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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Central Scholarship

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: Central Scholarship is devoted to helping individuals achieve a better life through higher education. We believe that education is a right, not a privilege and that scholarships are an investment, not an expense. We fulfill our mission by: -Funding the financial gap with grants and interest-free loans -Offering financial literacy to educate students and parents about college affordability -Honoring the achievements of our students through publications and events

Results: In 2015, Central Scholarship received 3,889 applications and we committed over $1 million in scholarships and interest-free loans to 224 students. In 2015, one third of our scholarship recipients were the first in their family to attend college.

Target demographics: prospective college students & people seeking vocational training for employment

Geographic areas served: Maryland

Programs: over $1 million in undergraduate, graduate, and certificate training scholarships every year and free financial literacy education to our community.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Anonynja

Client Served

Rating: 5

Central Scholarship made college possible for me and countless other students. I have received a grant every year of my undergraduate career thanks to the amazing generosity of this program. I cannot overstate the positive impact Central Scholarship has had on my life. Not only did that first acceptance letter I received in 2012 allow me to attend Maryland's flagship university, it also gave me the confidence to apply to many more scholarships and grants. I have received the Gilman Scholarship and PPIA Princeton JSI as well as several grants from UMD. I never would have had the strength to try had it not been for Central Scholarship; I never would have gone to Chengdu, China or Princeton University and experienced great personal growth. Thank you, Central Scholarship, for kickstarting my life. The picture is from a silly moment with my mom after Central Scholarship's 2015 Annual Student Awards Ceremony in my hometown, Baltimore.

1 lshelton13

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first encountered Central Scholarship as a high school senior, looking for scholarships to help close my financial aid gap for my dream college. A high school counselor told me about Central Scholarship and their new scholarship for students at my high school. I applied and after going through a thoughtful interview process, I became first recipient of the Wagner Family Scholarship.

Not only did the scholarship help me meet the cost of attendance for my school, but it also provided me with people that cared about my success and my goals. The staff at Central Scholarship were invested in my success and often checked in with me to make sure that I was doing okay in school.

Seven years later, I was offered the privilege to serve on the board of Central Scholarship. I quickly learned that this organization deeply committed to its mission. Whether its through their advocacy efforts to fight against award displacement at schools in Maryland or through its efforts to help high school students and parents understand financial aid, Central Scholarship strives to empower students to achieve their educational dreams. The staff and board take our roles seriously, as evidenced by our lively meetings where we discuss the pressing issues facing our students and what we should be doing to address them.

I'm proud to be a member of the Central Scholarship family and I look forward to continuing to help them meet the educational needs of students in Maryland for years to come.


Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served as a Board Member for a little over a year.

The organization is well staffed - CS staff work tirelessly to assist students with understanding their obligations related to higher education, with affording the costs of attendance and also to advocate to lawmakers on behalf of students.

CS Board members are a diverse (lawyers, accountants, higher education officials, etc.) and sharp group of individuals that keep pushing the mission of the Organization and also keep a watchful eye over the Organization to preserve its financial footing.