The Scholar: A Publication of Scholarship America

March 2018

Scholarship America’s Strategic Direction Focuses Squarely on Students

A Message From President and CEO Bob Ballard

Scholarship America's Vision as a Postsecondary Hub

Today’s student is very different than the student of 50, 30 or even 10 years ago. Scholarship America has changed as well: we think differently and operate differently to support the whole student, so every student can persist and succeed.

Scholarship America’s Strategic Direction envisions a future where Scholarship America is a “go-to” source of information, support and resources for ALL students pursing higher education … a postsecondary success hub. It is an outcomes-based/solutions-focused approach for students at all stages of their postsecondary journey, where financial support is just one part of an overall broader integrated tool kit of student supports.

Why is this so important? Believing firmly that “education changes lives,” we want to ensure that anyone with desire, effort and grit has the support needed to achieve success. Students are counting on us.

Never has the direction of, and the opportunity for, Scholarship America been clearer. I could not be prouder of the Strategic Direction we have created. It is true and faithful to the vision of Scholarship America, our founder, Dr. Irving Fradkin and the mission he championed his entire life.

We have made significant progress, as you can see in the 2017 impact graphic in this newsletter. I thank all of you for sharing the passion to serve ALL students to help them achieve a higher education and a better life. There is more work to be done, and I look forward to continuing our work together with a newly minted strategic direction to guide us and keep us focused on delivering measurable and meaningful outcomes for students.

Bob Ballard
President & CEO
Scholarship America


Our Impact in 2017

Infographic of Scholarship America's Impact in 2017



DACA Solution Still Up In the Air

President Trump’s March 5, 2018 DACA deadline has come and gone with still no solution for Dreamers—who were brought to the U.S. as children and who now face possible deportation through no fault of their own, due to lack of documentation. This issue prompted Scholarship America and many others to call for Congressional action.

The National Skills Coalition and The Migration Policy Institute report a sizable education and workforce payoff for investing in Dreamers:

  • Since the inception of DACA, high school completion rates increased significantly, leading to an additional 49,000 DACA graduates nationwide.
  • DACA holders almost as likely as US adults in same age group (15-32) to be enrolled in college (18% vs 20%).
  • 382,000, or 55% of DACA holders are employed.
  • 1 out of 3 DACA holders who are enrolled in school also work – similar to U.S. young adult population.
  • 9,000 DACA holders employed as teachers or education professionals, 14,000 in health-care practitioner jobs.
  • Undocumented immigrants respond quickly and enthusiastically when policymakers present them with a path to greater educational and workforce opportunities.

The National Immigration Law Center and Educators for Fair Consideration – E4FC also offer robust DACA resources.

There remain many details to resolve. Dreamer access to higher education varies widely across the country, with some longstanding state policies supporting education for students regardless of immigration status. More than 20 states and Washington, D.C. allow students who meet specific requirements, regardless of immigration status, to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities. At least eight states and Washington, D.C. provide access to state financial aid and four states offer access to institutional aid or scholarships.

“A fix to DACA remains unclear,” noted Robert C. Ballard, Scholarship America’s president and CEO. “We do know our scholars are among the best and brightest individuals in the country. Many of them have overcome significant barriers in their lives and are eager to complete their postsecondary education and get jobs. They are a critical part of our nation’s future workforce and deserve our country’s support.”


Dreams to Success:
Celebrating Extraordinary Students and Their Champions 

Twenty-two students will be celebrated as the 2017 and 2018 recipients of Scholarship America’s Dream Award and Senator George Mitchell, Genentech and GE Foundation will receive Scholarship America Honors at the Dreams to Success National Education Dinner and Award Celebration, May 22, 2018 in Washington D.C.

Presented by Voya, the dinner is the centerpiece of Scholarship America’s Dreams to Success Day, which includes a day of activities on the hill for the Dream Award recipients and Scholarship America’s first Partner Summit—bringing together scholarship providers to share best practices, learn from one another and hear directly from students.

Don’t miss your opportunity to be touched by incredible student success stories, honor some of the country’s finest student centered programs and provide financial support to vital scholarship needs. Register by March 31 and receive a $150 discount on the dinner and Summit!


Student Spotlight: The 2017 Dream Award Scholars

Throughout the year, we have had the great pleasure of profiling all ten of the 2017 Scholarship America Dream Award scholarship recipients on our blog. Each of them has battled adversity and come out stronger — and their stories are truly remarkable.

Dream Award Class of 2017

We have collected all of their stories in one place, and we invite you to take some time, read about these amazing young people and be inspired!


Leadership Update

New To The Board of Trustees

Jeff Silverman
Founding Partner, The Summit Group of Virginia

As the managing partner of The Summit Group, Jeff Silverman helps businesses and their owners with complex compensation and wealth management goals. He is also a youth sports coach, a mentor for at-risk teenagers and a member of the Board of Directors for Norfolk (VA) Collegiate Schools and Achievable Dream Academy.


Check Out Our New Estate Planning Resource

The process of leaving a legacy gift can be complex—that’s why we have launched a brand-new, comprehensive online resource to answer your questions about estate planning. It’s completely free, and you can explore a number of options or easily get in touch with our planning experts.

Explore this new resource at, or by clicking “Estate & Planned Giving” under the Donate menu above.


Keep Connected With Scholarship America

Like us, follow us, and spread the word!
Show your support by liking and following our Facebook and Twitter pages, then tell others to do the same. And by sharing our posts, you’ll be giving valuable scholarship advice to the students in your life.

We also invite you to volunteer at the local or national level. Search for your local Dollars for Scholars chapter here. Our volunteers come together in communities across America to work on behalf of local students – and they’re always looking for more help!

Finally, your monetary gift makes a huge difference in the lives of students. An education truly is the gift that lasts a lifetime!

Support A Student's Dream!