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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Scholarship Fund of Alexandria

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: In 1986 concerned citizens of Alexandria assisted by the Superintendent of Schools, the School Board and the Alexandria City Council established the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (the Fund) to help academically qualified, financially needy students from Alexandria City Public Schools afford post-secondary education. The mission of the Fund through its relationships within the community is to encourage and assist the students of Alexandria City Public Schools by providing them with the necessary resources to pursue a college or post-secondary education.

Results: 4,500 students have been awarded $13.5 Million! Thousands of students receive college advising and financial aid advising each year.

Target demographics: make college dreams come true for high school graduates a

Direct beneficiaries per year: 330 students receive $950,000 in scholarships.

Geographic areas served: Alexandria, VA

Programs: college scholarships, near-peer mentoring and college and financial aid advising. We do all this with just a 7% overhead.

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough about this incredible organization! The staff, the volunteers, the Board members and the community truly believe in the purpose of the SFA because of the results. The SFA makes it possible for seniors at TC Williams High School to go to college. Many of the recipients would not be able to attend if it weren't for the SFA, and each year there are recipients who are the first generation in their family to go to college. It is an essential first step in changing their lives forever.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is such a wonderful organization - helping local high school students attend college, often for the first time in their family! Working as a volunteer, I have seen how SFA is engaged in the local community, providing help to real students who we know and see. It's a life changer for many!

Pam J.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering for the SFA for three years now. It is so rewarding to see how the lives these students can completely change through the efforts of this organization.

Julie M.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered and worked with the students who have received scholarships through the SFA. They are a really great and grateful group. The need for college scholarships at T.C. Williams is really enormous. There are a lot of hard-working kids, who are very bright and want to go to college, but come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The SFA works with them to help the apply to and get into college, and works with the community to fundraise and provide scholarships. It is a truly great and meaningful organization that I feel should be replicated in school districts across the area if not the nation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a top notch committee! They have things well under control.

Board Member

Rating: 5

SFA is doing well raising funds, training students in the college application process

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Outreach to the school and greater community is excellent. The professionLs working for SFA are very committed and hard working . They are believers in the goals of their mission .

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This group is extremely dedicated to raising money to fund need based scholarships. The college and financial aid advising is very well done too. I volunteered at the FAFSA completion workshop and it reached more than 100 families.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

SFA is focused on helping as many students as possible. The people who work and volunteer there are dedicated and highly committed to providing help to the students. I like most things about SFA. I believe that SFA may need to explore alternative way to raise funds and find ways to increase corporate sponsors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The SFA serves the students of TC Williams High School very well. They just don\u2019t give scholarships but they maintain a presence at the school helping every student get prepared for whatever type of post-secondary schooling they are planning. From help with financial aid to workshops for college essays to full scholarships, they do it all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think it's a great non profit! We need to work on getting new blood to donate. More Alumni need to be more involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year was our first year supporting SFA. The impact this event has on the students it helps is immeasurable and so worthy of support. These kids have unlimited potential and the SFA makes their dreams a reality. The ROI our community receives is tremendous.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

STA truly cares about the students they serve and getting them into college with fiscal peace of mind. 93 cents of every dollar donated goes directly into scholarship money for students.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They provide scholarships that change the lives of students by making college accessible. The nonprofit has little overhead.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is a great resource that works hard to raise money to support students dreams

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The SFA is fantastic at raising as much $ as possible to help send local kids to college who wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise.

Board Member

Rating: 4

does excellent job of giving graduates an opportunity to attend college; serves a very diverse population

