Scholarship America Annual Report 2016

From Our CEO

Education makes lives better.

Focused squarely on this belief and with students at the heart of all we do, Scholarship America continued in its core mission to mobilize America through scholarships and other educational support to make postsecondary success possible for all. We distributed $225 million in scholarships and educational assistance, bringing our totals to more than $3.7 billion distributed to over 2.3 million students since 1958. Today, with skyrocketing college costs and national student debt exceeding $1.2 trillion, our work matters more than ever.

Click to read our 2016 financials or read on for highlights of the year.

Focus, Stability and Accountability

Dear Friends,

By all measures, 2016 was a year of significant change. Sadly, we ended the year without our founder and guiding light, Dr. Irving Fradkin, who passed away in November. Active with Scholarship America to the end, he expected all of us not to just continue what he started, but to advance it. That we did, noting the 15th anniversary of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund; making great strides in improving technology; strengthening work with Dollars for Scholars chapters; adding Training Your Way webinars; and ending the year in a solid financial position.

We do what we do to help students achieve their educational dreams. Over 100,000 students received scholarships in 2016. That’s what matters. Dr. Fradkin would be proud.

Robert C. Ballard
President & Chief Executive Officer
Scholarship America

2016 Moments

Dr. Irving A. Fradkin’s Legacy

Our founder, Dr. Irving A. Fradkin, believed every student ought to be able to go to college. He passed away in November, 2016, but his legacy of service, hope and the firm conviction anything is possible through the higher education lives on at Scholarship America.


Watch our video tribute to the life and legacy of Scholarship America's founder

Great Scholarship Programs Are Worth More Than Money

Today, the best scholarship programs still give scholarships to college freshmen, but more and more of those scholarships are renewable. They increasingly also combine the giving of money with educational and career support, including mentorships, internships, coaching, academic advising and more. The Travelers EDGE program is a stellar example.

2016 Moments

Dreams To Degrees

Scholarship America’s second annual national education dinner in May honored the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, The Osage Nation and The Travelers Companies for their outstanding scholarship programs and raised over $475,000 to support student success.


Images and impressions of Scholarship America's second annual Dreams to Degrees Awards, honoring innovative student support programs.

2016 Moments

Making Dreams Come True

The Scholarship America Dream Award, in its third year, provided $95,000 in growing, renewable scholarships to eight remarkable scholars.


Dollars for Scholars Superstars

The Burlington-Edison Education and Alumni Foundation Dollars for Scholars and Sandra Lamb, Baldwinsville Community Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars, took home top honors in the Dollars for Scholars Awards Program recognizing exemplary achievement. Asgton Stephenson, Ankeny Dollars for Scholars, received student volunteer of the year honors.

Training Your Way

In the fall, Scholarship America launched Training Your Way, a series of one-hour webinars for Dollars for Scholars volunteers on topics ranging from strengthening boards and early FAFSA, to scholarship management and assisting students through the application process.


2016 Moments

15th Anniversary of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund

The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund has awarded over $137 million in postsecondary education assistance to date to over 3,100 students whose families were impacted by the 9/11 attacks. In December, a successful Never Forget Tribute fundraiser was held in New Jersey.


The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund is helping this family's ten children through college. Watch their story here.

Your Support Matters

Scholarship America has been rated a 4-Star Charity by Charity Navigator. We believe in fiscal responsibility and transparency -- and students rely on supporters like you. A gift to Scholarship America ensures we can help more students earn more degrees now, and into the future.