Preparing for higher education is one of the most stressful times in a student’s life. Between classes, standardized tests, admission deadlines, scholarship applications and financial aid forms, the junior and senior years of high school are a whirlwind. It’s all too easy to be overwhelmed—and that makes students all too vulnerable to financial aid and scholarship scams.
Twenty years ago, the National Science Foundation began using the acronym “STEM” as an easy-to-remember shorthand for the wide range of academic disciplines in science, technology, engineering and math.
Scholarships are a vital way of closing the gap between students’ financial aid and the constantly growing cost of higher education. That gap causes countless students to struggle, stop out or drop out of college—and at Scholarship America, our mission is to keep that from happening.
We have said it before, but it bears repeating as often as possible: higher education has never been more important, but it’s also never been more expensive. For students from low-income families, this is a catch-22 of massive proportions. If college were accessible and affordable, they’d have a better chance to break the cycle of generational poverty; instead, the struggle to pay for higher education can leave students in dire financial straits.
In a perfect world, every scholarship would perpetuate another scholarship. After all, private scholarships help millions of students fill in the gap between financial aid and the cost of attendance. That means more college graduates earning higher salaries and carrying less debt—and that also means more people with the means to give back to scholarships.
Since 2015, Scholarship America has hosted an annual salute to student success and those who make it possible. On May 22, 2018, we’re celebrating our biggest Dreams to Success event yet: a whole day of inspiration, education and celebration centered on students and their champions. Registration remains open through the end of this week. If you’re thinking of joining us in Washington later this month, here’s what’s in store.
At the beginning of 2018, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing reported over 1,000 colleges and universities have made ACT/SAT scores optional in their admissions process. Many factors contribute to this trend, including recent studies suggesting GPA is a better predictor of college success than test scores and that test requirements deter many qualified first-generation students. This is because the tests have typically favored more affluent students who can afford to take multiple...
Since Scholarship America’s founding in 1958, we have consistently grown and changed along with the world of higher education. Our original, community-based scholarship programs still operate today—but they, along with our other services, are flexible, always aiming to meet the most pressing needs of students.
Students and their families are often surprised to realize some colleges reduce their financial aid packages when the student earns private scholarship dollars—a practice called financial aid displacement or award displacement. Colleges that practice displacement say it helps free up more funds for more students; students and families say it unfairly punishes those making the effort to earn scholarships. Whatever your perspective, it’s a complicated issue without easy answers.