Scholarship America Celebrates 50 Years With Launch of "Dollar A Day" Program

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23 May 2011
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New Program Preserves Founder’s Dream of Helping Students Earn College Degrees

As Scholarship America® celebrates 50 years of providing more than $2.5 billion in scholarships and sending 1.7 million students to college, the Minnesota-based nonprofit organization is launching A Dollar A Day to encourage communities nationwide to donate as little as $1 to help more students go to college.

“With the cost of college tuition on the rise, the number of college graduates on the decline, and more than $700 billion in student loan debt nationally, scholarships are essential to bridge the gap – making this one of the biggest economic issues facing our country today,” said Lauren Segal, president and CEO of Scholarship America. “Our goal is not just to help students get into college, but to help them complete college by awarding renewable multi-year scholarships, which will ultimately help minimize the debt they will incur upon graduation.”

Scholarship America is a nonprofit organization that helps raise and distribute college scholarships for students. The organization was founded in 1961 in Fall River, Massachusetts by Dr. Irving Fradkin, who noticed a discrepancy between students’ desires to go to college and their families’ abilities to pay for it. To bridge the gap, Fradkin asked each person in his Fall River community to donate just $1 towards sending Fall River seniors to college. His early efforts became known as the Dollars for Scholars program, which still exists today under Scholarship America and is active in more than 3,500 communities nationwide.

“By encouraging every American to give a dollar a day, whether it be for one week, one month, or one year, we continue making Dr. Fradkin’s dream of helping every deserving student achieve their dreams a reality, while advancing the economic vitality of our country’s future,” Segal said.

Scholarship America’s philosophy supports the continuum of student needs from college preparation and access through degree completion, debt reduction and giving back to the community. In addition to entry-level scholarships, Scholarship America awards renewable multi-year scholarships, as well as emergency financial grants – both of which provide students with the financial assistance they need to complete their college educations.

Recently, Scholarship America was chosen by former CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric as the beneficiary of the proceeds from her new book, The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives, a collection of essays, poems and advice geared towards encouraging college graduates to think about their futures. In addition, eyebobs, a Minnesota-based manufacturer of reading glasses, is making a Katie Couric-inspired donation. Couric worked with eyebobs to design a limited-edition reader known as “Katie’s Close Up.” For every pair that is sold, eyebobs will donate $5 to Scholarship America. (

To learn more about Scholarship America and make a pledge, visit

Teresa McFarland

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About Scholarship America
Scholarship America is a national education service organization that mobilizes support for students getting into and graduating from college. Scholarship America has distributed more than $2.5 billion in scholarship assistance to more than 1.7 million students over the last 50 years. Scholarship America’s programs, which include Dollars for Scholars®, help fund both entry-level and multi-year scholarships, as well as emergency financial grants. More information is available at

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!

Your Gift Is Crucial

Nearly 1/4 of the U.S. population owes a collective $700 billion in student loan debt. We are committed to helping more students graduate from college with less debt. A gift of just $1 a day -- for a week, for a month, or for a year -- can help ensure that students are able to achieve their goals.

Don't Miss Out!