How to Increase Your Chances of DSDI Scholarship Success

The Society of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence awards post-secondary education scholarships to its members every year, including 56 scholarships for the current academic year.

If you’re planning to apply for a scholarship, we encourage you to read the following for the greatest chances of success.

Find Your DSDI Number

You’ll need your DSDI member number, which can be found on your membership certificate. If you do not know your member number, contact the Registrar-General or have someone check the Member’s Directory. Note that the Registrar-General leads a fairly active life and may not be able to provide a rapid turnaround for your request.

Include All Activities on Your Application

Applications will be reviewed on the basis of the following: Academic Record, Community and Leadership, Recommendations, and Essay. Keep in mind that this is a merit-based scholarship and what you tell us is what we know.

Maintain a Minimum GPA

In order to receive a scholarship, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0. This is a merit-based scholarship, and it is assumed that every applicant has a financial need.

Write Original, Up-to-Date, Appropriate Material

Both the Resume and the Essay must be written with appropriate intent and must be original, with appropriate revisions, from one year to the next.

The Essay question is unique from year to year. Read all of the prompts provided for your essay and make sure that you clearly address each of the prompts. Keep in mind that if you have a one-paragraph essay it probably does not address all parts of the prompt. On the flip side, a five-page essay is overkill. One to two typed pages using 12-point font, 1″ margins, and double spacing is recommended. The word count expectation is 250 to 650 words; more or less than this may result in a deduction of points.

Use of artificial intelligence in writing your essay is prohibited. In your application, you will be asked to agree with the following statement: “By submitting this scholarship application, I confirm that the work presented is solely my own, and I have not utilized any artificial intelligence assistance. I take pride in the authenticity of my efforts, underscoring my commitment to individual creativity and dedication.”

Submit Adequate Transcripts

If your transcript shows only one semester of academic work (e.g., your freshman college fall semester), you are highly encouraged to also submit transcripts from previous years (e.g., high school).

Ask for Help

If you are uncertain about the essay prompts, ask your parents, a counselor, a teacher, or someone who may be familiar with what we might be looking for. If you do not know how to compose a resume, use online resources and ask for help—and be sure to update it yearly.

Proofread Your Work

Check your spelling. All word processors have a spell check feature—do not be shy about using it. Have someone proofread your work including both your resume and essay. You do not want to talk about your ancestor “singing the declaration of independence.” Signer and Declaration of Independence should always be capitalized.

Remember Your Audience

Remember your audience and the sponsoring organization. Mention the name of your ancestor, even if it’s not specifically required by a prompt. Talk about any participation in heritage group activities, whatever they might be.

Tell Us About Yourself

Tell us about your life experiences and/or military services, either in your resume or your essay. We understand each of you is unique with varying experiences—tell us about them.

Do Not Procrastinate

Do not wait until the last minute, particularly in requesting recommendations and transcripts. The deadline is in March and may occur during your school’s spring break. Note that professors are also on break and may not be readily available to address your requests. You have four months to complete your application and we do not give extensions. You have the ability to check the status of recommendation letters in your application, and you are strongly encouraged to follow-up as necessary to ensure all materials are submitted on time.

Educate Yourself on the DSDI Scholarship Process

Visit the following pages to ensure that you know all there is to know about scholarships from the DSDI: