Frequently Asked Questions: Complete Overview

1. Overview of Give Something Back

Q. What is Give Something Back?

Give Something Back, Inc. (Give Back) is a national public charity committed to helping students with financial limitations attain trade certification(s), an associate degree, and/or a bachelor’s degree,  while accumulating little to no debt. Give Back prioritizes students who have faced adversity, including those who have experienced foster care, homelessness, or the incarceration of a parent. Give Back is a long-term coaching program that starts when students enroll as early as 8th grade and continues throughout high-school and college until the student successfully earns a degree or certification.

Q. When was Give Back founded and what is the timeline for it to be in my state?

The Give Something Back Foundation was founded in 2003 in Illinois. In 2016, Give Back became a public charity, and began expanding its footprint and now has a presence in 10 states, including: New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, California, Kansas, Florida, Washington, and Maryland.  Our long-term goal is to expand to all 50 states over the next few years.

Q. Where is Give Back headquartered?
Our national headquarters is located at 902 Carnegie Center, Suite 160, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Q. Who does Give Back serve?

Give Back serves students with financial limitations with a primary focus on youth who have experienced foster care, homelessness, or the incarceration of a parent.  All Give Back students are required to have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 as indicated by completing the “Give Back Eligibility Calculator” (GEC) which is similar to FAFSA as a part of the program’s admissions process. Since inception, we have served over 1,400 students.

Q. What is the model and what are the outcomes of the Give Back program?

Give Back scholars are selected as early as 8th grade and assigned to a coach who assists them with college preparation through high school and college/trade school. We help students navigate the complex financial aid and scholarship processes when applying to and attending institutions of higher education. We partner with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for additional support and coaching services. Our outcomes are outstanding with over 90% of high school students remaining in the program and continuing to college and 93% of those graduating from college on time (2 years for associate degrees and 4 years for bachelor’s degrees).

Q. How has the Give Back program changed since it began?

Give Back started by giving low-income, high-performing high school seniors in Illinois $20,000 toward their college education. The program was modified to select middle school students and provide a mentor to help the students through their high school years. We further refined that model to one that awards the promise of a full-ride scholarship to ninth graders who actively participate in Give Back programming, earn a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, and demonstrate good character.  The scholarship provides room, board, tuition, and fees. Students participate in mandatory mentorship, events, and programs throughout high school that offer support.

Our plan moving forward is to focus on helping students to first attain an associate degree and/or trade certification(s) before attaining a bachelor’s degree if that is the desire of the student. Additional expenses (e.g., room and board) will be considered and supported on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of the post-secondary track the student chooses, Give Back strongly encourages and helps scholars maintain an appropriate GPA for their selected path and financial aid eligibility.

Q. How is Give Back different from other nonprofits and college readiness programs?

Give Back’s mission is to identify, enroll, and support students who have the greatest financial need and the lowest statistical likelihood of enrolling in college and achieving a degree or trade certificate. Give Back prioritizes enrollment for students who have experienced foster care, homelessness, and/or the incarceration of a parent.  We assist our students through high school and college by providing curriculum and coaching so the student can obtain a degree or certification and change their lives for the better, graduate on time, and protect them from burdensome debt.

Q. How can I get involved or support Give Back Scholars?

Our greatest needs are for CASA/GAL volunteers. Caring adults from all across the country can become CASA/GAL volunteers, providing long-term support to deserving students. You can learn more at: https://nationalcasagal.org/advocate-for-children/be-a-casa-volunteer/

Q. How can I donate to Give Back?

Donations are accepted at www.giveback.ngo/donate/. If you prefer to send a check, it should be made payable to Give Something Back and mailed to 902 Carnegie Center, Suite 160, Princeton, NJ 08540.

