Scholarship Facts and FAQs

FACTS

The scholarships provided by the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (DSDI) use funds from two sources, the Charles Mitchell Trust and donations from members of the DSDI. Scholarships awarded by DSDI are merit-based scholarships. As such, some applicants will receive a scholarship while others will not.

It is the objective of the DSDI Scholarship Committee to award 56 scholarships, one for each of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. The amounts of the scholarships are dependent on the amount of funds available and vary year to year.

Each scholarship applicant has their application reviewed by at least three committee members. No committee member reviews the application of any applicant who is personally known to them or a member of their immediate family (including first cousins). These applicants, however, are not excluded from applying.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I become a member of DSDI?
Please refer to the requirements, application, and process for membership found on our website. If you have questions, please reach out to the Registrar-General, registrar@dsdi1776.com.

When do I apply for the Scholarship?
Please refer to the web page “Important Dates.”

Where do I apply?
Information for applying is found on the website http://www.dsdi1776.com . The actual application is found at www.dsdi.awardspring.com. We have used the same program for several years and you should reuse your same name and password from year to year. A new application is required each year. Information from year to year is not retained.

What is my DSDI Member number?
Check your member certificate or correspondence from the Registrar General. You may contact Registrar-General registrar@dsdi1776.com . Note that turnaround for this request will not be immediate. You may also e-mail the Scholarship Chairman scholarship@dsdi1776.com with your request. The Member Directory is available online, and it may be in the most recent Directory. You may use your Junior membership number if you have not been assigned a Senior Member number.

What is the essay prompt?
You will find the essay prompt on the actual application found at the www.dsdi.awardspring.com website. The essay prompt changes each year.

Can I get a scholarship if I am part-time? Am I eligible for a scholarship if I am only going to school for one semester?
No.

I am taking a semester off, can I defer my scholarship to the spring semester? I changed my mind and am deferring attending for a year, can I defer my scholarship to next year? I am only attending for the fall term, may I still get a scholarship?
No. You must be enrolled full-time for both fall and spring semesters, and you must reapply if you are not attending for the academic year for which you applied.

How do I know if you have received my transcript?
If you sent it via one of the electronic services, you should receive a confirmation from their system telling you if it has been received. You are always welcome, and are encouraged, to e-mail the Scholarship Chairman and ask.

How do I know if my recommendations have been submitted?
The AwardSpring http://www.dsdi.awardspring.com system allows you to monitor whether or not the recommendation has been submitted.

My teacher has not submitted my recommendation. What do I do?
Reissue the recommendation request via the AwardSpring system and reach out to your teacher and remind them. Ask someone else to provide a recommendation as a back-up. We require two, but do not object to more.

I am going to graduate school, how many credits do I need to be considered full-time?
Typically nine. That said, we will accept whatever your education institution considers full-time.

My school has not received the check.
First, double-check with the school and refer back to the e-mail stating the amount(s) of your award(s). If you received a Scholarship from the Charles Mitchell Scholarship Fund, the check will reference that specific fund and is drawn on a J. P. Morgan Chase Bank account. It will not reference the DSDI. If you received funds from DSDI, the check will be drawn from our society’s bank account.

Note the address which you provided. That is the address where the check was sent. Please wait at least 10 days after the date when checks were mailed to allow time for your school to process the check and credit your account. If the school still has not received your funds by September 1st, please e-mail the Scholarship Committee Chairman.

Does the school apply all of the money to one semester or split it between the two?
It depends on your school’s policy. Ask them. We do not give instructions regarding how the funds are allocated.

Where do I send a thank-you letter?
Send it to the Scholarship Chairman via e-mail or to the physical address shown on our website and throughout the application. It is the same address used for transcripts.

Why did my cousin get more money than I did? Why did I get more money last year?
Obviously, your 6 times great grandfather loved him/her more than you (just kidding). It is a merit-based scholarship. All of the reviewers’ scores are combined and ranked. Higher ranked students get more scholarship money than lower ranked students. The amount of financial resources changes from year to year, so it is unlikely that you will get the same amount every year.

Can my mom/dad fill out my application for me?
Oh, please, no. Obviously there are questions they can answer (the easy ones). They cannot write your essay for you. They cannot ask people for your recommendations. They can offer guidance and assistance with your resume and they can proof-read your essay (highly encouraged). We have had numerous situations where a parent uploaded the wrong essay or resume to the wrong child’s application, or where their e-mail was used for multiple children and then they do not know whose application is missing what material. I have also had parents put their own name as the applicant, causing immense confusion. It’s not that hard and the Scholarship Chairman is very friendly and helpful. But parents, and grandparents, can, will, and should, nag you.

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