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Delaware Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

The state of Delaware has eight universities and colleges, including the Delaware College of Art and Design, Delaware State University, Delaware Tech and Community College, and the University of Delaware. Whether you decide to go to one of these post-secondary institutions or any of the other four schools in Delaware you may have choices of grants, scholarships, and loans to help you meet your goals. Delaware financial aid packages are available to students from all walks of life.

Finding Money for School in Delaware

Unless you have been saving since you were five, you are probably asking the same questions other Delaware-bound or current Delaware students are asking. Where do I find free money? How much can I get? How do I apply? And when do I get it? Here is a list of the best places to look for money to finance your post-secondary education in Delaware:

  • The federal government
  • Delaware State Department of Education
  • Delaware universities and colleges
  • Professional organizations, corporations, families, and individuals in Delaware

Financial Aid from the Federal Government

Students attending or planning to attend Delaware universities and colleges may have the choice of federal financial aid. The U.S. government provides financial assistance to Delaware students who have financial need and/or are pursuing degrees in teaching, math, or science. To see if you qualify for these financial aid opportunities, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA applications are usually due June 30, the year you will be using the aid, but applications are always open January 1, the year before. The Delaware state deadline for the FAFSA is April 15, by midnight Central Daylight Time. Your school may also have a FAFSA deadline. Make sure you meet all of the deadlines in order to qualify for a financial aid package. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Your university or college will decide how much you need. Your Delaware financial aid package may include grants and/or loans. Federal grants do not need to be paid back. You can read more on federal grants in the Guide to Federal Grants. Federal loans are offered to supplement needs that are not covered by grants. They usually have low in-school interest and payment rates because they are offered directly from the government. You can accept the full amount, a partial amount, or none at all.

Financial Aid from the State of Delaware

Although Delaware’s 1,982 square miles make it the second-smallest state in the U.S., students pursuing a post-secondary degree in Delaware should have no fear of financial aid shortages. The state of Delaware offers 32 financial aid programs to help students meet their goals. In order to qualify for these programs, students must be Delaware residents and U.S. citizens or legal non-residents.

The Delaware Higher Education Commission offers need-based grants, merit-based scholarships, merit-based professional incentive programs, health professionals financial assistance programs, and private scholarships. Here are a few examples of what they offer:

Scholarship Incentive Program
This Delaware scholarship program is offered to students with financial need. Qualified students must either be full-time undergraduates in a degree-granting program at an accredited post-secondary institution in Delaware or Pennsylvania OR be full-time undergraduates or graduates in degree-granting programs not offered through Delaware universities. The awards are $700 and $2,000 a year.

Herman M. Holloway, Sr. Memorial Scholarship
This merit scholarship is offered on behalf of Delaware’s first African-American State Senator. The scholarship covers room and board, tuition, fees, and books for up to four years at Delaware State University. Students must have a minimum SAT score of 1350 and be in the top 50% of their senior class. An essay is required. Qualified students can start applying December 1, the year prior, using the Common Merit Application.

Delaware Nursing Incentive Program
This loan is offered to Delaware students who are pursuing a degree in nursing. High school students who are in the top 50% of their class with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and current undergraduates who have a GPA of 2.75 are eligible to apply. Loans may be forgiven after one year of employment. Qualified students can start applying December 1 using the Common Merit Application.

Delaware State Loan Repayment Program for Health Professionals
This program is offered to health professionals in underserved areas of Delaware to help repay loans acquired during undergraduate or graduate study. Click here for the application, guidelines, and distribution rates. The due date is November 17.

Click here for a full list of the Delaware state financial aid programs.

Scholarships Offered By Delaware Universities and Colleges

Individual universities and colleges in Delaware offer financial aid to students in the form of scholarships. Delaware university and college scholarships are based on need, merit, interests, and special abilities. An example is the Distinguished Achievement Scholastic Honor (DASH) Scholarship offered by Delaware State University to students who have high merit. Another example is the Music Scholarship offered by the University of Delaware Music Department to students with music abilities. Check with your university or college to see if you qualify for any scholarships.

Almost all need-based scholarships from Delaware universities and colleges require a FAFSA submission. Delaware merit scholarships are awarded through the admissions offices, so if you submit your application for admissions on time, you will immediately be considered. Other scholarships, such as those based on interests and special abilities, usually require a separate application from the department/program or individual who is supporting the scholarship.

Scholarships Offered by Delawareans

There are many scholarships available from outside sources. You just have to do a little searching. Here is a list of some of Delaware scholarships you may have been unaware of:

Delaware Lions Foundation
The DLF offers the James McCarty Fellowship to college-bound seniors in Delaware. Contact the DLF for more information at Delaware Lions Club, P.O. Box 393 Camden, DE 19934 or 302-284-9377.

Delaware Community Foundation
The Delaware Community Foundation offers 308 scholarships to Delaware students. The scholarships offer anywhere between $375 and $5,000. For more information, you can contact the foundation at info@delcf.org.

Delaware Valley Legacy Fund Scholarships
This philanthropic organization offers seven scholarships to encourage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (GBTI) students in Delaware to pursue post-secondary degrees.

Delaware Space Grant Consortium (DESGC) Fellowships and Scholarships
The DESGC offers graduate fellowships, undergraduate tuition awards, and summer research internships to students attending schools with a DESGC Consortium program. Students must be U.S. citizens studying fields related to science, math, and technology. Students may receive as much as $3,000.

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) Scholarship
The Delaware Valley Section of the AATCC offers two $500 stipends to spouses and children of members of the AATCC. Winners of the scholarship must be accepted to or currently enrolled in a four-year university. If the winners are enrolled in a two-year college, the stipend will be $250. Winners pursuing degrees in a field related to technology or textile can renew their scholarships up to three years.

Three Things to Keep in Mind about Delaware Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Delaware students who do not receive financial aid packages may still borrow loans from the government. Discuss that option with a financial aid advisor or officer before pursuing private loans.
  • Delaware may be a small state, but it is a generous state. Make sure you are aware of all the state scholarships you are eligible for.
  • When searching for scholarships in Delaware, look locally first. Organizations in your area may be offering scholarships you don’t even know about.

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