The most exciting part of my job as President of Dolphin Scholarship Foundation is the annual selection of the Scholars. As that day approached, I can honestly say that I was both excited and nervous at the same time. Those of us on the selection committee realize how much these scholarships mean to the applicants and their parents so each of us involved took our responsibility very seriously. The selection committee had a lot of work to do and we were committed to take as much time as necessary to give every applicant proper consideration.
The selection criteria for Dolphin Scholars is directed by the charter which established the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation in 1961. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee, giving equal consideration in three areas: 1) academic proficiency, 2) financial need and 3) commitment and excellence in school and community activities. These judgments arc based solely on the information provided by the student in the completed application, the school transcript, letters of recommendation, and a brief essay by the student regarding career objectives. The number of new Scholars selected each year is based on attrition from graduating seniors, students requesting temporary leaves of absence, or other extenuating circumstances.
The Selection Committee is comprised of the DSF President, a Submarine spouse, a Submarine officer, a Submarine senior enlisted member, and two educators, one high school level and one college level.
The selection of Dolphin Scholars is as fair and blind as possible. When the applications were arriving in the office prior to the April deadline, the Staff asked me not to come to the office where I could possibly be exposed to any of the applications accidentally. They worked very hard to protect the integrity of the process. Applications from high school seniors and those from
students already in college are reviewed and ranked separately. Prior to review by the Selection Committee, information identifying students and their sponsors is masked on the applications. Each application is reviewed independently by each committee member and assigned points in each of the three criteria. This too is a blind process so the committee members aren’t influenced by each other’s grading. The three criteria of academic proficiency, financial need, and commitment and excellence in school and community activities are weighted equally. The applicants with the highest point totals are selected as the new Dolphin Scholars. Finally, letters of acceptance or regret arc sent to each applicant.
ACADEMIC PROFICIENCY. Finalists are determined by an academic ranking generated by a computer program. High school applicants are ranked according to a score derived from a student’s highest SAT or ACT scores and high school class rank (or percentile standing), as documented by the high school counselor or in the transcript. College students’ scores are derived from a student’s college GPA, the number of college terms completed, and a comparative ranking of the college attended. In addition, each member of the Selection Committee reviews the finalists’ transcripts and bases his/her score on such factors as final grades, strength of schedule (i.e., honors, advanced placement courses), and academic program (i.e., International Baccalaureate program).
FINANCIAL NEED. Financial need is based on the information presented in the application. Need is considered with regard to income, family size, number of family members who will be in college at the same time, area cost of living, cost of selected college, and family financial resources and financial obligations presented by the sponsor.
COMMITMENT AND EXCELLENCE IN SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES. Non-academic performance is based on information in the application regarding extra-curricular school and community activities and leadership, three letters of recommendation (at least one providing non-academic insight on the applicant,) and the student’s required essay.
While we feel the process is fair and balanced, it is reviewed every year for possible improvement. This fall, DSF will award 13 7 undergraduate scholarships of $3,250 each, including 102 scholarships renewed for the 2007-2008 school year, for an annual total of $445,250. Each scholarship is potentially renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study. This would not be possible without the strong support and generosity of the submarine community past and present. Thank you all so much.
The 35 new Dolphin Scholars included 27 high school seniors and eight college students, 16 male and 19 female. Twenty-two of the submarine sponsors were from the enlisted community and thirteen were officers. Congratulations to the new 2007 Dolphin Scholars!
The Dolphin Scholarship Foundation (DSF) is proud to announce the selection of 35 outstanding high school and college students as the 2007 Dolpliin Scliolars.