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News & Press: Announcements

A New Celebration Marks 20 Years of the SPOY Awards

Wednesday, November 6, 2019  
NSPA Announces Winners of the 2019 Scholarship Provider of the Year (SPOY) Awards, Along with a Variety of New Award Categories

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (Nov. 1, 2019) - The National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) is proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Scholarship Provider of the Year (SPOY) Awards. For twenty consecutive years, NSPA and Fastweb, have partnered up to present this prestigious award, which recognizes scholarship providers that demonstrate exceptional leadership in the promotion of college access and success through scholarships and support services. The winning organizations receive a special honor during the NSPA Annual Conference, and a cash prize.
This year marks a major milestone for the SPOY Awards. Not only were new categories added to the SPOY line-up, but this was the first year the award ceremony was accompanied by a gala dinner. Along with three SPOY Awards, NSPA’s Volunteers of the Year were recognized, as well as an organization leading the way with their advocacy efforts, and a volunteer speaker who has been quoted in more than 10,000 newspaper and magazine articles about college admissions and financial aid.

“Each year poses the same challenge. We have so many members doing such phenomenal work that it’s never easy making the final selections. This year, so many of our applicants and nominees are demonstrating excellence and innovation through their programs,” notes Jackie Bright, Executive Director of NSPA. “It’s truly an honor to work with such an incredible community of people.”

2019 SPOY Winners
Small Scholarship Provider (Awarding Under $500,000 in Scholarships Annually)

Fund for Education Abroad

FEA makes life-changing, international experiences accessible to all by supporting minority, community college, and first-generation college students before, during, and after they participate in education abroad programs. After nine years of sustained growth, they are poised to invest more deeply in the education of the next generation, scaling their efforts so that scholars may work to increase global understanding, give back to their communities, and mentor future generations of FEA Scholars.

“It is an honor to be recognized as Scholarship Provider of the Year by NSPA, the leading association for scholarship management,” said FEA Board of Trustees Chair Martha Johnson, Assistant Dean, Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota. “We are committed to responsibly and sustainably advancing access for students who are least likely to experience the high-impact practice of education abroad, and supporting their international education and career interests after they return.”

Large Scholarship Provider (Awarding Over $500,000 in Scholarships Annually)
Wallin Education Partners

Wallin enables college and career success for high-potential students with financial need through a coalition of business, philanthropic, and academic partners in our community. Each scholar receives financial aid for four years, an advisor who meets with her in person throughout the year, and a host of services and network support. Donor partners meet and get to know their scholars, enabling them to see firsthand the return on their investment. Corporate partners offer internships and mentors to the scholars, in addition to the advisor provided through the program. Wallin Education Partners scholars graduate at a rate of 90% or higher, making this organization one of the most college completion programs in the country.

“We are very honored to be recognized for our work. Together with our donors, community leaders, high school and college partners, we increase the college success of low income, high potential students in Minnesota. Receiving this award from our peers who share a common mission to increase college access and success is especially gratifying.” Susan Basil King, Executive Director, Wallin Education Partners.

Institutional Scholarship Provider (4 and 2-year Institutions of Higher Education)
LSA Scholarships Office, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan

Their Passport Scholarship Program provides financial and program support for incoming Pell Grant eligible students to provide them with their U.S. passport in their freshman year. By eliminating the financial and perceived social barriers around acquiring passports, this program gives low income students the key piece of documentation they need in order to pursue study abroad opportunities or international internships. By offering guidance, providing photo days, and bringing U.S. passport agency officials directly to campus to process their applications, the LSA Passport Scholarship Program offers all the support students need to complete the process from start to finish. This is an innovative scholarship program geared to provide students of lower socioeconomic status the same access to opportunities that many of their more affluent peers already have.

“Receiving this recognition from peers is an amazing experience,” said Doug Fletcher, Director of LSA Scholarships. “It highlights the value of the work that we do for students in the LSA Scholarships Office, but the honor is not ours alone. It is a testament to the relationships that have been fostered between LSA Scholarships, the Center for Global and Intercultural Studies (CGIS), the Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP), the Office of Financial Aid (OFA), as well as our LSA Advancement teams and donors to the College of LSA.”

2019 NSPA Award Winners
Volunteers of the Year

Tiffany Anderson, Director of Programs, Boettcher Foundation
Amy Moroney, Senior Director - Educational Programs, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Jamie Williams, Director of Scholarships, Coca-Cola Foundation

NSPA Advocacy Award
Central Scholarship

NSPA Distinguished Speaker Award
Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher and VP of Research,

About NSPA
The mission of the National Scholarship Providers Association is to advance the collective impact of scholarship providers and the scholarships they award. NSPA is a unique membership association that offers tools, resources, professional development, and networking needed to administer a successful scholarship and/or student support program. During the ’17 - ‘18 academic year, NSPA members awarded $4,275,054,382 to 827,327 students. To learn more or to become a member, visit

About Fastweb:
Fastweb, a top site in the Monster 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. As the oldest and most popular free online scholarship matching service, 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 profiles that can be matched against its expansive databases of colleges and scholarships. To learn more about Fastweb, visit and follow Fastweb on social media for the latest on paying for school all year long: Twitter (at @PayingForSchool); Facebook; Pinterest; Google+.

Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support!

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