Senate committee approves DSU scholarships

    The program is finally passed after Senate leaders refused to consider the bill at the end of the legislative session more than a month ago.

    The Senate education committee has unanimously approved a bill creating a scholarship program for students at Delaware State University, the Associated Press is reporting.

    The program is comparable to the popular SEED scholarships available to students in degree programs at Delaware Technical and Community College or the University of Delaware’s two-year degree program.

    “This is significant,” said DSU President Harry Williams. “I’m very humbled by their willingness to come in to talk about this very important piece of legislation which will provide scholarship opportunities for Delawareans to attend Delaware State University. To get this kind of support for Delaware State at this time is critical.”

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    The vote comes after Senate Democratic leaders refused to consider the scholarship program for the historically black school in the waning hours of the legislative session last month.

    That led to public outcry and the decision to consider the bill during a special session next month to vote on gubernatorial appointments.

    The program is expected to cost about $370,000 in the first year and around $1 million in its third year.

    “Right now we’re in a very difficult economic time,” said Sen. David Sokola (D-Newark), who heads the education panel. “And unfortunately it’s one of the worst times to try to fund something like this. But it’s also one of those times where you know just how important higher education is.”

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