Q: What is ScholarMatch?

A: ScholarMatch is a nonprofit organization that leverages technology to connect donors with students and make college possible. Through our website potential donors can learn about extraordinary scholars who need assistance paying their college tuition and make a tax-deductible donation to invest in the future of these scholars.

Q: Is ScholarMatch a 501(c)3 organization?

A: Yes, ScholarMatch is a registered 501(c)3 based in San Francisco. All donations to ScholarMatch qualify as tax exempt.

Q: How are scholars selected for ScholarMatch?

A: ScholarMatch partners with college access organizations and schools around the Bay Area to find talented, ambitious students dedicated to pursuing higher education and in need of financial resources. Students are nominated by partner organizations and apply to join ScholarMatch. Applicants are selected based on demonstrating the following criteria: financial need, leadership skills and/or interest in community service, and commitment to continuing their education. Once chosen for the site, scholars are eligible for continued support for up to four years.

Q: How is the scholar match made?

A: The staff at ScholarMatch strives to “match” donors to an appropriate student based on criteria (up to three criteria) provided by the donor. If no criteria is provided, scholarships will be given to students with the greatest financial need.

Q: How are scholarships paid?

A: ScholarMatch only makes scholarship payments directly to educational institutions, never to individual students. Scholarship funds cannot be used for books or other expenses.

Q: How many scholarships has ScholarMatch awarded?

A: ScholarMatch has supported 64 students with about $130,000 in scholarships since launching in May 2010. Learn more about our impact.

Q: How are the scholarship goals decided?

A: The ScholarMatch staff works with each student to set their scholarship goal based on their financial need, as indicated through FAFSA and university financial aid packages. These goals are estimates until colleges and universities officially award financial aid packages and students accept the offer. A student will never receive a scholarship that is greater than their financial need. If a student’s scholarship goal is lowered due to receiving more financial aid from other sources or choosing a school with lower tuition, then extra funds will be reallocated to another student.

Q: Does ScholarMatch support students for multiple years?

A: Yes, ScholarMatch strives to support students throughout their college career. Scholars who fulfill their obligations each year are eligible to be featured on the site and receive donations for up to four years.

Q: Can I select a scholar by name?

A: Donors are not able to name a particular scholar, however we encourage donors to provide up to three criteria for the type of scholar you would like to support. For example, donors may specify a scholar with a specific major, or a graduate of a certain high school. We make every effort possible to accommodate requests and donors are welcome to contact us with suggestions or questions.

Q: Does my entire donation go to student scholarships?

A: Eighty-five percent of scholarship donations go directly to scholarship funds and fifteen percent of each scholarship donation is used to support students while they are in college with any help they need to succeed, including financial aid counseling and student workshops. Donations can also be given for general support services and are directed to the area of greatest need at the time of the donation.

Q: What happens after I donate?

A: Once a donation is made to ScholarMatch, our staff begins the process of finding the right student fit. The donor will be notified once a match is made, and is encouraged to learn more about the scholar by visiting their online profile. Scholars send a thank you note and provide periodic updates to the donor throughout the following academic year.

Q: May I contact my scholar?

Donors who are interested in responding to a letter from a scholar may do so through ScholarMatch staff. Please contact our office for more information.

Q: Do I need to register as a donor in order to donate?

A: Visitors may donate with or without registering as a donor. Visitors who are not already registered will automatically become registered during the donation process and will be emailed confirmation of their login name and password to the email address they provide. Registering as a donor is necessary to read the complete profile of a student and does not obligate a visitor to donate, it is more akin to registering as a “potential donor.”