Dell Scholars: Giving students the best shot to reach graduation day

Ethan was a junior at Sam Houston State University, just weeks away from the end of fall semester, when he was dropped from all his courses.

After Ethan received his scholarship funds from Dell Scholars at the beginning of the term, he had an unexpected personal expense that was going to affect his ability to pay in full for the semester.  With finals looming, he worked with the financial aid office to extend the tuition deadline, buying time to pull the funds together and focus on school. He turned his attention to months of late-night study sessions, exams, and term papers. Unfortunately, it was the perfect storm for Ethan. He missed the tuition deadline and he was in danger of not being able to return to college.

The car breaks down unexpectedly. The family back home is struggling to make rent. No one is available to cover that shift during final exams. For college students from low-income backgrounds, a seemingly small setback can topple the financial and personal circumstances that made it possible to pursue a degree. For Ethan, one missed payment could have changed everything.

Here’s what happened instead.

Through Dell Scholars, Ethan found the guidance and support he needed to get back to class. He learned to navigate on-campus resources, from financial aid to advising, developing relationships with deans and administrators at Sam Houston State. After a huge blow to his confidence, he found encouragement from advisors who were also first-generation college students and who persevered despite the challenges – a reminder that he isn’t in this alone, and that the journey ahead is worth it.

Dell Scholars provides financial, academic, and social-emotional support to help disadvantaged students succeed in college. Watch this video to meet Ethan and learn more about how Dell Scholars helped him find a solution to his financial situation, regain his confidence, and get back on track towards graduation.