DCA Scholarships Give Tuition Relief

The acceptance letters are in, but now many Darien families are faced with this pressing question:  how are we going to afford college?   Many Darien High School students will be applying for loans, grants and scholarships this spring.  The Darien Community Association has a long tradition of helping Darien High School graduates afford tuition.   To date, the DCA has awarded over 1,300 scholarships totaling more than $2 million.

Receiving a DCA scholarship in 2012 made a significant difference for DHS graduate Claire Linegar, now a freshman at Rutgers.

“I applied for so many scholarships, just hoping to get one.  When I went for the interview, the committee members were so nice and asked me questions about my goals, my community involvement, and activities.  I was entirely grateful to receive the DCA scholarship because I really needed it.  It helped me afford college.”  Ms. Linegar is studying history and plans to become an American History teacher.

Kate Shannon, a 2012 DHS graduate and a freshman at Manhattanville College, received a DCA Scholarship in 2012.

“I was very excited to receive the DCA scholarship last year because with it, I was able to live on-campus,” Shannon said. “Before receiving the tuition scholarship, we weren’t sure we’d be able to afford the on-campus housing expense.”

In March, Darien High School will offer DCA scholarship applications to graduating seniors through its guidance counselors.  Applications, along with the (first page of) parents’ tax returns and a personal essay, are submitted to the scholarship committee for review.  Qualified applicants will then meet for an interview with the committee during the first week of May.  The committee will present their recommendations to the DCA Board and students will be notified by mid-May of their awards, which will be presented at the DHS Awards Ceremony.  Scholarship checks are sent directly to the students’ designated schools.

Current scholarship recipients may also reapply through the DCA website in mid-March. Applications for returning students must be submitted by June 10.   The scholarship committee will consider factors such as family income, summer jobs and school performance.  Interviews for returning students take place during the first two weeks of June.

Judi Linskey, a DCA Scholarship Committee member, loves helping select scholarship recipients.  “This is an important part of the DCA and I love being on this committee.  All the students are wonderful and multi-faceted.  It is a privilege to meet them, get to know them and watch them mature.”

The DCA scholarship awards are made possible by revenue from the DCA Thrift Shop, various DCA programs and donations.  If you’d like more information, visit dariendca.org.  If you’d like to enjoy a fun night out and help raise money for the DCA scholarship fund and other DCA programs, join the community at the DCA’s Brasilian Carnival on Saturday, February 9th.  Tickets are $100 per person and may be purchased at dariendca.org.

Author’s note: Kristen Harnisch is a member of the DCA Brasilian Carnival Event Committee.  Photos courtesy of the Darien Community Association’s website.