Dollars for Scholars: Scholarship America's Volunteer Network

When he founded Scholarship America, Dr. Irving Fradkin’s vision was one of volunteer-driven, grassroots, local scholarship programs. These programs are the bedrock of our student-success efforts, and they make up our nationwide Dollars for Scholars network — nearly 500 chapters that raise and distribute community scholarship funds across the United States.

Dollars for Scholars chapters work in all kinds of communities, from small towns to urban centers and everywhere in between. Our chapters have awarded more than $618 million to nearly 766,000 students since the first dollars were given out in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1958 — including almost $19 million in 2017 alone. Through the dedicated efforts of tens of thousands of volunteers, Dollars for Scholars gives students the greatest possible gift: community support for their higher education.

What Dollars for Scholars Does For Students

As the nation's most extensive grassroots scholarship program, Dollars for Scholars provides a wealth of student assistance by harnessing the power of community — thousands of volunteers and donors supporting students in their own backyards.

Local scholarships from Dollars for Scholars chapters help fill the gap for promising students with financial need. These awards mean less debt and fewer work hours while attending school—and that means students have more freedom to attend the schools of their choice and persist toward graduation.

Beyond money, Dollars for Scholars provides a sense of community encouragement, inspiring students who may not consider higher education. Chapters often partner with other community organizations, or use their own passion and talents, to offer additional student support like mentoring, test prep and help for non-traditional students. And once those students graduate, Dollars for Scholars is there to help them pay it forward to the next generation of learners.

Learn how to start a Dollars for Scholars affiliate

Search for a local Dollars for Scholars student support affiliate

Log In here to ChapterNet if you are an affiliate

Click for a list of Dollars for Scholars contacts

What Scholarship America Provides for Chapters

Tools and Groundwork

To make things seamless, simple and impactful, Scholarship America provides everything you need to get your chapter started—from 501(c)(3) certification to a customizable website to the ChapterNet suite of scholarship management and disbursement tools.

National Opportunities

We want you to be able to help as many students as you can, and we want your community to unite behind you. That’s why we offer annual chapter and volunteer awards, matching grants for renewable scholarships and other opportunities to shine.

Expert Support

Across the country, Scholarship America team members are here to provide guidance, answer questions and give you the best possible experience. We also offer free, frequent and customizable training webinars throughout the scholarship season!

How Dollars for Scholars Works

With a national network of support behind them, our volunteer-driven Dollars for Scholars chapters work in their communities to award scholarships to local students. Dollars for Scholars helps hometown students achieve their goals by:

  • Raising funds
  • Establishing endowments
  • Providing assistance with college readiness
  • Educating students and families about the financial aid process
  • Distributing scholarships
  • Leveraging our Collegiate Partners and Dreamkeepers programs to maximize the impact of our scholarships—and give students help when they need it most
Three Ways You Can Get Involved

Gather Your Community

Dollars for Scholars works because of community support. If you're considering bringing the model to your town or school, make sure you have a core group of 3-6 dedicated volunteers. You don't have to be an expert in scholarships, financial aid or higher ed -- we'll help you learn the ropes!

Get Started

Find an Existing Chapter

If there's already a Dollars for Scholars chapter working near you, you can find them via the Dollars for Scholars Chapter Search. All chapters have Scholarship America-provided websites where you can get directly in touch with local leaders and get involved.

Find A Chapter

Start A New Chapter

If there's not currently a Dollars for Scholars chapter in your area, you can help extend the student support movement even farther! Visit our Affiliation Information section to learn about benefits, values and affiliation models, and get in touch with questions.

Start A Chapter