Each fall the Daniels Scholars Program, founded by Bill Daniels, invites graduating high school seniors from Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming to apply for one of its competitive scholarships.
This year, the Daniels Scholars Program received 2,250 applications, interviewed 421 finalists and selected 238 Daniels Scholars. Two local seniors, Ryan Himes of Taos Academy Charter School and Will Song of Taos High School, earned this scholarship. Himes will attend New Mexico Tech and Song will enroll at Stanford University.
Like a number of other finalists and Daniels scholars over the last decade, these two were assisted through the application process by Bridges Project for Education. Bridges, founded in 1997, offers free college admissions and financial aid counseling for students of all ages in Taos County and Northern New Mexico.
The Daniels Scholars program process involves an application, essays and interviews. Scholars are selected from the pool of regional finalists. Criteria for selection emphasizes the individual's "exceptional character, leadership, and a commitment to serving their communities," rather than their academic record although candidates must submit an ACT or SAT test score.
This "last dollar" scholarship is open to students with financial need and covers all college expenses after other scholarships, work-study and the expected family contribution have been applied to total college costs. Seniors who wish to apply for this scholarship need to be certain they have taken the ACT or SAT by early fall and that they meet the other criteria laid out on the Daniels Fund website, danielsfund.org/2018Scholars.asp.