Download FAQs


1. What is Scholarship America?

  • It is a 60 year old nationwide organization that works as a center point for many regional and national scholarships available to every high school graduate.

2. How do I (my student) learn about them?

  • You need access to a local Dollars for Scholars at your school. There is a special student section. That is where the scholarship information is available.

3. What is Dollars for Scholars?

  • It is the local organization approved by Scholarship America. Its purpose is to encourage folks to set up scholarships for their local students. In addition to scholarships the residents in North Tama provide, students will see dozens of regional and nationally available scholarships for which they can also apply.

4. How effective has Scholarship America been?

  • They have given out over 4 billion dollars to more than 2.4 million students over 60 years.

5. Does North Tama have a Dollars for Scholars organization?

  • It does now. It is called North Tama Dollars for Scholars. It has a website:

6. Who started it?

  • 9 local folks who learned how powerful a local Dollars for Scholars program could be contacted Scholarship America. The application process is thorough and took about 6 months. Initial member directors are:
    • Marilyn Bauch
    • Keith Kennedy
    • Jared Bauch
    • Trisha Kennedy
    • Phyllis McKee
    • Steve Foster
    • Rex McKee
    • Rosanne Foster
    • Teresa Keefe O'Meara

7. Do they get paid?

  • No. They are volunteers. It is anticipated all workers on projects like this will be volunteers. Out-of-pocket expenses are reimbursed.

8. How will you get money for scholarships?

  • In the usual way. We (and other volunteers) will be contacting North Tama residents, businesses, charitable organizations, etc and ask for financial support. We will make grant applications to other charitable organizations that support this kind of work. We will contact alumni of North Tama.

9. What makes you think this will work?

  • We have been in contact with a few local folks and organizations and already have several large donations. We now have over $400,000.00 in our endowment fund.

10. What is an endowment?

  • It is the permanent money fund to support our purposes and goals.

11. How does it work?

  • We invest the endowment fund for the long term (years). This principle amount will receive dividends and interest. Every year these earnings will help pay for scholarships.

12. What if the interest and dividends are short for 2 or 3 years?

  • We will be having local fundraisers and we will be soliciting financial help from alumni to supplement our regular income. This will be available for scholarship funds each year.

13. Where will you invest the endowment?

  • We will invest in exchange traded funds in a Vanguard account. Our portfolio will be 65% stocks and 35% bonds. Each portion will be divided with the stocks being divided between the US Market and European market. The same division applies to bonds. As markets change there will be the appropriate re-allocation of assets to maintain our balanced ratios.

14. Why did you use this arrangement?

  • Vanguard has about the lowest expense of any brokerage firm. We all know markets go up and down and always will. We believe this arrangement will assure us of a reasonable cash flow year in and year out and that market ups and downs will not be terribly disruptive to accomplishing our purposes.

15. You talk about endowments and that usually means big donations. Will you accept $10 and $25?

  • Of course and we will be grateful for it. We believe every little bit helps.

16. Why do you expect you will get much help?

  • We've lived here a long time and have known the generosity of North Tama County residents giving financially to worthy public projects. We believe this is a worthy project.

17. How will you know if you are succeeding?

  • Success comes in contributions. Success comes in awakening students earlier in their career at school to the steps they can take to help themselves (also parents) through North Tama Dollars for Scholars.

18. What is North Tama Dollars for Scholars purpose and goal?

  • Our PURPOSE is to help every North Tama graduate receive encouragement in thinking about their future; financial support to help them pursue some post high school training; and, complete it with lower debt. Our GOAL is to have a large enough endowment that, with modest continuous alumni and North Tama citizen aid we can provide the financial help and achieve our purpose.

19. When did you provide your first scholarship?

  • January, 2020 we awarded three and again in May, 2020 we awarded seven.

20. How many did you give in 2021?

  • We gave 16 new scholarships in May, 2021 (in addition to what is already given at awards night by other organizations and families).

21. What is the value of a scholarship?

  • $1,000.00 each.

22. What about renewals for the second year?

  • We have trades and skills scholarships. Three are renewable a second year based on the donor's intent. This will increase to four in 2022.

23. So how does my child learn about this North Tama Dollars for Scholars program?

  • You need access to a computer. The school or the library can help you. Go to There will be a tab for "students and parents" called "student profile". That is where your child starts (each child has to set up their own personal account). Be sure to write down your account l.D. It is permanent. These can be started as young as junior high. Ask teachers, guidance counselor and faculty for help. Parents too! There is much to learn.

24. How does my child apply for scholarships?

  • Through the "student profile11 each child sets up. Applications are online. Start early before senior year. Write down your account I.D.