Board Member

Rating: 5

Fantastic non profit! Strong community support. Expanding support to middle school and making s difference.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The SFA continues to grow stronger and has dedicated staff and committed volunteers. I have worked on the annual Gala for 18 years as a volunteer and now serve on the SFA Board. We provide need-based scholarships and guidance for deserving students. Administering other named scholarships has increased donor participation. The SFA has the support of the School Board and other elected officials. The SFA's real strength is in keeping its relationships with individual donors dynamic.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The SFA is remarkable and unique organization that makes it possible for so many to go to college who might not otherwise. It is a responsible steward of its funds and is always seeking thoughtful ways to raise more and benefit more students. Not only does it help high school students, it reaches younger students through after school programs as well to inspire them to have goals of going on to college after TC Williams High School.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The SFA goes above and beyond to help deserving students get to college!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SFA is a wonderful organization that has helped countless kids attend college who otherwise would not have been able to. My husband and I are both alumni of TC Williams and have supported the SFA since it's beginning.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The SFA has helped countless Alexandria students realize their dreams of higher education by providing critical need-based financial support. Consistently raising $1 million or more annually in recent years within a 148,000 person city, there are few community organizations anywhere that provide higher education support on a similar scale. SFA's staff and board members are also amazingly dedicated and operate the organization with an extremely low overhead.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The SFA is a predominantly volunteer-run organization that gives scholarships to Alexandria HS students in need. They help get kids off to college who might not be able to afford it otherwise!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SFA is a fantastic organization that helps TC Williams students fulfill their college dreams. Every year the organization makes a huge impact on the community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Scholarship Fund fills a critical need for our community by making it possible for the many eager, qualified Alexandria students who lack financial resources to achieve their dream of higher education. It is an extraordinarly well managed organization that accomplishes its mission with a very effective, small staff, modest budget, and many hard working volunteers.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of SFA for years and I have seen first hand the difference it makes to the lives of students who want to go to college but can't afford it. Since TC Williams is the sole high school in the City of Alexandria, the community should support its students and do everything it can to further education. The best tool you can give to a community is a well-educated youth. This organization helps make this happen and does it with the lowest overhead I have ever seen in a non-profit. You get an amazing return on your investment in the youth of Alexandria with SFA. It makes me feel good to be a part of it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, I have seen the daily stream of TC Williams seniors seeking assistance from SFA's very capable staff. In a high school community in which well over half of all students qualify for lunch assistance, the availability of need-based college scholarship funding and of help with the financial aid process is a real gift. For some students, it’s life-changing. Many of the students I see in the office are first-generation college applicants and many come from households in which English is not the primary language. The challenge of funding a college education is daunting enough for students and families under the best of circumstances; for those less well off or less experienced with the system, this kind of help can make an essential difference.

I have also seen, in my volunteer years, how much SFA accomplishes on a very modest administrative budget, all from a small, one-room office located within TC Williams High School. This is made possible by a talented and dedicated staff; by long and continuing support from the Alexandria City Public School system and its administration and teachers; by a broad, deep and loyal individual donor base within and around the Alexandria community; by active annual participation and generous support provided by local businesses large and small; and by the many volunteers who dedicate time and energy to SFA's efforts. This broad community support enables donors to the Scholarship Fund to feel secure that their donated dollars are maximized to help Alexandria’s students pursue their college ambitions.

We are all so lucky to have this amazing resource here in our community!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria since the late '80s. I first supported them because I understood how hard it is to navigate the college process. I was the first person in my family to attend college and without scholarship money, I would have been unable to graduate. I continue to support them because I know how efficiently the organization is run and have seen the wonderful accomplishments of our recipients. I am very proud and happy that our community provides such excellent educational support to our high school graduates.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My family has witnessed first hand the transformative experiences that the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria provided to the community. My parents brought me and my four older brothers to the United States when I was two years old. We escaped the Civil War that was ravaging our country at the time and all of us attended Alexandria City Schools. Neither of my parents graduated College but that never stopped them instilling in us the importance of a College education. When it came down to my oldest brother Jose looking at College, I know for a fact that if it wasn't for the scholarship through SFA he received, College would've just been a dream.

We were all fortunate and blessed to receive scholarships through SFA and we all transitioned into College and ultimately received our undergraduate degrees and are excelling in our careers. To come to a country without knowing the language and the higher education process, the SFA serves an important purpose in the Alexandria community and for that my family and I will always be grateful.


Douglas Garcia
TC Williams Class of 97

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria is a true community project that began with an idea of providing college scholarships to students at our public high school. Started with seed money from the City Council, the Fund has grown over the years to assist students on filling the gap for ever-rising college expenses. Since its inception in 1986, the Scholarship Fund has provided over $10.5 million to over 4000 deserving students. Over $900,000 was awarded just last year in new and renewing scholarships. Moreover, the bulk of our scholarships are need-based and awarded to students who need our help the most. It is a time-tested organization that continues to make a life-long investment in our graduates.

In addition, the Fund provides financial guidance and counseling to students looking at post-secondary education. Not only are students faced with increasing costs for college, students are parents must navigate the complex world how to apply for aid, student loans and grants.

Finally, as the father of five daughters, all graduates of T. C. Williams and all being recipients of scholarships from the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, I can personally attest to its importance. The Fund helps fill the gap in college financing and its existence and well-being today is even more important.

Kerry J. Donley