News Releases

Volunteer Spotlight: Rachael Hagedorn, Carlisle Area Dollars for Scholars


Just southeast of Des Moines, Iowa, is a suburban community with a small-town feel. With about 4,000 residents, the city of Carlisle may be small, but activities abound -- and Rachael Hagedorn from Carlisle Area Dollars for Scholars jumped right in. “From the very beginning of her participation [in 2009], … Rachael was offering to take on work,” said Clint Smalley, president of Carlisle Area Dollars for Scholars. “She was always thinking up new ways to bring public attention to what we were doing and would often add to her own workload to get the word out.”

Rachael Hagedorn of Carlisle Area Dollars for Scholars in IowaRachael immediately invested in the affiliate, even as a new face in an established community. Moving an entire family is no small task, but the Hagedorn family was attracted to Carlisle’s family-friendly atmosphere. “When my oldest son reached high school, my husband and I wanted [our kids] to go to a smaller school where they could be involved in everything,” she said.

Influenced by parents who were both educators, Rachael said she was always involved in her kids’ education. And, as her kids became more involved in sports and other extracurricular activities, Rachael did, too. All of those activities presented an opportunity to get to know her neighbors, and the family’s next-door neighbor happened to volunteer with an organization called Carlisle Area Dollars for Scholars.

“We were new, and we knew we wanted to get involved,” Rachael recalled. “I wanted to be involved in the school. My neighbors were involved in Dollars for Scholars and said, ‘You should join!’ So I did.”

Read more about Rachael's impact on students here.

Affiliate Spotlight: Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars


It’s a clear, almost-spring day in Detroit, Michigan, and singing fills the University of Detroit Mercy’s fitness center. The DAAS Choir, made up of elementary and middle school students, is performing—lighting up the room and attendees’ faces. Volunteers, donors and students have gathered for the 2014 Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars Celebration of Education luncheon, hearing about the affiliate’s work and their impact in the community. Throughout the event, the elation of supporting future generations is palpable, as individuals mingle and speak with students from Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars’ academic support program.

Former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing greets high school senior Treyv’on Smith at the 2014 Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars Celebration of Education luncheon.“One of the things that hurt our area is that so many of our young people look at Detroit as a wasteland,” said guest speaker and former Detroit mayor Dave Bing. “I look at it as an opportunity. This is the time for change. And those opportunities are going to be here for you, provided that you get the education that’s necessary.”

Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars is doing just that. The affiliate offers a full academic year of programming for students – community service opportunities, college campus visits, career fairs and more. It’s all part of the mission to equip students for life after high school – not only to attend college, but to graduate and to be active citizens in their communities.

Read more about the affiliate's work here.

Vice-Chair, Board Members Elected To Scholarship America's Board Of Trustees


Scholarship America is pleased to announce that Robert Ballard Senior Vice President, Philanthropy for USA Funds, has been elected to serve as vice-chair of the organization's Board of Trustees. In addition, Scholarship America welcomes Dr. Sandy Robinson of Florida State College at Jacksonville and William Young of Plastipak Holdings, Inc. and Absopure Water Co., who have been elected to serve as members of the Board.

George Family Foundation Honors Lauren Segal at First-Ever Celebrating Twin Cities Women Leaders Event


The George Family Foundation recognized Scholarship America President & CEO Lauren Segal as one of 84 exceptional women leaders making remarkable contributions to building the Twin Cities at its first-ever “Celebrating Twin Cities Women Leaders” event on September 16, 2014.

“Celebrating Twin Cities Women Leaders” was held at the Guthrie Theater in conjunction with a preview performance of Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Heidi Chronicles. Written in 1989, The Heidi Chronicles is a story of women struggling to make greater contributions to the world of art, business and government. The event celebrated women who have served as CEO, board chair or president of large corporations, colleges and universities, government and nonprofit organizations, health care, and major arts organizations in the Twin Cities.

Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund Reaches $100 Million in Awards to Family Members of Those Lost or Permanently Disabled on 9/11


Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, the largest private scholarship fund for 9/11 families, announced it has reached the $100 million mark in needs-based scholarships awards to 2,568 students since September 11, 2001. That figure includes $11,463,072 in scholarship awards to support 776 students during the 2013-2014 academic year. The average award is $13,415 per student.

Scholarship America Surprises 12 Dream Award Recipients on Katie Couric’s Talk Show, Katie


Scholarship America surprised its first group of 12 Dream Award recipients on Katie Couric’s daytime talk show, Katie, today. (Video: Part 1, Part 2)

The Dream Award is Scholarship America’s renewable scholarship program for financially needy students who have overcome barriers and have successfully started their college education. Awards were made to 12 students selected from across the nation who are entering their second year or higher of education beyond high school; the scholarships are both renewable and increase in amount each year. Scholarship America awarded more than $150,000 to this first group of students, with scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 based on the individual student’s financial need. Each student’s award will increase by $1,000 each year to help them successfully finish school and earn their degrees.

News Archive

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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.

The Scholarship Coach

The Scholarship CoachScholarship America's blog, The Scholarship Coach, appears weekly at, featuring expert advice on all kinds of scholarship issues. Here on the site, we feature a new highlight from the blog every week, and you can also download a free Scholarship Coach e-book!

Focus On The Finish Line

Scholarship America is dedicated to helping students get their degrees. Our 2013 Annual Report, Focus on the Finish Line, features statistics, stories, and student accounts of the importance of college completion.


Visit the online report to learn more and hear from our President, Lauren Segal.

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