25. How are winners determined?

  • It is an anonymous process. That is why they are online. The program matches
  • qualified applicants and scholarships. If there are 6 matching applicants and only 2 scholarships are available an awards committee will look over the anonymous applications and select two. This has not yet been necessary.

26. Won't that committee know who the applicants are?

  • No. That is why the whole process is online. Your student will have a number she is assigned when she enters her "student profile". The committee has no access to her number. The number is the winner.

27. Won't the smartest kids get all the scholarships?

  • They will get some but not all. Scholarships are often written to appeal to someone who has a special interest such as electronics or special ed teaching, etc. Also, what is smartest? Some great GP A's have poor ACT/SAT scores and vice versa. These scholarships will cover a broad range of students. We have scholarships for C+; B; and A students.

28. Is there any tax benefit to donating to North Tama Dollars for Scholars?

  • Yes, we have what is known as a "Determination letter" through Scholarship America. This recognizes us as a 501 ( c )(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code and donations to our charitable organization are thus deductible.

29. Will you accept donations other than cash by check?

  • Yes. Following are typical ways to support us other than by check:
    a) Gifts of stock transferred from your broker to our broker;
    b) Corn or beans delivered to the elevator. Ask for a warehouse receipt to be made out to North Tama Dollars for Scholars for the number of bushels you are donating. Deliver the warehouse receipt to us.
    c) Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from IRS - 401k - other retirement accounts. You can allocate a gift to us from RMD. Note: a, band c involve personal tax issues. We will work with your lawyer or CPA to achieve a good work for you and us.
    d) We also accept pledges.
    e) DONA TE tab on our website. This will let you make regular contributions by your credit card. Other means of giving are discussed there.

30. Will contributions made to North Tama Dollars for Scholars be deductible?

  • Yes, if they are dated and mailed or delivered personally before year end.

31. Will I get a receipt for my donation?

  • You will get a written thank you and receipt acknowledging your gift for tax purposes. All donations $250 and above must have this receipt for IRS purposes.

32. What if I want to establish an honorary or memorial scholarship?

  • Donations of $1,000 made through North Tama Dollars for Scholars can be given by you to an anonymously selected recipient student at awards night. This would be a one time gift subject to you deciding to renew it in subsequent years. (Please note substantial gifts have been given and are desired but we need to structure these scholarships carefully in order to satisfy your goals and ours!)

33. What students qualify for North Tama Dollars for Scholars scholarships?

  • The student must be a graduate of the North Tama County Community School District. The student can be a North Tama resident who is home schooled in the North Tama District.

34. How is the scholarship paid out?

  • Scholarship America restrictions and our agreement require that payments be issued by North Tama Dollars for Scholars to the provider of the training (which must be an Iowa accredited program in Iowa). The check bears the student I.D. information and is credited to the student's tuition fees. Both the student and the school are named as payees. The student must go and endorse the check when it gets to the school.

35. Do scholarships go only to 4 year colleges and universities?

  • No. We provide scholarship support to any post high school program so long as it is accredited by Iowa and is in Iowa. Vocational, technical, and trade programs are included as are fields of work like cosmetology.

36. My child is blissfully ignorant about all this and I am so busy. How will you get out the

word about North Tama Dollars for Scholars? .

  • a) North Tama Dollars for Scholars will work with faculty, counselors, and administration to start students in junior high looking at our site.
    b) North Tama Dollars for Scholars will help recruit Friends of North Tama Dollars for Scholars to work with students and provide support and sponsor events.
    c) PARENTS AND STUDENTS will be invited to workshops at school to discuss these programs.
    d) This is a project that will grow and expand in scope and community and alumni awareness. It is to last as long as there is need and then continue as a celebration of all the generosity in North Tama County residents.
    e) Annual community and school events will take place.

37. What benefit is there to we whose children are grown and gone?

  • It is a cliche "we stand on the shoulders of our forebears" and it is true. We are generous people and it shows in the history of our communities and the North Tama alumni. Every year classes hold a reunion and many return to renew their connections. Some return to live. Many support our local public causes. A community that invests in itself will thrive. That investment is not based on personal short term benefits. It is made by people who know the truth of the cliche. "We stand on the shoulders of our forebears". And others will stand on ours!
    Investing in the future of our students is the kind of thing done by people who live out lives of hope.
    We can expand the horizons of our students;
    We can awaken a dream of a student;
    We can show a student the way toward a dim but real future;
    We can let students know they can overcome adversity as have we;
    Then we can provide some financial help to make the dreams real with a lot less debt. Some of these will go on to wonderful careers. All will be fine citizens. Some will remember your care and help future North Tama Dollars for Scholars friends pay it forward!