What is Dollars for Scholars?
 
Dollars for Scholars is a national organization dedicated to increasing scholarship opportunities for students seeking all types of post-secondary education. This is the largest, volunteer operated, community-based, local scholarship foundation in the US and has ranked as the top education charity for five consecutive years by Smart Money magazine. 
 
Nationally there are hundreds of local chapters in 37 states plus the District of Columbia. Chapter exist to promote attendance at post-secondary institutions, whether a technical program or college degree. Local dollars support local students. North Dakota currently has 68 local chapters and one statewide chapter. As of 2015, all Dollars for Scholars chapters in the state have cumulatively raised over $34 million and awarded 26,390 students while also building their local endowment funds, since beginning in North Dakota. 
 
 
The cost of college keeps rising at a rapid pace, as a result the very thing many have always believed to be the key to our society's future - a postsecondary education - is now beyond the financial grasp of many of those who are society's future.
 
Dollars for Scholars empowers communities and groups to help themselves by helping to educate their young people. In turn, it inspires students to achieve by showing that others care about them and their futures.

Our parent organization, Scholarship America®, is the nation's leading non-profit, private-sector scholarship and educational support organization. It has provided $3.2 billion in scholarships to more than 2 million deserving students since 1958. Each year, more and more students turn to Dollars for Scholars and Scholarship America for financial assistance to pursue their educational dreams. 

 

How did North Dakota Dollars for Scholars begin?
 
The national organization began through Dr Irving Fradkin in Fall River, MA in 1958. In 1962, a North Dakota
businessman brought the idea to Grand Forks, where the first chapter for the state was formed. 
 
In 1988, Bob Alin retired from Scheels and started a chapter in his hometown of LaMoure, ND. This new chapter developed very well and he made it his mission to develop 50 more chapters within the following four to five years. Bob accomplished his goal with his volunteer time, an investment of about $250,000 from Fred Scheel, and national office support. Ten years later, those 51 chapters had raised a total of $7.3 million, awarded scholarships to nearly 6,000 students across North Dakota, and built endowment funds locally in many of those communities. 
 
From 2000 to 2005, a staffed state office helped establish 27 new chapters, for a total of 80 chapters which supported 182 communities. This program doubled the number of communities served, as well as the number of scholarships awarded, with a total of $17 million raised since the inception of Dollars for Scholars in North Dakota. On January 1, 2006, the state office ended its staffed program due to lack of funding, but volunteers on the state level continued to help North Dakota chapters in a more limited manner. 
 
As of January 1, 2008 North Dakota Dollars for Scholars established an exciting new partnership with Bank of North Dakota (BND), the only state-owned Bank in the nation. North Dakota Dollars for Scholars and BND share a similar mission and vision in relation to higher education, and now the two will work side by side to promote such education through scholarship opportunities. 
 
Amanda Woidyla and Staci Holzheimer of BND currently work as the State Directors for North Dakota Dollars for Scholars to assist local chapters and maintain regular communications with Scholarship America. They promote and organize chapter trainings and cultivate strong relationships with Collegiate Partners in North Dakota. BND also dedicates resources for public relations, assistance with statewide fundraising opportunities and website management.