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News, updates, publications and the newest posts from our blogs

February 14, 2019
Scholarship America today announced the launch of The Richard O. Jacobson Legacy Scholarship Program developed for the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation. In its first year, the scholarship program will offer up to $500,000 in scholarships for local high school seniors, graduates, and college undergraduates planning to continue their education at one of 18 eligible two- or four-year colleges or universities within Iowa. These scholarship awards can be used for any education related expenses including tuition, fees, books, supplies,…
February 4, 2019
There’s no way around it: Americans are drowning in student loan debt. Collectively, we owe $1.5 trillion, and continually rising college costs mean that number isn’t likely to drop much in the next few decades. The average student borrower takes out around $26,000 in loans over the course of a bachelor’s degree—debt that is impossible to discharge in bankruptcy, difficult to have forgiven and increasingly unlikely to be fully repaid on schedule. Not every student…
January 18, 2019
The line between “student” and “employee” has never been blurrier than it is in 2019. Over the past four decades in the United States, the workforce and the college population have converged like never before. More than half of all college students now hold down jobs while attending school full time. Nearly half of all community college attendees are already employed when they start school, and 76 percent of graduate students are working at least 30 hours per week. What’s more,…
January 16, 2019
As NSPA's 20th Anniversary Approaches, Leadership Comes Full Circle for Scholarship Industry Leader The National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA), the nation’s largest network and resource specifically designed to support the needs of professionals in the scholarship industry, announces the appointment of a new member to its Board of Directors. Robert C. Ballard, President and CEO of Scholarship America, begins his first term this January, 2019. “We are so delighted to have Bob join our Board…
January 4, 2019
Growing up in a single-parent family in Guadalajara, Mexico, Christian Urrea had no idea that immigration to the United States with his mother when he was eight years old was just the start of his long journey to a better life. As an undocumented minor, Christian faced language, cultural and financial struggles. Though he’d studied English in school in Mexico, he remembers feeling overwhelmed in his first all-English class in elementary school in Aurora, Ilinois,…
December 28, 2018
Since our founding 60 years ago, Scholarship America has had a singular focus on supporting the dreams and aspirations of bright minds, no matter what their circumstances and obstacles might be. From our beginnings as a community scholarship drive in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1958, we have grown to become the nation’s largest private scholarship provider. We have distributed more than $4 billion to more than 2.4 million students. We are driven to ensure that…
December 21, 2018
As 2018 draws to a close, we’re excited to look back on some major milestones in Scholarship America’s history. This year, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of our founding in 1958, when Fall River, Massachusetts optometrist Irving Fradkin had a simple but world-changing idea: if an entire community came together, even small donations could turn into significant support for college-bound students. That idea has been the basis of our work for the last six decades. Twenty…
December 20, 2018
Scholarship America, the nation’s leading nonprofit scholarship and educational support organization, is pleased to announce Lynn M. Graves has been elected to its Board of Trustees. Graves brings over 30 years of professional experience with Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa, where she served most recently as Vice President, Corporate Relations. Previously she was Vice President, Human Resources and prior to that, Vice President, Executive Operations. “In addition to being an accomplished corporate leader,…
December 12, 2018
Amanda Condon was a member of the 2016 class of Scholarship America Dream Award recipients. We are proud to publish this guest post from Amanda, letting us know where she is now—and what great things she's doing.
December 4, 2018
When it comes to providing scholarships, there are three major questions to answer. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the “why” element—determining what you truly want to accomplish by awarding a scholarship. In Part 2, we delved into the “how,” looking at ways to identify the students who need your help. In this final installment, we’ll take a closer look at the “what”—that is, what to look for in your recipients, and what exactly your…
November 27, 2018
An only child and a smart, well-rounded student growing up in New Orleans, Jacoby Barry developed important life skills that helped him thrive inside and outside the classroom. He excelled academically in math and science, completed AP and honor classes, but also had a passion for playing basketball and was a team captain. “Playing basketball taught me resilience, toughness, dedication, and teamwork,” said Jacoby. “It takes practice to improve and compete. Math came easy for…
November 21, 2018
There are as many unique scholarship programs as there are sponsors, but the ones that make a truly life-changing impact have a few things in common. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed “finding your ‘why’—digging into the problems you want to solve and the stories that motivate you to give a scholarship. Answering that question is the first step toward developing a truly inspiring program. Today, we’ll look at step two: getting a deeper…
November 8, 2018
If you’re considering creating a scholarship program, here’s one way to start thinking of the design: if I put a chair in front of you and asked who was sitting in the chair as you design your program, who occupies that chair? Is it your donor, a community member, a board member—or is it the student? Are you asking questions such as what does the donor want, or what does the board want? Or are…
October 30, 2018
Born and raised in the United States to Mexican immigrant parents, Jacqueline (Jackie) Vela has often served as a translator. Her father works in an industrial metal lab while her mother, despite suffering from chronic back pain, works at home raising their three children. As the eldest child, Jackie grew up helping with housework and caring for her younger sisters—including her youngest sibling, who has autism and does not speak.
October 22, 2018
Everyone knows what a scholarship is. It’s free, no-strings-attached money to help a student pay for their higher education. Right? Usually. But not always. In some cases, there are significant strings attached—including a few situations in which scholarship funds may be treated as taxable income. While it’s unusual, it’s also important for both students and scholarship providers to know how this can happen, and how it can be avoided.