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Scholarship Provider of the Year Awards (SPOY)


This prestigious award recognizes scholarship providers who demonstrate exceptional leadership and impact promoting college access and success through scholarships and support services. For 20 consecutive years this award has been sponsored by Fastweb, the nation's recognized leader in helping students pay for school and a top site in the Monster network.

One outstanding scholarship provider will be selected from each of the following categories:

  • Institutional Providersscholarship organizations within a post-secondary educational institution providing scholarships for study at the institution. This category includes college and university foundations.
  • Small Scholarship Providers- scholarship organizations, unaffiliated with a specific college or university, that award less than $500,000 in scholarships, annually.
  • Large Scholarship Providersscholarship organizations, unaffiliated with a specific college or university, that award $500,000 or more in scholarships, annually.

Image does not reflect the actual award plaque.


The winners will be announced at the 2019 NSPA Annual Conference in Minneapolis, on Wednesday, October 2, at the Awards Ceremony. Award recipients do not need to be present to win.


  • Organizations must be current NSPA members and in good standing.
  • 2014-2018 winners are not eligible to apply.


  • A $2,000 cash prize for the organization's general scholarship fund and a congratulatory plaque for display, both donated by Fastweb
  • Recognition at the 2019 NSPA Annual Conference
  • Recognition on the NSPA website
  • Opportunity to present a session at the 2020 NSPA Annual Conference
  • Invitation to select future SPOY winners

For more information, contact Nicolette del Muro at or 303-442-2524.



2018 Scholarship Provider of the Year Award Winners
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
University of Maryland University College

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) - The National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA), the leading resource and network for scholarship providers in North America and beyond, has been advancing the collective impact of scholarship providers for nearly twenty years. Annually, since 2000, NSPA recognizes outstanding leadership, achievement, and innovation in two categories: independent scholarship providers and higher education institutions. This year’s winners, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), were honored during the 2018 NSPA Conference Welcome Reception that took place in Albuquerque, NM. 

NSPA is the only national organization solely dedicated to supporting the needs of professionals who work in the scholarship industry. The NSPA membership is comprised of diverse organizations, including foundations, public charities, educational institutions, and corporations. "These two SPOY award recipients do an excellent job with their scholarship programs. We received a record number of

applications this year and the competition was tougher then ever. We are grateful to Fastweb for their ongoing support and sponsorship of this distinguished award," said Jackie Bright, Executive Director of NSPA. 

Fastweb, the nation's recognized leader in helping students pay for college, is in its 19th year sponsoring this prestigious award. The award embodies the dedication of the entire NSPA network of providers who are involved in helping students achieve college success and completion. Each year, the recipients receive a special honor at the NSPA Annual Conference, various exclusive benefits, and a cash prize of $2,500. “Fastweb is pleased to once again sponsor the Scholarship Provider of the Year awards” said Mark Nelson, Vice President, Fastweb. “Annually we look forward to recognizing scholarship providers who are committed to supporting students in achieving their college objectives.”

Organization: University of Maryland University College
Award Accepted by: Janet Thomas, Director, Military Support Processes and Trends Analysis, Department of Stateside Military Operations

“I’m thankful to accept the award on behalf of UMUC, the Blewitt Foundation, and the National Military Family Association, for all that they are doing to bring light to an underserved population of students in the military-connected community,” says Janet Thomas, who manages the Pillars of Strength program at UMUC.

Many scholarship opportunities exist for our nation's military heroes who are wounded, injured or become seriously ill in the line-of-duty since September 11, 2001. However, scholarship opportunities for caregivers to those military heroes are almost non-existent; these caregivers are truly unsung, behind-the-scenes heroes. UMUC understands the life-altering sacrifices caregivers are forced to make for their families and loved ones in these situations. UMUC seeks -- in partnership with the Blewitt Foundation and the National Military Family Association -- to use the Pillars of Strength scholarship program to assist caregivers in overcoming those challenges by providing them with the post-secondary education they need to compete in today's job market and provide for their family's future. The Pillars of Strength scholarship program at UMUC started in 2013 and has awarded nearly $500,000 in scholarship dollars since the program began.

Organization: Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Award Accepted by: Daniel Edeza, Vice President, Recruitment, Selection, and Scholar Advocacy and Tania Ramirez, Analyst

Founded in 1975, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund empowers Latino families with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete a higher education, while providing scholarships and support services to as many exceptional Hispanic American students as possible. HSF strives to make college education a top priority for every Latino family across the nation, mobilizing the community to proactively advance that goal – each individual, over a lifetime, in every way he/she can. HSF also seeks to give its scholars all the tools they need to do well in their course work, graduate, enter a profession, excel, help lead our nation going forward, and mentor the generations to come. As the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization supporting Hispanic American higher education, HSF has awarded over $500 million in scholarships and provides a range of impactful programs for students/scholars, alumni, and parents.

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 benefited 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+.

K.J. McCorry, Interim Executive Director, NSPA and Jane Thompson, NSPA Board Member, presents the SPOY Award to Janet Thomas in the Colleges & Universities category. 
K.J. McCorry, Interim Executive Director, NSPA and Jane Thompson, NSPA Board Member, presents the SPOY Award to Daniel Edeza and Tania Ramirez in the Independent Scholarship Providers category. 


Past winners

Scholarship Provider Winner
Institutional Winner
2018   Hispanic Scholarship Fund   University of Maryland University College
2017   theDream.US   Bellevue University
  Meritus College Fund   California State University Northridge
2015   George Snow Scholarship Fund   Northern Illinois University
2014   Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund   Red Rocks Community College Foundation
2013   WGA's Evans Scholars Foundation   CU Boulder Guardian Scholars
2012   Center for Student Opportunity/I'm First &
Magic Johnson Foundation - Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program
2011   10,000 Degrees
University of Michigan - Scholarship Program Office of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
2010   Terry Foundation   University of Southern Mississippi - Luckyday Foundation Citizen Scholars Program
2009   Simon Scholars Program   Auburn University - Provost Leadership Undergraduate Scholarship (PLUS) Retention Program
2008   Dell Scholars Program (Michael and Susan Dell Foundation)   Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
2007   Point Foundation &
The Ford Family Foundation
2006   Orphan Foundation of America (now Foster Care to Success (FC2S))   Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
2005   American Indian Graduate Center   Robert Morris College
2004   Jack Kent Cooke Foundation   University of Texas, Austin
2003   TELACU Education Foundation  
2002   American Indian College Fund   Kent State University
2001   Oregon Student Assistance Commission &
Citizen's Scholarship Foundation of America (now Scholarship America)
2000   American Cancer Society, Florida Division, Inc. &
The Fremont Area Foundation





















Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support!

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