Dover, Del.–November 15, 2004Delaware’s Department of Education (DOE) and the Delaware Higher Education Commission (DHEC) have announced the awarding of 573 scholarships for $1,000 each to 479 students statewide who have attained high scores in reading, mathematics and writing on the March 2004 Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) in grades eight and ten.
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 Budget Director,was included in the Educational Accountability Act of 1998 and is funded by Delaware’s General Assembly. The program authorizes a maximum of 600 scholarships annually ($1,000 each)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 Michael Ferguson Scholarship Program rewards those students who achieve the highest raw scores statewide on the Delaware Student Testing Program,” Governor Ruth Ann Minner said.“The scholarship program was designed to provide families with extra financial support in sending their sons and daughters to institutions of higher learning.However, it is also a great way to show our appreciation for the hard work and outstanding academic achievements of these students.”Added Governor Minner, “Congratulations to each of the scholarship recipients for a job well done.”
“In the five years since the Ferguson scholarships were first awarded, we have seen 2,252 students awarded $2,720,000 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 congratulations and continued academic success.”
In the eighth grade, one student earned three scholarships; 40 students earned two scholarships; and 199 earned one scholarship.In the tenth grade, seven students earned three scholarships; 38 earned two scholarships; and 194 earned one scholarship.
Since 2000, only three students have captured six scholarships—three in the eighth grade and three in the tenth. This year, one of those students is Dori A. Cross, now a junior at Concord High School in Wilmington.“I was really excited when I learned that I had received three more Ferguson scholarships. It really is a great program and will definitely help out in paying for my college costs.”Added Dori, “It also feels good to know that I am only one of three students in Delaware to have earned six scholarships. That is really great!”Although she has made no final decision on where she will attend college, she has her sights set on Duke University where she hopes to follow her dream of becoming a pediatrician.
The law states that up to 300 of the Ferguson 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 (FRL) program and the 300 not in FRL, up to 150 scholarships will be awarded to eighth graders and 150 awarded to tenth 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.
Now that this year’s scholarship recipients have been identified, the Delaware Higher Education Commission will establish an account for each student.The student can use the scholarship once he or she begins postsecondary education; however, the student must enroll in an institution within five calendar years of high school graduation or the scholarship will be forfeited. The award can only be used at a regionally or nationally accredited post secondary institution or at a Delaware or other state-approved private business and trade school in the United States. The award cannot exceed direct educational costs.
“Each recipient is contacted by the Higher Education Commission to establish information for the individual scholarship account,” said Maureen Laffey, DHEC Director.“In the spring of their senior year, the scholarship recipients will be contacted to identify what institution they will be attending.Once we verify enrollment, we can 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.Students can still receive the scholarship even if they are residing in another state at the time they attend a postsecondary institution.”
A complete list of this year’s Michael C. Ferguson Achievement Scholarship recipients can be found on the DOE 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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