The Delaware Department of Education Higher Education Office today announced the awarding of 297 Michael C. Ferguson scholarships of $1,000 each to 281 students statewide who attained high scores on the 2011 Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) reading and mathematics tests in grades eight and 10.
“I congratulate these students and am pleased to see their hard work and academic achievements rewarded,” Secretary of Education Dr. Lillian M. Lowery said.
Funded by Delaware’s General Assembly, 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. The 2011 program is authorized to award a maximum of 300 scholarships annually ($1,000 each) to eighth and 10th graders who attain the highest scores on the DCAS in the content areas of reading and mathematics.
Since this program began 12 years ago, more than 4,300 public school students have been awarded more than $5.8 million in scholarships.
This year, 10 eighth grade students earned two scholarships and 128 earned one scholarship. In the 10th grade, six students earned two scholarships and 137 students earned one scholarship.
The law states that up to 150 of the Ferguson scholarships will be awarded to students who participate in the free and reduced lunch (FRL) program. Of the maximum 150 scholarships awarded in the FRL program and the 150 not in FRL, up to 75 scholarships will be awarded to eighth graders and 75 awarded to 10th graders.
Students can use their scholarship once they begin their postsecondary education; however, they must enroll at an institution within five calendar years after graduating from high school or the scholarship is forfeited. Payments are made directly to the institution after the student notifies the Higher Education Office. 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.
The Higher Education Office will contact each recipient with instructions for setting up an online account where they can keep track of their scholarship funds, update contact information as needed and identify what colleges they plan to attend. Recipients can use the same account to access other financial aid programs administered by the Higher Education Office.
A complete list of this year’s Michael C. Ferguson Achievement Award recipients can be found on the Higher Education Office’s website here.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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