Scholarship America® Now Accepting Applications for 2020 Dream Award Scholarships
By Claire Berge Schmidt
As summer ends, college students across the country and their families are struggling to deal with the rising cost of college. Scholarships can help them stay in school, make it to graduation and achieve their dreams. Scholarship America, the nation’s largest nonprofit scholarship and education support organization, is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Scholarship America Dream Award through Monday, Oct. 15, 2019.
Eligible students can apply for the Dream Award at scholarshipamerica.org/dreamaward. The 2020 Scholarship America Dream Award recipients will be announced in February. Recipients will be celebrated on May 7, 2020, at the Dreams to Success National Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C.
In its seventh year, the Dream Award is Scholarship America’s unique renewable scholarship program for students with financial need who have overcome barriers and successfully started their college education. Awards are made to students 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. Since the Dream Award was created in 2014, 86 students have received scholarship awards totaling nearly $1.5 million, with an overall scholarship award across all years averaging more than $24,000.
A recent survey of past Scholarship America’s Dream Award recipients found that 69 percent were among the first generation to attend college, 81 percent contributed financially to their family income and one-third were caregivers to someone in their family while pursuing their degrees. The most often reported positive effects on their life and college experience include: reducing their financial stress (95%), increasing their ability to continue attending college (89%), and reducing their reliance on student loans or student loan debt (84%).
Past Dream Award Recipients Comment on the Scholarship
“Seeing friends drop out of college or take a gap year because of high tuition expenses, the search for additional scholarship opportunities became more necessary than ever. I worried what I would do and how I would pay for tuition. Being selected for the Dream Award my sophomore year gave me the sense of relief that I needed.” Jia Mei, studying molecular biology, Colorado College.
“My father passed away when I was nine. My mother struggles to put food on our table; I work 30 hours per week to help. Growing up, I realized education is imperative to economic well-being. Pursuing a career as a biomedical engineer will provide the opportunity to improve communities’ health quality conditions.” Charly Gutierrez, biomedical engineering major, University of Florida.
“I want to thank Scholarship America and its donors for believing in my abilities and my future–and allowing me to continue my college career. If I did not get this scholarship, college would not be an option. I am the first in my family to go to college.” Donja Wilkinson, working toward her long-term goal to become an Orthodontist, Georgia State.
About the Dream Award Selection Committee
Dr. Martha Kanter, Executive Director of the College Promise Campaign and a Senior Fellow, Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University, chairs Scholarship America’s Dream Award Selection Committee comprised of respected business and educational leaders along with Scholarship America’s President and CEO, Robert C. Ballard.
Fundraising to support Scholarship America’s Dream Award was spurred by an initial donation of $350,000 from journalist and author Katie Couric in 2011. More information can be found on scholarshipamerica.org/dreamaward.
About Scholarship America
Scholarship America is a non-profit organization that helps students fulfill their college dreams. Since 1958, Scholarship America has distributed $4.2 billion to more than 2.5 million students. The organization works with partners to lower barriers to a college education and give students the support needed to succeed. Learn more at scholarshipamerica.org.