Report for Scholarships in US from 2020 to 2023 - results and experience


The challenges of 2020 taught
us a wealth of valuable and
important lessons.
2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges and struggles—for students, families, businesses,
nonprofits, schools and virtually everyone else. Throughout 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic left very
few aspects of our daily life unchanged. It also brought many of our nation’s stark divides into sharp
But the challenges of 2020 also taught us a wealth of valuable and important lessons, especially at
Scholarship America.
We are proudly based in Minnesota,

 and the series of social-justice uprisings and awakening that
started in our home state following George Floyd’s death showed us the vital need to fight for diversity,
equity and inclusion—not just in our thoughts and words, but, more importantly, in our actions. And the
pandemic’s effect on higher education taught us how crucial it is to be flexible, nimble and responsive
to changing student needs.
Looking back on this unprecedented year, those lessons are the ones we’ll take forward—and the
highlights, accomplishments and support you’ll read about in this report all took place against this
dramatically shifting backdrop.
We are continually inspired by the students we serve. No matter what the world throws at them,
America’s college students are focused on following their dreams.
And everything we do at Scholarship America serves one single and enduring purpose: realizing the
mission and vision Dr. Irving Fradkin had more than 60 years ago, of communities coming together to
help ALL students successfully pursue and achieve a higher education.
To all of our donors, partners and everyone who invests in students along with us, THANK YOU.
All the Best,

Impact and Results
Student success means getting college students the financial, cultural and
social support they need.
Our work to do so is aligned with three strategic goals:
1. Promote Impact
As the impact of COVID-19 across the world of education became clear, Scholarship America joined
our fellow nonprofits to mobilize in support of students. In addition to using our blog and social media
channels to share updates, funding opportunities and best practices:
• We partnered with LoCAID, Travelers Edge, Achieve Atlanta and Dell Scholars to publish information
on emergency grant opportunities, amplifying partnerships and student support.
• We coordinated participation in NSPA and NCAN conferences in a virtual platform for the first time,
managing 50 registrants, presentations and online booth staffing.
• We convened and hosted a series of Emergency Aid forums for higher ed, corporate and foundation
leaders in our home state of Minnesota.
2. Enhance Student Experience
A vital multi-year effort across our organization was the retirement of our legacy database and
scholarship application system and the launch of our new Cornerstone application software—and, on
December 11, 2020, in spite of pandemic-related delays, we officially completed the migration of our
scholarship programs to the new system and retired the legacy servers.
What’s more, we did so while also accepting and evaluating more than 200,000 applications for over
1,300 scholarship and tuition assistance programs and 450 Dollars for Scholars community affiliates,
and distributing over $250 million to 100,000 students.
Other student-experience achievements included:

 • Managing close to 11,000 transactions with Tuition Assistance students, leveraging the EdFlo
platform after launching it at the end of 2019.
• Developing a new interactive Collegiate Partners Directory, to increase value for participating
institutions and usability for students. 

• Expanding and creating emergency grant programs for Dream Award Scholars, Dollars for Scholars
affiliates and our partners at Achieve Atlanta.
3. Organize for Excellence
Just as students found themselves displaced by the pandemic and pivoting to a new remote, virtual
setup, so too did Scholarship America’s team members. And just as we did after the 1998 St. Peter
tornado and the attacks of 9/11, 

we will remember March 2020 as a time we did something extraordinary
for our community, students, partners and each other.
The shift to remote work starting March 9 as a result of the pandemic impacted our whole staff,
including 145 Operations team members used to fully working in the office – and during the highest
peak month across all sub-departments. 100 team members worked only from desktop computers—
and some never used computers at all.
Worse, COVID-19 was still new and we knew few
details, including how it would affect our families
and schools.
Nevertheless, within three weeks, we had shifted
to 100% of staff working at home. Everyone who
needed them had laptops and online access, started
communicating with virtual meeting software and
applying best practices for teamwork, productivity,
problem-solving and communication.
4. Thanks to You
Everything Scholarship America does for students happens because of our amazing supporters, who
stepped up in 2020 in the face of the pandemic.
• More than 1,300 individual donors supported Scholarship America, with an average gift over $730.
• We kicked off our first Corporate Giving program, which has resulted in over $500,000 in new
• We raised over $72,000 on Giving Tuesday --

 our most successful Giving Tuesday to date.
• The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund (FoF) continued to serve families who lost loved ones
on 9/11, awarding $7.5 million to 510 students; to date, FoF has awarded $178.3 million to 3,878
As students, families and the world of education work to recover from COVID-19, your support matters
more than ever. We thank you for everything you do on behalf of students!
View our financial statements and audits at

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