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Creating Scholarship Programs With Purpose, Part 1: Finding Your “Why”

Nov 08, 2018

By Amy Ronnkvist

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 you asking who are the students in my community, and what do they need to be...

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Meet the 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Jacqueline (Jackie) Vela

Oct 30, 2018

By Joan Cronson

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. Throughout Jackie’s youth, she was also the...

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Wait, What? Scholarships Are Taxable?

Oct 22, 2018

by Matt Konrad

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.

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Joe Palombo's Families of Freedom Story: "I wouldn’t be where I am today without the scholarship I received."

Oct 12, 2018

by Joseph Palombo

I was 12 years old when I lost my dad in the September 11 attacks. He was a firefighter who died running into the Twin Towers to save others. I lost my hero that day.

I knew I would never again have that moment when my dad would look at me and say “I’m so proud.”  After losing him, I felt insecure about my capabilities. I struggled through school. I had no idea what I was going to do in life. I didn’t think I could go to college, especially with nine siblings who all had...

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#RealCollege: A Mission to Secure College Students’ Basic Needs

Oct 05, 2018

By Matt Konrad

Discussions about financial aid and student support tend to focus on big costs, big numbers and big trends: skyrocketing tuition; trillion-dollar student loan debt; and deep cuts in state aid to higher ed. But those conversations, important as they are, don’t tell the whole story. For millions of students, the struggle to get through college comes down to questions that are far more basic. Their educational success hinges on issues that most of us take for granted:

Can I...

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Congratulations to Roxanne "Rocky" Thompson: 2018 Dollars for Scholars National Volunteer of the Year

Sep 24, 2018

By Krista Amundson

Roxanne "Rocky" Thompson has spent over 20 years volunteering her time and talents to the Swanville Dollars for Scholars chapter. The organization in the small Minnesota community of 350 has awarded over $630,000 in scholarships to local students since it was founded in 1987. Rocky’s contribution to Dollars for Scholars has been recognized with her selection as the 2018 Ralph “Cy” Seifert National Volunteer of the Year.

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Three Ways Your Scholarship Program Can Turn Students into Graduates

Sep 21, 2018

Scholarships are a vital piece of the financial aid puzzle. According to Sallie Mae’s most recent How America Pays for College report, nearly half of all families used scholarship aid when it came to paying for college—and scholarships and grants covered 35 percent of the total cost of higher education. That makes scholarship aid the single largest resource that families are using to pay for school. And it also means that, as scholarship providers, we need to ensure those millions of...

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Meet The 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Jaquaious Little

Sep 13, 2018

By Joan Cronson

Growing up in a small town in Mississippi in a single-parent household, Jaquaious (Jay) Little had limited access to resources and experienced lots of change. His mother and father broke up very early on in his life. His mother later married and divorced his stepfather when he was in first grade. She completed college with a degree in education and became a preschool teacher to support their family.

“My mother told me that education is a great equalizer,” Jay said. “Her...

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Congratulations to Kaylee Logan: 2018 Dollars for Scholars National Student Volunteer of the Year

Sep 06, 2018

By Jack Ross

Kaylee Logan learned how to keep busy at a young age. She was playing roller hockey at age three and got involved with 4-H at age ten. That led to joining FFA as a teenager, and her passion for helping others and serving her community has only continued to grow. 

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Meet The 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Chantel Lewis-Cummings

Aug 30, 2018

By Emilee Tullar

It is a long road from a rough neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia to the executive suite, but that’s Chantel Lewis-Cummings’ path. 

When she was just two years old, Chantel's father was killed. She moved in with her grandmother in Savannah. A few years later her grandmother's health began to decline and she lost her job. With no income, they were evicted and had to move into Chantel's great-aunt's basement. That was when Chantel's mother, who had been away at school, moved...

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