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Upcoming Webinar and Learning Circles

Long-Term Impacts of Performance-Based Scholarships and Implementation Lessons
Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MT

Presenters: Alex Mayer, MDRC's Project Director for the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness and Alyssa Ratledge, Research Analyst in MDRC's higher education policy area. 

Description: Performance-based scholarships (PBS) have two main goals: to give students more money for college; and to incentivize  academic progress. Payments are contingent on students enrolling in a minimum number of credit hours and making passing grades. MDRC launched the PBS Demonstration in 2008 to evaluate the effectiveness of six different PBS programs in a diverse set of states, institutions, and low-income student populations. Each program was evaluated using a randomized controlled trial – the highest standard of evidence for evaluation research. More than 12,000 students participated in the full study. 

Early results showed that the programs helped students make greater academic progress in the short-term. This presentation will describe the long-term results – emphasizing college completion, persistence, and credit accumulation, measured up to five years after the programs started – and will include time for discussing the implications and lessons for scholarship providers. 

Register here

Colleges and Universities Learning Circle
February 10, 2016, 1pm-2pm MT
Topic: Packaging Best Practices
Facilitators: Ellen Barbour from Purdue University, Terri Hare from Western Illinois University, and Anne Hardy from Northern Illinois University

Description: Given a student’s demonstrated financial need, the college’s packaging philosophy dictates how much of each type of financial aid will be awarded to the student. There are many components to a college’s packaging philosophy and packaging philosophies vary among institutions. Please join us for a discussion of packaging best practices and the different types of packaging philosophies that colleges use in awarding aid to students. For more information about packaging philosophies please visit this site.

Members, if you are interested in 
joining a Learning Circle
, please contact Maggie Brubaker at

Scholarship Provider of the Year Award Winners


BOULDER, CO. (October 29, 2015) – The National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) awarded 2015 Scholarship Provider of the Year (SPOY) Awards in two categories, recognizing outstanding scholarship practices in higher education. This year’s recipients, George Snow Scholarship Fund in the Independent Scholarship

Providers category and Northern Illinois University in the Colleges and Universities category, were recognized at the NSPA Annual Conference in Charleston, SC.

"Scholarship Provider of the Year Award winners are chosen by a committee of their peers and exemplify innovative and effective scholarship practices that have positively impacted the ability of their scholars to access and be successful in higher education,” commented Amy Weinstein, Executive Director of the NSPA. “NSPA members work to design their scholarship programs and student support services in strategic ways. This year’s winners have proven their programs to be exceptional at helping students achieve their educational goals.”

Two scholarship providers selected for the annual honor receive a $2500 cash prize sponsored by Fastweb, the nation's recognized leader in helping students pay for school and a top site in the Monster Worldwide network. Organizations must be current members of NSPA to be considered for the award.

Weinstein said, “These prestigious awards have been supported by for 16 years, and the NSPA is grateful for their contributions to quality scholarship programming." 

The George Snow Scholarship Fund honors George Snow, a man who always remembered the importance of education and during his lifetime was active in trying to help individuals who were trying to help themselves. What began as a memorial to one man has grown into a community of individuals and companies who share the belief that education is the key to a better life, a better community and a better country.

Since its inception the Fund has awarded over 7.3 million dollars in educational grants. In the year 2015 alone, the Scholarship Fund awarded $615,791.15 in scholarships and scholar support services to 67 students. This level of support places the Fund as one of Palm Beach County’s largest sources of educational grants. The Fund aims to grant at least one award to each public high school in Palm Beach County.

Northern Illinois University has many merit, talent, need, and service based scholarship programs and has decentralized units that are responsible for scholarship administration of each program. One specific program called "Huskie Service Scholars" is run out of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning. Huskie Service Scholars (HSS) is a program that strives to develop a peer network and provide support that enables first year students to engage in service work on campus and in the community. The program aims to provide support to first generation or low income students through mentoring, training, and funding. A total of 24 students are assigned to one of six internal NIU offices in teams of four, consisting of one Peer Mentor and three incoming first generation or low income students. Throughout the fall and spring semesters, each student completes 300 hours of community service to NIU and the wider community based on the interests and needs of their campus partner office.

