Governor Markell recently announced new legislation to expand the Delaware SEED scholarships which provide two years of free college tuition to Delaware students. The bill, sponsored by Senator Harris B. McDowell, III (D-Wilmington North) and Representative Debra Heffernan (D- Bellefonte, Brandywine Hundred, Edgemoor) enhances the Student Excellence Equals Degree (SEED) scholarship program, which is available to in-state students who graduate with and maintain in college a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average and stay out of trouble.
The SEED program has impacted 16,000 Delawareans since its inception in 2007!
Markell lauded the program for showing Delaware’s leadership in expanding access to higher education. He also noted, however, that stories have shown that students who need these scholarships the most can’t access them, despite meeting academic requirements, because current rules mandate that they attend school full-time and without interruption. The new proposal would modify those requirements to recognize that not everyone who has earned the scholarship and gets good grades can realistically meet those demands.
Moving forward, students will have the opportunity to switch to part-time (fewer than 12 credit hours in a semester) or take time off as long as they complete their degree within six semesters, excluding summers.
Expanding the flexibility of the SEED scholarship program in order to cover students attending college part-time will allow more students to go to college, especially those juggling school and work. The SEED expansion is part of the state’s multi-pronged effort aimed at meeting the Delaware Promise that, by 2025, the percentage of Delawareans with a college degree or professional certificate will match the percentage of jobs that will require one (65%).
For more information about changes to the Delaware SEED College Scholarship Program, please visit the Delaware Department of Education.
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