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Dream Award Recipient Amanda Condon: Overcoming Odds, Reaching Milestones

Dec 12, 2018

By Amanda Condon

Editor's Note: Amanda Condon was a member of the 2016 class of Scholarship America Dream Award recipients. We are proud to publish this guest post from Amanda, letting us know where she is now—and what great things she's doing.

I was an honors student in middle school: ambitious, creative and driven. From the outside looking in, my family was a typical rural household that thrived on hard work and education. I was the second of four children and the leader of my siblings....

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Creating Scholarship Programs With Purpose, Part 3: Making an Impact

Dec 04, 2018

By Amy Ronnkvist

When it comes to providing scholarships, there are three major questions to answer. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the “why” element—determining what you truly want to accomplish by awarding a scholarship. In Part 2, we delved into the “how,” looking at ways to identify the students who need your help. In this final installment, we’ll take a closer look at the “what”—that is, what to look for in your recipients, and what exactly your scholarship program should...

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Meet the 2018 Dream Award Recipients: Jacoby Barry

Nov 27, 2018

By Joan Cronson

An only child and a smart, well-rounded student growing up in New Orleans, Jacoby Barry developed important life skills that helped him thrive inside and outside the classroom. He excelled academically in math and science, completed AP and honor classes, but also had a passion for playing basketball and was a team captain.

“Playing basketball taught me resilience, toughness, dedication, and teamwork,” said Jacoby. “It takes practice to improve and compete. Math came easy for...

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Creating Scholarship Programs With Purpose, Part 2: Knowing Your Students

Nov 21, 2018

By Amy Ronnkvist

There are as many unique scholarship programs as there are sponsors, but the ones that make a truly life-changing impact have a few things in common. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed “finding your ‘why’—digging into the problems you want to solve and the stories that motivate you to give a scholarship. Answering that question is the first step toward developing a truly inspiring program. Today, we’ll look at step two: getting a deeper understanding of the students you...

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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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Financial Stress Prevents College Students from Graduating. What Can We Do?

Aug 21, 2018

There’s an old piece of wisdom that “being rich means you don’t have to think about money.” The source of that quote is long lost, but it remains as true as ever—and for too many students and families, the opposite is equally true. If you’re struggling with finances, money is never far from your mind. Higher education is a way out; unfortunately, the very financial stress students are trying to escape can make it harder to earn a degree. Can scholarships and support services help students...

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How to Recognize and Avoid Scholarship Scams

Jul 20, 2018

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.

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Why Scholarships Are Vital for Low-Income Students and Families

Jun 12, 2018

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.

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Thankful for a Scholarship? Here are Three Ways to Pay It Forward

Jun 01, 2018

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.

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To Test or Not to Test: Helping Students Navigate Test Prep

Apr 19, 2018

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...

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