National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) is a nonprofit, member association that advances the collective impact of scholarship providers and the scholarships they award. It was established in 1999 by Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Fastweb.com, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and Scholarship America to facilitate the creation of scholarship effective practices, encourage professional development, and establish cooperative relationships among scholarship providers.
NSPA grew out of a need Fastweb observed after launching its scholarship matching site in 1995. As the Fastweb database grew, it became apparent the scholarship industry was lacking a forum for scholarship providers to collaborate and network with each other, as well as a cohesive voice for the industry. Fastweb hosted a small conference in Chicago, IL that brought together some of the country’s largest and most well-known scholarship providers, including the other three founding members, with the goal of sharing effective practices. In 1999, Fastweb provided the finances to formally launch NSPA and hire a part-time consultant as its executive director. NSPA continued to hold annual conferences, and in 2004 its founding members came together to hire a full-time executive director and moved the organization from Chicago, IL to Denver, CO, where a board member offered office space at the Daniels Fund. NSPA moved to its own offices in Boulder, CO in 2009 and currently employs three full-time staff, who work to grow NSPA membership, programming, and national presence.
Today, NSPA is dedicated to supporting the needs of professionals administering scholarships in post-secondary institutions, private and community foundations, public charities, as well as corporate and government programs. NSPA's 370+ member organizations from the United States, Canada, and the Bahamas give over 350,000 scholarships amounting to over a billion dollars each year. Along with the 850+ scholarship professionals in its membership network, NSPA works to develop standards for scholarship administration, conduct research to understand the depth and breadth of the scholarship industry, create professional resources for its members, encourage the development of scholarship programs, and advocate changes in policy. These programs assist students in paying for college, as well as improve college access and completion rates. The NSPA Annual Conference is the convergence of the scholarship industry bringing over 375 diverse scholarship funders together for three days of networking and learning.
NSPA wins Alliance for Educational Excellence Award
Phi Theta Kappa presented the 2016 Alliance for Educational Excellence Award to the NSPA during its annual convention in May. The Award was presented in recognition of the constant effort from NSPA to improve student success and college completion.
In 2001, Phi Theta Kappa, Phi Beta Kappa and the National Honor Society launched the Alliance for Educational Excellence to promote excellence at all levels of education. Phi Theta Kappa has assumed the leadership role on this initiative, which now includes many education–based organizations. This award is not presented every year and is reserved for organizations and individuals that have provided extraordinary leadership on a national or international level in the field of education.