Delaware College Scholars announced the newest cohort of students — cohort seven — slated to begin its program in June.

Students who have been selected in Sussex County, among others across the state, include Mickayla Austin, Sussex Central High School; Lily Cutchin, Sussex Central High School; Dakota Hickerson, Laurel High School; Amber Karpin, Cape Henlopen High School; Hannah Lynch, Sussex Central High School; Jaden Reed, Sussex Academy; Steven Schwan, Milford High School; LaShay White, Milford High School; Madison Wolfe, Milford High School; and Alena Wright, Cape Henlopen High School.

These scholars, who are finishing their sophomore year of high school, were selected through a rigorous application process. Just to qualify to apply, each of these students have had at least a 3.0 GPA, be in the top 20% of their class and qualify for AP courses. Each chosen scholar is a high-performing student from an under-resourced background, most of whom are first-generation college students.

Starting June 13, DCS’ newest scholars will begin the first-ever virtual version of its summer program. Launched virtually rather than residentially this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, students will begin an intense reading, writing, problem-solving and discussion-based curriculum. They will receive college mentorship; participate in one-on-one and small group meetings with faculty; and form lasting relationships with their peer groups that have similar academic goals. Once this summer’s program is complete, these selected scholars will continue the program for the next two summers, where they will continue their academics and likely participate in residential experiences.

Students will apply to college with the help of one-on-one advising, learn about financial aid and scholarships, explore strategies for college major and course selection and formulate a plan to complete a successful freshman year of college. Students will then remain with their DCS College Persistence Officer as they continue to advance towards receiving an undergraduate degree. DCS’ College Persistence officers provide one-on-one advice and mentorship to ensure students remain on track to graduate on time. Unique to Delaware, DCS is the only program in the state that both prepares students for college and then remains with its participants after high school graduation and college acceptance.

Delaware College Scholars is a college preparation and college persistence program in Delaware. For high-achieving, under-resourced, public high school students, DCS’ seven-year tuition-free program provides its scholars with a clear path to college graduation from competitive four-year universities. Scholars prepare for college acceptance and success by participating in one of the most academically rigorous college-level curricula in the state and receiving year-round personal counseling during their college years.

To date, 91% of Delaware College Scholars, who are often the first in their family to attend college, have gone on to four-year institutions of higher learning.

For more, visit delawarecollegescholars.com.