Delaware Vote Tracker

Bill Expanding DSU’s Inspire Scholarship Program Passes House

The House passed Senate Bill 95 unanimously yesterday and sent it to Governor Carney for his signature. This bill expands Delaware State University’s Inspire scholarship program to fully cover the cost of in-state tuition.

This expansion of the Inspire scholarship program will also aid in closing the higher education attainment gap for Delawareans. The post-secondary attainment rate in Delaware falls nearly 10 percentage points below the national average. This gap is even more pronounced for people of color, with attainment rates for Black and Hispanic students lagging behind both the state and national average. 

To qualify for this scholarship program at Delaware’s only Historically Black College and University (HBCU), students must be a graduate of a Delaware high school, maintain at least a 2.75 GPA, complete 12 or more credit hours per semester, and complete 10 hours of community service.  This program is a last-dollar scholarships, using state funding only to fill the gaps between federal aid and the full cost of tuition. To qualify for the Inspire scholarship, students must first file for federal student aid.

Senate Bill 95 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Paradee, Brown, Pinkney, Bonini, Gay, Hansen, Lockman, Lopez, Mantzavinos, S.McBride, Sokola, Sturegon, TownsendPassed Senate 21-0. Brown, Ennis, Gay, Hansen, Lockman, Mantzavinos, Paradee, Pinkney, Poore, S.McBride, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Walsh, Bonini, Hocker, Lawson, Lopez, Pettyjohn, Richardson, Wilson
Bolden, Chukwuocha, S.Moore, Lynn, Baumbach, Briggs King, Bush, HeffernanPassed House 40-0-1. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Brady Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton  Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende YearickMinor-Brown (Absent)
Current Status — Sent to Governor Carney

“For tens of thousands of Delaware residents, Delaware State has represented hope and the opportunity for a better life,” said Rep. Stephanie Bolden, the lead House sponsor of SB 95 and a DSU graduate. “The Inspire Scholarship opened even more doors to Black and Brown Delawareans, but now we are taking this important step to fulfill our state’s commitment to our young people, that if you work hard, you can get a quality college education at DSU and embark on a career without the crippling burden of debt. I’m grateful to Senator Bushweller, who sponsored the legislation to create the Inspire scholarship, and to my colleagues in the House and Senate who voted today to expand this vital program.”

“Over the decades, there has been no greater engine of economic prosperity for people of color than Delaware State University and there is no better way to help our students earn a degree and start their adult life debt free than by expanding the Inspire Scholarship program,” said Sen. Trey Paradee, the prime sponsor of SB 95. “This legislation is a down payment on economic justice that will help all Delawareans access the tools they need to thrive in our state’s workforce.”

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