Scholarship America Receives $1 Million from Kresge Foundation

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16 APR 2013
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Two-Year Grant will Expand the Dreamkeepers Emergency Financial Assistance Program

Scholarship America announced today that it is the recipient of a two-year, $1 million grant from The Kresge Foundation for its Dreamkeepers program. Scholarship America Dreamkeepers is a financial assistance program designed to help students avoid dropping out of college when faced with an unforeseen financial emergency. There are currently 43 colleges in the nine-year-old Dreamkeepers network; last year, they provided an average emergency grant of $414 to nearly 1,900 students to help keep them in school.

Kresge was a key Dreamkeepers funder from 2010 through 2012, when elements of the program were being piloted, tested and evaluated for ongoing sustainability.

The Kresge Foundation’s $1 million dollar grant will provide capacity building funds to expand the existing Dreamkeepers program into a fully integrated, self-sustaining, core program of Scholarship America through research of successful program models; building collaborative partnerships with key partners; and devoting full-time staff to focus on expanding the program’s breadth, quality and impact. In addition, Scholarship America will explore local, multi-sector community collaboration models to support local college programs with Detroit, Mich. and Houston, Texas as initial target cities for the project. The plan will strengthen and expand the Dreamkeepers network – ultimately resulting in a membership model that will allow more colleges to adopt the program at various levels of service.

“Scholarship America is grateful to The Kresge Foundation for its ongoing support of Dreamkeepers,” said Lauren A. Segal, President and CEO of Scholarship America. “At the conclusion of the previous grant in 2012, Kresge encouraged us to develop a plan to increase the program’s long-term sustainability and expand its scale of impact. This grant will help build our capacity to serve more students, contributing to our overall organizational goal of helping 750,000 students succeed in completing their post-secondary education by 2025.”

“The Dreamkeepers program has shown great success as a retention strategy. Participating colleges report that 95 percent of students who received emergency financial grants in 2011-12 completed their current semester,” said Caroline Altman Smith, Senior Program Officer at the Foundation. “We are excited to help Scholarship America build on this success and refine the program to ensure that many more community colleges can participate in a cost-effective manner.”

Colleges interested in learning more about Dreamkeepers can request information here.

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About Scholarship America
Scholarship America mobilizes support for students getting into and graduating from college. Since 1958, Scholarship America has distributed $3 billion in scholarship assistance to 2 million students, funding both entry-level and multi-year scholarships and emergency financial grants. More information is available at or by following @scholamerica.

About The Kresge Foundation
Based in metropolitan Detroit, The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion private foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations working in its seven program areas: Arts and Culture, Community Development, Detroit, Education, Environment, Health, and Human Services. Fostering greater access to and success in postsecondary education for low-income, minority and first-generation college students is the focus of Kresge’s Education grantmaking. In 2012, Kresge awarded more than $22 million in grants to support higher education in the United States and South Africa, with half benefiting U.S. community colleges. For more information, please visit the Foundation website at or follow @kresgedu.

The Dream Award

Dream Award Scholarship America’s Dream Award is a renewable scholarship fund targeted toward completion. These annually-increasing awards will be given to students selected from across the nation who are entering their second year of education beyond high school.

Success By Degrees

Scholarship America's blog, Success By Degrees, covers items of interest to parents, volunteers, educators and anyone interested in the big issues surrounding education, financial aid and postsecondary success. You'll find policy announcements, news releases and more, every week!

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