  • Financial need
  • Personal hardships or barriers
  • Strong drive to succeed despite challenges

This is not a merit-based scholarship focused solely on grades and scores. The Dell Scholarship Program was created to help motivated students facing socioeconomic obstacles get to and through college.

Components of the Dell Scholarship Program Dell Scholarship Program Application

Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need to complete for the Dell scholarship application:

Basic Student Info

  • Name, contact details, demographics, etc.
  • High school details
  • College and intended major


  • Self-reported high school GPA
  • Courses taken and grades
  • Standardized test scores

Financial Need

  • Household size and income
  • Special circumstances
  • FAFSA Student Aid Report

Short Essays

You will need to respond to various short answer prompts in 250 words or less, including:

  • Why you chose your intended major
  • Financial hardships overcome
  • Non-academic achievements
  • Handling challenges and setbacks
  • College and career aspirations


Submit one online recommendation form completed by a teacher, counselor, or mentor.


If selected as a semi-finalist, you will complete a phone, Skype, or in-person interview.

Deadlines and Timeline

Here are the key Dell Scholarship deadlines to keep in mind:

October 1: Application opens
December 1: Deadline to submit application and materials
Mid-December: Dell Scholars announces 1,000 semi-finalists
January/February: Semi-finalist interviews
February: 300 Dell Scholars are notified

Tips for Submitting a Strong Application

Follow these tips to help your Dell scholarship application stand out:

  • Start early – Don’t wait until the last minute to begin the application.
  • Understand selection criteria – Carefully review what the judges look for.
  • Ask for help – Meet with your college counselor or teacher to review your application.
  • Proofread everything – Check for errors and clarity issues.
  • Be genuine in essays – Share real stories and sentiments in your own voice.

Dell Scholarship Program Benefits

The Dell scholarship provides much more than $20,000 in college funding. Recipients also gain access to powerful support programs:^2^

Scholars Convening

An all-expenses paid trip to an inspiring four-day workshop with fellow Dell scholars to build community and prepare for college success.

Dell Scholar Academy

Virtual seminars and podcasts on topics like financial literacy, choosing a major, interview skills, preparing for grad school and more.

Career Networking

Connect with Dell Scholars alumni who are happy to provide mentoring, internships, advice and job leads.

Ongoing Guidance

Regular communication with a Dell Student Advisor who tracks your progress and provides the assistance needed to keep you on track.


The Dell Scholarship Program represents a life-changing opportunity for high-achieving and determined students facing financial hardship. Submitting a thoughtful and genuine application by the December 1st deadline gives you a chance at this highly competitive program. With some diligence and effort, you can present your best self to the selection committee.


  1. Dell Scholars Program Website
  2. Dell Scholarship Overview
  3. Dell Apply Page
  4. Dell Scholarship Application Instructions
  5. Sample Dell Scholarship Essay Prompts
  6. Tips for Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay

Table: Dell Scholarship Key Dates and Deadlines

October 1Application Opens
December 1Application Deadline
Mid-DecemberSemi-Finalists Notified
January-FebruarySemi-Finalist Interviews
FebruaryDell Scholars Announced

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