Back to search results

Organization Information

Scholarship America


Our scholarships help students in need gain access to college. Our support, through financial literacy and college readiness tools, shows them the path to success!

Real Life

It wasn't long ago that Jason Schiesser, now an attorney, was growing up in a tough neighborhood on the outskirts of Valparaiso, enduring the stigma associated with the medical problems he suffered.

Though neither of Jason's parents graduated from college, they recognized the importance of a college education. Widely known as an affluent city, Jason's parents started their family in one of the few neighborhoods in Valparaiso they could afford, so their children would have access to the best educational opportunities.

At age fifteen, Jason suffered from a grand mal seizure and was put on medicine that impeded his ability to play sports. Jason knew his only chance of a fresh start was through a college education, but didn't know if he could afford it. Earning a scholarship turned out to be critical.

Due to a combination of persistence and academic success, Jason won the Valparaiso Dollars for Scholars renewable $500 scholarship, which was matched by Indiana University, the college that Jason always hoped to attend. The net impact of a $500 scholarship resulted in $4,000 towards his college education.

Jason believes his success is owed to his parents and partly to Dollars for Scholars. But mostly, Jason is where he is today because he had a dream and refused to let go of it.

Jason is one of the thousands of students who have benefited from the 500+ Dollars for Scholars Chapters across the nation. Last year, $18.5 million in scholarships were awarded to 18,620 students.