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Congratulations to all of our 2017 Dollars for Scholars
Affiliate Award Winners

The heart of Scholarship America is our Dollars for Scholars affiliates whose efforts make it possible for students across the nation to pursue higher education. Each year, through our Affiliate Award Program, we honor outstanding affiliates and their dedicated volunteers who promote student success in their communities. This year we introduced the Innovation Award to recognize Dollars for Scholars affiliates that use resourcefulness and originality to create new ways of advancing our collective mission to mobilize America through scholarships and other educational support. While the selection process proved difficult, we’re pleased to announce the following winners:

Irving A. Fradkin National Affiliate of the Year:  

Willington Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars


Quilcene-Brinnon Dollars for Scholars
Stamford Dollars for Scholars


National Innovation Award Winner:  

Excel Beyond 211 Dollars for Scholars


Lincoln Heights Dollars for Scholars
Shakopee Dollars for Scholars


Ralph “Cy” Seifert National Volunteer of the Year:

Donna Epton, Excel Beyond 211 Dollars for Scholars


Jean Young, Monomoy Dollars for Scholars
Maria Winn, Upward Bound at USM Dollars for Scholars

Your opportunity to nominate your affiliate for a 2018 Affiliate Award will be announced soon!

Affiliate of the Year Willington Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars Makes Student Success a Community Effort

Affiliate of the Year Willington Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars has served the students of Willington, CT for over 20 years and attributes its longevity to the continued support of the Willington community of donors and board members, past and present.  Their board roster boasts a mix of dedicated and long-serving members, including three active charter members, as well as more recent, yet equally hardworking, recruits.  The chapter also has previous, but no longer serving, board members and parents of scholarship recipients who act as ambassadors for the chapter in the many town organizations – churches, PTA, VFW, sports leagues, and town committees – in which they are involved.


Though the town has no newspaper, the board and its network of supporters creatively use the media outlets available including the local shopper, the town’s website and listserv, and even getting press releases and announcements into the neighboring town’s newspapers.  And Willington Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars has indeed had much to publicize.  In addition to being awarded the 2017 Irving A. Fradkin National Affiliate of the Year award, just two years ago the chapter applied for and was selected to receive a Matching Grant.  Since receiving the grant the chapter has expanded its scholarship program and in 2016 awarded their first need-based renewable scholarship of $4,500. 

The chapter, as well as its volunteers and donors, share pride in supporting Willington’s graduating seniors and believe this honor truly belongs to the community.   But to Willington Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars, the most poignant evidence of their impact came from a thank you letter written by their second renewable need-based scholarship recipient:

… this award helps in more ways than just financial need. Receiving this award encourages me, first of all, to continue succeeding in school in order to continue receiving the scholarship.  Additionally, this award has taught me to stay strong in adversity because my efforts will be acknowledged, as with this award, and will help me accomplish my goals.  The hard work I invested in the school year, despite the family hardships I encountered, was answered with this award and has fostered a determined attitude.  I have learned from this award not to dwell on hardships I may face and instead use these obstacles as a checkpoint to reevaluate the things that are important to me, making sure not to let them slip away.

2017 Matching Grant Recipients

2017 marks the fourth cohort of our Scholarship America Matching Grant Program. Twenty-eight affiliates have raised $295,000 and received an equal match from Scholarship America. Throughout the process they have strengthened their commitment to helping students with financial need by awarding renewable scholarships to help students reach their educational goals.

Matching Grant_SM_Graphic2_SA.jpg

This year’s new cohort includes three first time recipients:  St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars in Minnesota, Bismarck Dollars for Scholars in North Dakota, and Burlington-Edison Education and Alumni Foundation Dollars for Scholars in Washington.  Two previous recipients:  Lincoln Heights Dollars for Scholars in California and Cloverdale Community Dollars for Scholars in Indiana round out our year 4 cohort. Interestingly, all five recipients have some experience with renewable scholarships, but for many of them, this will be the first time they factor financial need into a scholarship or give a scholarship to a student already in college.

We kicked off our training on August 24th with a discussion on the impact that renewable, need based scholarships can have on students and just recently shared ideas about how to promote and market the Matching Grant opportunity as these five affiliates begin raising their funds for matching. Our next training will feature Gary Stamford, President of Stamford Dollars for Scholars, who will share a financial modeling tool he helped to develop for affiliates as they look to use the Matching Grant Opportunity as a foundation for building a sustainable scholarship program.

Every year brings more excitement about this program as participants discover benefits beyond their original expectation of assisting students through to degree completion. Previous recipients have told us that participation in the program has re-energized their board and drawn in new volunteers. Their donors are excited to see the opportunity and are stepping up in new ways and, most importantly, affiliates are seeing the difference these scholarships have on students who need them most.

Look for an announcement later this fall about how you can apply for a Matching Grant that just might help revitalize your affiliate!

New Scholarship Year Reminder & Resources

Scholarship Year 2018 is here and we’re here to help you get started. September 1st marked the official start of Scholarship Year 2018 so we’ve dusted off the cobwebs and things are rolling full steam ahead here at Scholarship America. Enhancements were pushed live and three Training Your Way webinars have already been completed. Not able to join us for training? We have just the ticket! You will find recordings of past webinars and training materials in Affiliate Resources. Also, be sure to check out the list of upcoming trainings below and mark your calendars!

For those of you already chugging along, you may want to review the annual Scholarship Management Checklist and training video on advancing your scholarships. We’d also recommend that you update your board roster and user security profiles in preparation for the new season. And if your affiliate’s train has not yet left the station for the year, you can look through the guide to Archiving in ChapterNet to see what you and your students can expect now that we’ve entered a new scholarship year. All of these resources can be found in the Current Scholarship Year is Now 2018 (2017-2018) announcement on the Home page in ChapterNet.

Upcoming Training & Events
The new season of Training Your Way (TYW) has begun. Look for invitations to be sent roughly two weeks before each scheduled webinar. Webinars take place from 7:00 to 8:00pm Central Time.

Oct. 5        -   TYW: Scholarship Customization

Oct. 17     
-   TYW: Making the Most of Essay Questions
Nov. 2        -   TYW: Making Use of Online Giving and Website Sponsorships   
Nov. 9        -   TYW: Data Security: What is PII and Why is it Important?
Nov. 16      -   TYW: D
eveloping Impact Centered Donors
Nov. 28      -   Giving Tuesday
Dec. 7       
-   TYW: Working with Homeschool Students

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