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Students Keen on Higher Education Receive more than $3M in Scholarships from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Austin, TX – A total of 160 students determined to pursue higher education against all odds are packing for college this fall, due in part to the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s Dell Scholars Program. A total of $3.2 million in scholarships will be awarded to the 2005 Dell Scholars to attend a college of their choice.

Unlike most scholarship opportunities that focus solely on academic records, the Dell Scholars Program is need-based and evaluates college-ready high school students on their demonstrated ability to overcome obstacles and determination to succeed.

“The Dell Scholars Program aims to open the doors of a college education to students who have demonstrated something special – the willingness to succeed and persevere despite obstacles,” said Kevin Byrne, director of scholarships at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “We hope these scholarships encourage these students to finish college, expand their horizons and pursue the career of their dreams.”

With this year’s announcement, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has recognized more than 250 students through the Dell Scholars Program. The program began in 2004 as an extension of the Foundation’s support of college-readiness programs such as Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). Complementary to the Dell Scholars Program’s focus on at-risk students with a determination to persevere, AVID is a college-readiness program that prepares students in the academic middle for higher education, based on their ability to succeed in college given the necessary academic, personal and financial support.

The Dell Scholars Program targets underserved youth and lower income students from high schools nationwide that participate in the AVID program to promote higher education. Participation in the program is one of the key criteria to be eligible for the Dell Scholars Program. Other requirements include graduation from an accredited high school, demonstrated financial need, a minimum GPA of 2.4 on a 4.0 scale, and intent to enter a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited higher education institution in the fall.

“With the generous support of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, AVID is able to make the college dream a reality for 160 students who collectively represent our future,” said Mary Catherine Swanson, founder and executive director of AVID.

To learn more about the Dell Scholars Program, including information on how to apply for the scholarship, log on to www.dellscholars.org. Applications will be available in the fall on the Web site and will be evaluated on the requirements listed online.

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