About Fastweb:

Fastweb, a top site in the Monster Worldwide (NYSE:MWW) career network, is the nation's recognized leader in helping students pay for school, by providing scholarship and financial aid information, as well as information on jobs and internships. One out of three college-bound seniors use the site, and more than 50 million users have benefitted from Fastweb’s information and services. Fastweb lets students create personalized profile that can be matched against its expansive databases of colleges and scholarships. As the oldest and most popular free online scholarship matching service, the database has more than 1.5 million scholarships totaling over $3.4 billion. To learn more about Fastweb, visit and follow on Twitter at @PayingForSchool.

Get the full press release here.

Recent blogs by NSPA Executive Director Amy Weinstein

5 Best Ways to Snag a College Scholarship Advice for high school seniors and their parents from a financial aid expert. Published on November 18, 2015 on

Don't Miss This Little-Known Source of College Scholarship Money, published on October 13, 2015 on

Millions of Dollars in Scholarships Can Help Community College Students Transfer to Four-Year Schoolspublished on September 8, 2015 on

National Scholarship Providers Association Receives Grant to Strengthen Resources for Scholarship Providers

BOULDER, CO. (December 12, 2014) –The National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) announced it is the recipient of a three-year, $400,000 grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to strengthen resources for scholarship providers. This investment in the NSPA will further develop and strengthen membership programs and services, provide a stronger national voice for scholarship providers through research and advocacy, and support NSPA’s future success through building its infrastructure.

Resources for Scholarship Programs from the NSPA


Award Displacement Talking Points
The NSPA has compiled talking points on award displacement to help students and families understand this issue. Anyone can reproduce these documents without permission, so please share with your colleagues!


National Report:
Private Scholarships Count



White Paper:
Award Displacement

Private Scholarships Count:
Access to Higher Education and
the Critical Role of the Private Sector
Click here to read report. 


Impact of Award
Displacement on Students
and their Families: Recommendations for
Colleges, Universities, Policymakers and
Scholarship Providers.
Click here to read.


Follow the NSPA on Twitter

Scholarship Resources



Free Online Resources from
Pathways to College Network



NSPA Leading the Way

The National Scholarship Providers Association is the only national organization dedicated solely to supporting the needs of professionals administering scholarships in colleges and universities, non-profits, foundations, and businesses.

Watch our video which describes NSPA and what we do.

Learn More


NSPA 2013 - 2015 Strategic Business Plan 

Member Highlight

Northern Illinois University

“This prestigious award validates the impact of programs such as Huskie Service Scholars at NIU,” said Michaela Holtz, associate director in the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning. The program allows students to deepen their understanding of civic engagement while earning their partial tuition waiver through service,” Holtz said. “It also represents the outcome of several very effective campus-wide collaborations through which we are able to provide the necessary support for our growing number of first generation and low income undergraduate students.”

“We not only want to be accessible, we want to provide opportunities for our students to learn and grow, and to make an impact on their community,” said Anne Hardy, director of the Scholarship Office. “The Huskie Service Scholars is a program that is focused on access and success for our students.”

Chartered in 1895, Northern Illinois University first opened its doors as the Northern Illinois State Normal School in 1899 as a teachers' school. We have since grown into a world-class, research-focused public institution that attracts students from across Illinois, the country and the world. Northern Illinois University is located in DeKalb, IL (65 miles west of Chicago). Our total student enrollment for fall 2015 is 20,130.

Through internships, research, study abroad, over 300 student organizations and more, the faculty and staff of NIU work hard to provide students with life-changing opportunities. An NIU education is nationally recognized in quality, nationally ranked in value and aimed at providing students with personal, career and life success.

The vision of Northern Illinois University is to be the premier student-centered, research-focused public university in the Midwest, contributing to the advancement of knowledge for the benefit of the people of the region, the state, the nation, and the world. With this vision, the mission of the University is to promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service.

Click here for more information about Northern Illinois University

Member Highlights Archive  

Program Manager
Central Scholarship
Owings Mills, MD

Scholarship Program Manager

Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV

Database Management and Development Assistant
Nexstar Legacy Foundation
St. Paul, MN

Members: to post a job announcement, email