This year marks Scholarship America’s 50th anniversary of helping students across the nation succeed in attaining access to a college education. Through the efforts of thousands of volunteers, donors and staff, we’ve awarded more than $2.7 billion to 1.8 million students!


President & CEO Lauren SegalThis past year – my first leading the incredible team of staff and volunteers here at Scholarship America – has been one of growth and change. Organizationally, our operating methods hadn’t really changed much over our first 50 years. Many of our 1,000-plus Dollars for Scholars chapters were still using paper scholarship applications and time-consuming manual evaluation methods. Despite the incredible impact we’ve had on students, we needed to modernize and begin investing in technology to support operations. And in the past, our mission and goals have been focused on college access, rather than completion. Helping students get into college or vocational school isn’t enough anymore.


Fast forward to today: we are launching a long-range strategic plan focused on student completion. We are launching a new scholarship program, the Scholarship America National Fund, which will reward eligible students who have completed one year of education beyond high school with renewable scholarship awards of increasing value to reward persistence in program completion. And we are implementing a revolutionary technology tool for chapter management, including an online scholarship application process. This tool, called ChapterNet, both allows chapters to streamline operations and provides greater value to students who, when they set up a profile in the system, will be alerted of additional scholarships and other opportunities that will help them achieve postsecondary success.


Investing in students is an investment in our national economy, and we are thrilled to be laying the groundwork for the future of students across the country. We thank you for your support.

Lauren A. Segal, President & CEO




It started as a simple idea: If everyone in the community would donate just $1, they could send all graduating seniors to college with scholarships. This idea became Dr. Irving A. Fradkin's platform for school board election—and grew into the nation's first grassroots, community scholarship program. A 1958 headline read "Mrs. Roosevelt Pleased With Scholarship Program," and support for Dollars for Scholars came pouring in from other national figures—including President Eisenhower and then-Senator John F. Kennedy.


From these beginnings, Scholarship America has become a nationwide leader in helping students with their educational dreams. Click the arrows to learn more about the past, present and future of Scholarship America.

Fast Forward

Fast ForwardIt started as a simple idea: If everyone in the community would donate just $1, they could send all graduating seniors to college with scholarships. The idea became Dr. Irving A. Fradkin’s platform for school board election – and grew into the nation’s first grassroots, community scholarship program. A 1958 headline read “Mrs. Roosevelt Pleased With Scholarship Program,” and support for Dollars for Scholars® came pouring in from other national figures – including President Eisenhower and then-Senator John F. Kennedy.


In 1976, Scholarship Management Services® began as the need for scholarships grew, and corporations and foundations sought expert assistance in designing and managing their private scholarship programs. The Collegiate Partners® program began in the mid-1980s, as colleges pledged to treat scholarships fairly by not reducing school-based aid to scholarship recipients. Corporations and foundations looking for a way to help families in the aftermath of 9/11 joined with Scholarship America and pledged more than $125 million in scholarship support for dependents of those killed or disabled, based on need, forming the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund.®


The Dreamkeepers® program was launched in 2004 to help students stay in school despite financial emergencies. Its tagline is “From Dream to Finish.®” Nationally recognized as an effective, efficient organization by Charity Navigator for the past 10 years and counting, Scholarship America – also named a “Slam Dunk Charity” – continues to attract interest and support. Fiscal Year 2011 supporters included Saks Fifth Avenue, Microsoft Stores and 2K Games. Recognizing that helping students get into college isn’t enough anymore, Scholarship America developed a new strategic direction aimed to help students complete their postsecondary programs with a manageable level of debt – and launched fundraising for the Scholarship America National Fund, which will reward students who persist through their first year of postsecondary education with increasing and renewable scholarships through program completion, up to five years. Former CBS Evening News anchor, Katie Couric, became Scholarships America’s largest individual donor by donating the proceeds of a newly-published book to support the National Fund.


In December 2010, Scholarship America capitalized on 50 years of scholarship expertise and began writing The Scholarship Coach, a weekly blog for U.S. News & World Report. Development began of ChapterNet, a revolutionary chapter management software tool that will provide all 1,000 Dollars for Scholars chapters with a customizable website, online scholarship application and management, online donation capability and scholarship recipient and donor tracking and management.


Scholarship America has awarded $2.7 billion to 1.8 million students since 1958.



This video takes a look back at Scholarship America's 50 years of helping students -- featuring narration from our founder, Dr. Irving Fradkin.






In Fiscal Year 2011, Scholarship America's programs—Dollars for Scholars, Scholarship Management Services, Dreamkeepers, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund and Collegiate Partners—distributed 107,000 total scholarships in the amount of $205,000,000 dollars. Students like Viviana were among the hundreds of thousands of young people assisted by Scholarship America this year.


Click the arrows to see details of our scholarship distribution. For full financial reports, click the "Financials" tab at right, and to support Scholarship America click "Donate."


Fast Forward



Dollars for Scholars

More than 1,000 locally based,
volunteer-driven chapters help
hometown students in 3,100
communities achieve their
educational goals by raising
scholarship funds, establishing
endowments, providing assistance with
college readiness and the financial
aid process,and distributing scholarships.


By the numbers:
  * 40,860 students received $43.3
    million in scholarships
  * $1,061 was the average scholarship
  * $58.9 million was raised by chapters
  * 3,100 communities are served in
    38 states and the District of Columbia
  * 25,469 volunteers support 1,042


Collegiate Partners

Collegiate Partners are postsecondary institutions that make scholarship awards distributed by Scholarship America programs go further, by assuring they are used to fill unmet student need or reduce the self-help portion (loan, work study, etc.) of the student’s financial aid package.


By the numbers:
  * 451 Collegiate Partners
  * 37,671 Scholarship America scholarship recipients brought $65.5 million in scholarship funds to Collegiate Partner institutions in FY11

Scholarship Management Services

SMS is the premier scholarship and education assistance program administrator, providing a flexible design and administrative process to assist corporations, foundations and individuals in managing and developing their scholarship and education assistance programs.


By the numbers:
  * 66,011 students received $161.6 million in scholarships and education assistance**
  * $2,395 was the average scholarship award
  *384,950 applications were processed for 1,221 programs
** includes Families of Freedom awards, broken out below


Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund

Families of Freedom provides post-high school education funding to financially needy dependents of those killed or disabled in the 9/11 attacks and rescue efforts.


By the numbers:
  * 783 students received $13.7 million in scholarship assistance in FY11
  * 1,697 students have received $62.9 million in scholarship assistance since 2002


Dreamkeepers is designed to help students avoid dropping out of college when faced with an unforeseen financial difficulty. Ninety-five percent of students who received Dreamkeepers funding in 2010-11 re-enrolled the next semester or graduated – compared with a national average of 59%.


By the numbers:
  * 31 colleges in the Dreamkeepers network
  * $479 is the average student grant
  * Nearly $2.3 million in financial assistance has been provided to more than 5,000 students since 2004
Dreamkeepers is funded through generous grants from Lumina Foundation for Education, the Kresge Foundation, and the Walmart Foundation.


Fast Forward To:



Facts and Figures


Supporters and Partners


Student Stories