Who Can Apply for a DSDI Scholarship?

The DSDI Scholarship Award is a merit-based scholarship for DSDI members who are enrolled as full-time students for the entire academic year (both Fall and Spring semesters) in an approved post-secondary educational institution.

To apply, you must become an accepted member of the Society no later than 31 October before the next year’s scholarship application process opens. Members who are turning 18 must have completed their Senior paperwork by Spring prior to the academic award year. 

You must be either a Life Member or your dues must be current—otherwise, you will not be considered for the award. 

Not all students who apply will be awarded a scholarship and it should not be assumed that you will receive a scholarship by merely applying. This is a competitive scholarship, with a total of 56 scholarships awarded for the academic year.

Application deadlines for the 2025-2026 academic year have not yet been announced. Typically, the society starts accepting applications in December and closes the application process in March.

Tips for Success

Increase your chances of receiving a scholarship from DSDI with these helpful tips.

Facts and FAQs

Browse a list of answers to questions most frequently asked about scholarships.


See upcoming dates, deadlines, and important reminders regarding scholarships.


See a listing of the recipients of our most recently awarded scholarships.

Requirements to Quality for a DSDI Scholarship

There are a number of requirements to qualify for a DSDI scholarship, and we strongly recommend that you review all of them before applying.

Be an Active Member of the DSDI by the Most Recent Fall Meeting

A scholarship applicant must be an active member of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence no later than the fall meeting before the next year’s scholarship application process opens. The Fall meeting is usually in October.

In the years when we do not physically meet, the Board of Governors will convene an electronic meeting to review current member applications.

Be Current in Dues Payments by July 1st

Award recipients must be current on their dues by July 1st of the year prior to the academic award year in order for the award to be dispersed.

Plan to Attend a Qualifying Post-Secondary Program

You must be enrolled in an undergraduate trade school, college, university, graduate school, or professional degree program.

Be Enrolled Full-Time for the Upcoming Fall and Spring Semesters

Scholarships are available to students enrolled full-time for both the fall and spring semesters. Full-time is defined as coursework of at least 12 full-time semester hours and graduate/post-graduate work of at least 9 full-time semester hours. If there is a question, the rules of the student’s educational institution will prevail and “full-time” will be defined however the student’s educational institution defines it.

Supply Appropriate Transcripts

Academic Transcripts must be from the most recent educational institution where a student was enrolled full-time; other transcripts may be offered as desired (e.g., individual classes taken post-graduate). Transcripts must be sent directly from the educational institution to the Scholarship Committee. They must be postmarked or sent electronically no later than the deadline stated on the application.

Provide Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation must come directly from the writer and be submitted either through the online application or directly to the Scholarship Chairperson. Documents will not be accepted if they come from the student or their family. A minimum of two recommendations are required, one of which must come from an educator familiar with the student and their work.

Supply an Email Address that You Check Frequently

Correspondence regarding your application will be sent via e-mail. Use an e-mail address that you personally check frequently and make sure to set your e-mail settings to accept any e-mails from the DSDI1776.com domain.

We are not responsible for you not receiving an e-mail. We will also, on occasion, text your cell phone. Make sure you read all e-mails thoroughly and follow the directives. If you have received an e-mail, it is probably important. We will use the BCC function in order to keep students’ e-mail addresses confidential. If more than one student from the same household is applying, different e-mail addresses must be used.

Follow All Instructions

Failure to follow all instructions will cause your application to be disqualified. Applications submitted via the online system are the only applications that will be considered. You will find the scholarship application at https://dsdi.awardspring.com. Regardless of your status as a first-time applicant, previous applicant, or past scholarship recipient, you must complete the online application form and submit the following:

A One- to Two-Page Essay

This should be in response to the prompt found in the application. Make sure you address all components of the question.

A One- to Two-Page Resume

This resume should reflect your academics, work history, honors, awards, and extra-curricular activities. Be sure to include any life experiences, heritage activities or memberships, military experience, and anything else that will give insight into you as an individual deserving of a scholarship.

A Minimum of Two Letters of Recommendation

One letter must be a scholastic recommendation. Letters must be submitted via the online application, from which you will send an electronic e-mail request to those writing your recommendations. Recommenders will be provided a link by which their recommendation will upload directly to your application.

An Academic Transcript

Transcripts must be from the educational institution you most recently attended. High school seniors must include the fall semester of their senior year and other first-time applicants should use their last full academic term transcript.

If you are a college freshman with only a semester of academic work on your transcript, we highly encourage you to also provide your high school transcript. We only accept official transcripts sent directly from schools.

Transcripts may be sent electronically directly to the Scholarship Chair, either through an available service or directly from your educational institution’s registrar’s office. Schools may send a hard copy directly to the DSDI Scholarship Chairperson. Her address will be provided in the application or by request.

The Application Itself

The scholarship application will include a variety of questions that must be answered, including but not limited to your high school and college GPAs.

It is the Applicant’s Responsibility to Apply

It is your responsibility, not your parents’, nor that of the individuals writing recommendations on your behalf, to have all application requirements completed and submitted by the deadline. The deadline is typically midnight on the second Friday in March.

The online application system affords you the ability to track the progress of your documents. We strongly urge you to monitor your application until you are satisfied that all materials are successfully submitted.

You Must Accept Your Scholarship Once Awarded

Should you be selected to receive one of the scholarships, you will be notified of the award via the e-mail you provide on the application. You must respond to “accept” the award and provide the documentation requested. This will include the academic institution, the address where the funds will be mailed, and your student identification number. You will also be required to submit verification of enrollment.


The scholarship committee does not discriminate on the basis of the race, sex, or country of origin of the applicant. Nor does it consider the specific school where the student is enrolled, their past performance with regard to the DSDI scholarship, or their specific ancestor.

The instructions as outlined on the DSDI Website Scholarship page must be adhered to. These instructions and the requirements may change from year to year. The Scholarship Committee reserves the right to change the requirements and instructions as appropriate and warranted.

To this end, by submitting your essay and/or thank you letters to DSDI, you agree that DSDI may circulate your essay and/or thank you letters to our membership in our newsletter and on our social media pages, as well as in any other media format that DSDI may choose to use to communicate with its membership.

If you do not want DSDI to circulate your submissions, you must notify the Scholarship Chairperson by the scholarship deadline date. If we do not hear from you by this date, the DSDI will assume that you have no objection to the circulation of your submission.

Please be advised that the selection of submissions to be circulated to our members will be at the sole discretion of DSDI and not all submissions will be circulated.