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10,000 Degrees wins national scholarship provider award

(San Rafael, CA) – Today, 10,000 Degrees was honored at the National Scholarship Providers Association annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee as “The 2011 Independent Scholarship Provider of the Year.”

The Scholarship Provider of the Year Award recognizes the scholarship providers who demonstrate exceptional leadership, efficiency and impact in their support of higher education. The winner receives a monetary award of $2,500 designated for their scholarship fund. Fastweb, a scholarship and financial aid information service, has sponsored the award for the past twelve years.

“We’re honored to receive the award,” said Kim Mazzuca, 10,000 Degrees’ President. “At 10,000 Degrees we are focused not just on college access, but on college graduation. Our fourteen-year approach – from third grade to the college graduation – has been the key to our student’s retention and graduation rate. 84% of our scholars will complete a college degree within six years, compared to a national average of 24% for other low-income students.”

In a statement by Fastweb, they said the following about 10,000 Degrees, “this year’s winner demonstrates that scholarships are about more than just providing money for college. It’s about eliminating all barriers to student success. These programs engage the scholarship recipients through proactive intervention efforts such as mentoring, counseling and community-building.”

Last year, 10,000 Degrees went through a rigorous evaluation by the TCC Group, an independent consulting company based in New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia, to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the program. The evaluation found that “10,000 Degrees has a demonstrably positive effect on the educational outcomes of the students” and had the “greatest impact on the participant’s self-reported confidence and preparedness to pursue a college education.”

About 10,000 Degrees
10,000 Degrees has more than 30 years of providing college access programs, scholarships and college completion support to students in need of all ages. The low-income and traditionally underrepresented students who receive support are typically the first generation of their family to go to college. 10,000 Degrees has expanded programs to Sonoma County and Solano County to serve more students in need.

About Fastweb
Fastweb helps students pay for school, by providing scholarship and financial aid information, as well as information about jobs and internships. More than 50 million* members have benefited from Fastweb's information and services. Fastweb lets students create a personalized profile that can be matched against its expansive databases of colleges and scholarships. Their database has more than 1.5 million scholarships totaling over $3.4 billion. (*9 million are active users of the site.) For more information, visit www.fastweb.com.

About the National Scholarship Providers Association
The National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) is the national professional organization for scholarship sponsors, with more than 250 scholarship programs as members. NSPA’s mission is to advance the collective impact of scholarship providers and the scholarships they award, by sharing best practices, providing professional development opportunities and promoting student access and success in higher education. For more information, visit www.scholarshipproviders.org.