Scholarship Tips for Success

You 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 rapid turnaround for your request.

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

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.
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.

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).

The Essay question is unique from year to year. Do not take a previous essay and submit it a second time or try to make it work. 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 font, 1″ margins, double-spaced is recommended. Word count expectation is 250 to 650 words; more or less than this may cause a deduction of points.

Ask for help. If you are uncertain about the essay prompts, ask your parents, a counselor, teacher or someone else 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. Update it yearly.

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 is capitalized as is Declaration and Independence when used in that phrase.

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

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 wait until the last minute, particularly in requesting recommendations and transcripts. The deadline typically falls in mid-March and may occur during your school’s spring break. Note that professors also are on break and may not be readily available to address your requests. We do not give extensions; you have 4 months to complete your application.

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