 Donations can also be made through participation in the Chip-In program.  Through Chip-in, you can register your credit card and a percentage of your spending can support Give Back or other charities of your choosing. For more information, please visit: https://chip-in.getbeyond.com/

Q. How can I get my local nonprofit to partner with Give Back?

By becoming a member or supporter of Chip-In.  Please do that via: https://chip-in.getbeyond.com/

2. Prospective Students and Parents

Q. Am I eligible for Give Back and how do I apply?

There is an application process that any interested students should follow. All scholarship recipients must have an EFC of $0.*  If you fit this qualification, please apply at: giveback.ngo/get-started/

*For reference, “EFC” stands for “Expected Family Contribution.” This is a number determined by the federal government that indicates how much money a student’s parents/guardians are reasonably able to contribute toward paying for the student’s education. To determine a student’s EFC, you can use the FAFSA4caster by visiting: https://fafsa.ed.gov/spa/fafsa4c/?locale=en_US#/landing

When applying to Give Back, families will be required to complete the Give Back Eligibility Calculator to verify that their EFC is $0.

Q. How can I know if my EFC will be zero before I complete the FAFSA4caster or the GEC?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of how much your family could be reasonably expected to pay toward your education and is calculated according to a formula established by law, which changes from year to year.

Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive.

If a dependent students’ family’s income is less than $26,200 for a family of four (based on 2020 poverty level chart), and government assistance was needed for that filing year, the EFC will automatically be $0. A zero means a family has no reasonable ability to contribute to the student’s education. These calculations change every year, however. Please see this chart for more information.

If you are an independent student, you may also have an EFC of $0. Please review this chart to determine if you can file as an independent student.

EFC is calculated from answers on the FAFSA, typically income is the most important factor. If other members of your household are projected to attend college at the same time, that will also lower a student’s EFC.

Unusual circumstances can also lower your EFC – loss of employment, loss of child support, divorce, death, or medical expenses not covered by insurance can all have an impact.

Be sure to answer all applicable questions on your FAFSA, even if they don’t seem relevant to your situation; this is crucial in determining an accurate EFC.

Q. When do I apply for the Give Back program?

We accept applications for students starting in the 8th grade and later. For more details, please visit: giveback.ngo/get-started/

Q. Is there a GPA requirement?

All Give Back Scholars should strive to maintain a GPA appropriate for their selected path and financial aid eligibility. This is to ensure they are on track for academic success after high school and are able to maintain their financial aid eligibility. Students must take a college prep or trade prep curriculum as well. These requirements, along with a scholar’s  participation in Give Back activities, helps to ensure the student is on track for academic success after high school and will help them maintain their eligibility for financial aid. Students must also meet with their coach regularly to ensure they are meeting the academic benchmarks needed to achieve their post-secondary goals.

Q. What types of support will I receive in high school?

In addition to the support you receive from your school, you will receive coaching and academic guidance where needed. The goal is to ensure student success in post-secondary education through preparation during high school.

Q. Is a scholarship included in this program?

Opportunities for scholarships are determined on a case-by-case basis for students if the state and federal aid does not cover all the needs for tuition and fees. Room and board costs are not guaranteed.  Books and other expenses are not covered.

Q. Can I attend a 4-year university?
Our students are required to start college in a trade or associate degree program.  Exceptions can be granted in special circumstances.
Q. Is there an internship component or requirement for this program?
Give Back will use its best efforts to help our students obtain part-time jobs (only for students 16 and above) or internships where applicable. An internship is not a requirement to participate in the program.
What is the partnership with Give Back and ProStart?

In select states Give Back partners with ProStart by encouraging Give Back students interested in hospitality careers to participate in the ProStart program (offered in certain high schools). Typical mentorship will also include helping students find part-time jobs working in restaurants while in school. This is a great opportunity to obtain dual high school and college credit while learning about food safety, culinary, management, and other skills needed to work in a restaurant.

What are the benefits of being a student in Give Back and ProStart, particularly in a hospitality career?

Due to this specialized educational offering, our students will have an advantage over other students seeking employment in restaurants and hotels. There is also an opportunity to partner with trade schools and community colleges that will offer dual enrollment credits for students who participate.

Does Give Back offer scholarships for ProStart competitions, trade schools, or colleges?

