Dollars for Scholars

In 1958, in Fall River, Massachusetts, an optometrist had a simple idea. Dr. Irving Fradkin believed if everyone could give one dollar to an educational fund, it would be enough to help every student in his community to attend college. Dr. Fradkin called this plan “Dollars for Scholars”. Today, it is the one of the nation’s largest nonprofit, private sector, scholarship and educational support organizations-Scholarship America. Scholarship America Dollars for Scholars distributes nearly 17,000 scholarships each year by participation from local chapters.

Each of Elkhart Community Schools high schools has a chapter specifically for their students. The chapters assist their students with financial help to complete their education by filling in gaps in funding from other sources, reducing the amount of debt a student would have to repay, and allowing students to attend colleges they may not have previously considered. Through organizing events, fundraisers, and collecting donations privately and through businesses, communities are able to help support local students with financial aid.

When a high school student is awarded a scholarship from Dollar for Scholars, it can be used in their first year of college for tuition, room and board, or where the college feels it’s best to be used. After a student has finished their first year of college they become eligible to apply for the Scholarship America Dream Award, this is a renewable fund for students in their sophomore year and beyond.

Our local chapters at Elkhart Central and Elkhart Memorial High School have several fundraisers throughout the year, including golf outings, tailgate parties, phone-a-thons, and asking local corporations and Elkhart citizens for donations. By far the largest donors remain to be our own Elkhart Community Schools staff. Both of our chapters are run by board members who generously work on a volunteer basis. To date, the Elkhart chapters of Dollars for Scholars have awarded over $2.5 million to students.

To learn more about how you can get involved in our local chapters of Dollar for Scholars, apply for a scholarship, or donate, visit one of the chapter websites: