November 15, 2010

Scholarship Program Includes Homeschoolers

On October 4, 2010, Governor Jack Markell signed into law House Bill 399 which established the Delaware State Inspire Scholarship Program. Through state grants, this program assists in payment of undergraduate tuition at Delaware State University for full-time students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Students must first have applied for and accepted all appropriate forms of financial aid for which the student is eligible, including but not limited to the Federal Pell Grant, financial aid programs administered by the Delaware Higher Education Commission, and Financial Aid Programs administered by Delaware State University. Beginning with the 2010–2011 school year, a recipient under the Delaware State Inspire Scholarship Program will receive a grant for tuition that is equal to what would be received by a similar Student Excellence Equals Degree (SEED) scholarship recipient. SEED scholarships provide tuition payments for full-time students working toward an associate degree, but they do not cover books and other fees.

Although homeschool students are eligible for grants under the new scholarship program, the law provides that Delaware State University shall “create and implement its own equivalency standards” in establishing academic eligibility of homeschool students. Other students must have graduated from high school with a minimum cumulative average of either 80 percent or higher on a 100 point scale or a grade point average of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Granting Delaware State University such broad discretion in establishing equivalency standards for homeschool students may lead to unfair discrimination. HSLDA will monitor the development of these standards for homeschoolers and address any that prove to be unreasonable.