Dover, Del.–December 4, 2003 Delaware’s Department of Education (DOE) and the Delaware Higher Education Commission (DHEC) have announced the awarding of 570 $1,000 scholarships to 467 students statewide, who have attained high scores in reading, mathematics and writing on theMarch 2003 Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) in grades 8 and 10.
In the eighth grade, five students earned three scholarships; 32 students earned two scholarships; and 199 earned one scholarship.In the tenth grade, seven students earned three scholarships; 47 earned two scholarships; and 177 earned one scholarship.
The scholarship program, named in memory of Michael C. Ferguson, former Deputy Superintendent and Acting Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction and former state Director of the Budget, was included in the Educational Accountability Act of 1998 and funded by the General Assembly. The program, which began issuing scholarships in 2000, authorizes a maximum of 600 $1000 scholarships annually to be awarded to eighth and tenth graders who attained the highest raw scores on the DSTP in the content areas of reading, writing and mathematics.
The law also states that up to 300 of these scholarships will be awarded to students who participate in the free and reduced lunch program.Of the maximum 300 scholarships awarded in both the free and reduced lunch program and the 300 not on the program, up to 150 scholarships will be awarded to 8th graders and 150 awarded to 10th graders. Furthermore, the law specifies that the number of awards in each content area shall be as close to fifty as possible,and that any unassigned awards shall be allocated in the priority of reading, mathematics and writing.
“I am very proud of each one of our Ferguson scholarship winners,” Governor Ruth Ann Minner said.“These scholarships are part of Delaware’s commitment to our students, especially those who could really use the extra help to attend college.This is also a great way for us to say thank you to our students for their hard work and outstanding achievements.”
“In the four years since the Ferguson scholarships were first awarded, we have seen 1,773 students awarded $2,146,000 in scholarships,”said Valerie A. Woodruff, Secretary of Education. “This program is clearly a wonderful investment for our future because it helps so many students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to attend college.” Added Secretary Woodruff,“I wish all of this year’s Ferguson recipients continued academic success and congratulations on a job well done.”
In the four years that the Ferguson scholarships have been awarded, only two students have captured six scholarships—three in the eighth grade and three in the tenth. One of those students is Barry Zee,now a senior at Mount Pleasant High School in Wilmington. “I was attending Talley Middle School in 2000 when I took the DSTP in reading,writing and math. My parents were quite proud of me for scoring that well to earn scholarship money for college.”Added Zee, “To win three Ferguson scholarships for a second time makes me feel fortunate to have the educators I had who helped support me.I am honored to have received these scholarships and the recognition that comes with it.”Mr. Zee hopes to attend Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania next year majoring in biology.
Now that this year’s scholarship recipients have been identified, DHEC will establish an account for each student.The student can use the scholarship once he or she enters post secondary education in any two-year or four-year school.However, the student must enroll in an institution within five calendar years of high school graduation or the scholarship will be lost.
“Each recipient has been contacted by the Higher Education Commission through a ‘Request for Information’ form to establish information for their individual scholarship account,” said Maureen Laffey, Acting Executive Director for DHEC. She added, “In the spring of senior year, each student will be contacted to identify what institution he or she will be attending. Once we verify the information,we will release the scholarship funds directly to the institution.” Laffey also stated,“It will be up to the families to notify us of any change of address during the eligibility period. A student can still receive the scholarship even if they are residing in another state at the time they attend a post secondary institution.”
The Michael C. Ferguson Scholarship Award can only be used at a regionally or nationally accredited post secondary institution or at aDelaware or other state approved private business and trade school in the United States of America. The award cannot exceed direct educational costs.
A complete list of all of this year’s Michael Ferguson scholarship recipients can be found on the DHEC website at: www.doe.k12.de.us/high-ed.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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