STUDENTS & FAMILIES | HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS | EXPLORE DELAWARE COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES
Delaware has many great in-state college options!
The table below links to the application pages for each of Delaware’s colleges and universities. If you plan to apply out of state, you’ll need to go to their homepages and look for the “Apply Now” or “Admissions” link.
You also may want to consider using The Common Application, which is accepted by nearly 500 colleges and universities.
Many colleges require an application fee at the time of application submission. Some will automatically waive the fee if you apply online while others will accept a deferral or waiver, both of which must be signed by your high school counselor. Download a copy of the NACAC waiver, which can be used nationally for those who meet the eligibility requirements, for each school to which you plan to apply!
Student Excellence Equals Degree Program (SEED)
The SEED (Student Excellence Equals Degree) Program, offers free tuition at either Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) or the University of Delaware’s Associate in Arts Program. Through SEED, you will complete two years at DTCC tuition-free and then you could complete a BA/BS degree at another Delaware college if you choose. You can also use SEED to enroll at the University of Delaware’s Associate in Art’s Program (AAP). Since you are already a UD student, you complete your AA degree and then transition to the Newark campus and complete your BA/BS degree. Certain eligibility requirements are reviewed to be considered for this program, including a 2.5 GPA, and students must maintain their academic record each year to remain in the SEED Program. For more information please see the brochure at the bottom of this page.
The Inspire Program is available to Delaware high school graduates with excellent credentials to attend Delaware State University. The intent of this program is to offset the cost of tuition, thereby increasing the number of Delawareans who attend college and complete degree programs.
List of Delaware’s colleges and universities with locations
For years, Skidmore College included one or more short-answer questions on its supplement to the Common Application. Last year’s applicants had to respond to three prompts. One was: “Please share an example of an instance when you feel creative thought really did matter.” The answers were supposed to give Skidmore insights into applicants, says Mary Lou Bates, dean of admissions and financial aid. Yet some students and college counselors complained that the questions were too onerous. “We heard that our questions were the hardest,” she says. “And someone called them ‘the worst.’ ”
Ms. Bates has now concluded that the additional writing was not adding much to the evaluations, and the Common App essay is sufficient. “The answers felt very generic,” she says. So Skidmore removed the extra writing for students applying for the fall. After a few years of application declines, Skidmore saw a big jump this winter. The college received 8,200 applications, up from 5,700 last year. And more students (81 percent versus 75 percent) completed the application once they started it, a rise Ms. Bates attributes directly to the streamlined supplement.
The results may have as much to do with the ease of technology as with laziness. At the 11th hour, with anxious students looking for a few more colleges to apply to, those that don’t require additional writing look more appealing than those that do. “With the Common Application,” says Matthew J. DeGreeff, director of college counseling at the Middlesex School, in Concord, Mass., “you can drop 10 apps with a keystroke on Dec. 31.”
Though some students relish the opportunity to write about themselves, many view the requirement as a chore. So says Jay D. Bass, director of college counseling services at Thomas S. Wootton High School, in Rockville, Md. “Most juniors and seniors are not great writers,” he says. “Trying to figure out what colleges want to hear is stressful.”
Mr. Bass has wondered about the downside to supplemental essays. Additional requirements, he suggests, may deter low-income, first-generation applicants from applying to a particular college.
“For kids who do not have access to resources, or a parent who can sit down and help them with this,” he says, “does it impact their ability to meet what they think the college is looking for?”
Gregory W. Roberts has thought about that concern, but he says additional writing gives students more chances to make an impression. Mr. Roberts is dean of admissions at the University of Virginia, which requires two essays of about 250 words on its supplement in addition to the Common Application essay. “Asking for two short answers seems appropriate and reasonable,” he says. “Writing in a different format can give you a sense of different types of skills.” Admissions officers are looking not only at what students write, he says, but how they express themselves.
Applicants to U.Va.’s College of Arts and Sciences must describe a work of art, music, science, mathematics or literature that “surprised, unsettled or challenged” them; applicants to the schools of architecture, engineering and nursing are asked to explain their interest in those programs. All applicants must also choose one of four other prompts, including, “Discuss something you secretly like but pretend not to, or vice versa.”
Mr. Roberts recalls an essay written by an applicant from a poor family, who described her father coming home from the coal mines, his face covered in soot. In her essay, the student described why she had not participated in extracurricular activities — she had worked part-time jobs to help support her parents.
A memorable essay, Mr. Roberts says, “tells me someone knows how to write, and knows who he or she is,” and can help an applicant with middle-of-the-road test scores stand out.
Plenty of submissions fall short, however. “It’s shocking, the lack of effort we see in some essays,” he says. Yes, from time to time his staff comes across an essay that seems to have been repurposed (they know what’s being asked out there, and even a response to the quirkiest prompt can get broad after the first paragraph). He says he doesn’t really mind.
Of the four new topics presented by Boston College, the one about service to others has proved the most popular among applicants. Some responses have moved officials; the ones in which applicants recite their achievements and list their professional ambitions, not so much. “I don’t think everyone’s fully grasping the questions,” Mr. Mahoney says.
The requirement has some drawbacks. Previously, admissions officers read five applications an hour, but now they’re lucky to get through four, Mr. Mahoney says. Yet he believes the additional writing sample has helped his staff make better decisions.
“We’re trying to hear the student’s voice,” he says. And they know what they’ve heard came from applicants who were willing to type an extra 400 words.
Eric Hoover is a reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education, covering college admissions.Continue reading the main story