Dover, Del.–November 3, 2005 Delaware’s Department of Education (DOE) and the Delaware Higher Education Commission (DHEC) have announced the awarding of 591 scholarships for $1,000 each to 498 students statewide who have attained high scores in reading, mathematics and writing on the March 2005 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.
“In the six years since the Ferguson scholarships were first awarded, we have awarded $3,344,000 in scholarships to 2,477 public school students,” said Valerie A. Woodruff, Secretary of Education. “Due to the high costs associated with higher education, there are many students who simply cannot afford to go to college. This program is a wonderful investment for our future since it does afford students with an opportunity to attend college.”
In the eighth grade, four students earned three scholarships; 41 students earned two scholarships; and 203 earned one scholarship. In the tenth grade, four students earned three scholarships; 35 earned two scholarships; and 211 earned one scholarship.
The law states that up to 300 of the Ferguson scholarships will be awarded to students who participate in the free and reduced lunch (FRL) program. Of the maximum 300 scholarships awarded in both the 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, DHEC will set up a student record to track each recipient. Students can use their scholarship once they begin their postsecondary education; however, they 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 regionally or nationally accredited postsecondary institutions or at Delaware or other state-approved private business and trade schools 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 Higher Education Commission’s website at http://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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