Give Back does offer scholarships for ProStart competitions. We also offer scholarships for trade schools and community colleges. Give Back will consider scholarships to “fill the gap” of what federal and state grants do not cover. Moving forward we do not guarantee paying for room and board. Instead, we will help students navigate financial aid and university scholarship applications that can alleviate much of the cost of higher education.

How do I remain in good standing in the Give Back program?

Students must take a college prep or trade prep curriculum and should strive to maintain a B average (3.0 GPA or greater) throughout high school while participating in Give Back activities. A 3.0 GPA helps ensure the student is on track for academic success after high school and will help them maintain their eligibility for financial aid. Students must also meet with their mentor regularly to ensure they are meeting the academic benchmarks needed to achieve their post-secondary goals.

Is the program limited to certain career paths?

No. We have a specific focus on students interested in the hospitality industry and cyber security industry, but all qualified students are invited to apply.

What happens if I am a Give Back scholar and leave ProStart?

There are no penalties if a Give Back student begins and leaves the ProStart program other than any applicable policies at the student’s high school.

3. Prospective CBOs Who Want to Help

Q. What types of community-based-organizations (CBOs) are you looking to partner with Give Back?
We are looking for CBOs who help middle school students improve their educational outcomes and are committed to helping students prepare for and succeed in post-secondary education pathways.
Q. How can my nonprofit or community-based organization partner with Give Back?
Please contact info@giveback.ngo with some details on your organization to see how a partnership could be a good fit.  With our national expansion, one way we help to provide the best mentorship possible is by building partnerships with organizations that have proven mentoring and support services. These community partners can focus on what they do best — providing mentorship and a support network for the students in their area, while we continue to make higher education aspirations a reality for as many students as possible. Contact us at info@giveback.ngo to share details about your organization and determine how we might work together.  For a list of Give Back’s existing nonprofit partners, visit www.giveback.ngo/partners/.
Q. What does the Give Back program do for the community?

Give Back enriches the community by mentoring students to reach their full potential through high expectations and support to set and reach post-secondary goals. Students in our program are often the first in their family to attend college.  Equipped with an education and career training, these students now have the opportunity to change their lives and the lives of their families.  Give Back also seeks opportunities to volunteer in local communities where appropriate.

Q. What is the value of adding Give Back programming to our traditional support?
Historically, only 3% of students with an EFC of zero graduate from college.  Our graduation rate exceeds 90%.
Q. Are there any minimum requirements to be a partner with Give Back?
Partner organizations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Give Back works with partner organizations in three areas: 1) We partner with organizations that can provide referrals from our target population of students who have experienced foster care, homelessness, or the incarceration of a parent; 2) We partner with organizations that have a proven track-record in helping students achieve high academic standards, prepare for college, and/or provide high-quality mentoring; 3) We partner with organizations that can provide wrap-around holistic services for our students such as housing, jobs, emergency services, and basic needs.
Q. What programs does Give Back offer to students currently enrolled in high school and college?

We provide post-secondary prep curriculum and coaching services. At this time, we accept applications from 8th, 9th, or 10th grade students with exceptions made for students in higher grades.

Q. What students does Give Back work with?

At this time, we accept students in 8th, 9th, or 10th grade with some exceptions being made for students in higher grades. Students who have experienced foster care, homelessness, or the incarceration of a parent are prioritized. Additionally, all students must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0.

Q. Are there any limitations to college or career for our students?

Yes. Students must attend a community college or trade school after high school.

Q. Are there any grant opportunities in partnering with Give Back?

No, Give Back does not offer grants to outside organizations.  We do, however, accept grants from organizations to further advance our mission.

Q. Can I refer students to Give Back?

Yes, Students should apply for the Give Back program at: giveback.ngo/get-started/

Q. What are Give Back’s partner organizations?

Currently, Give Back is partnered with thirty colleges and universities across the nation and several Court Appointed Special Advocates/GAL programs in several states,  First Star, Inc., Snider Hockey, local family court systems, individual schools, and Above and Beyond, Business Tools and Services for Entrepreneurs, Inc.

Please check giveback.ngo for more information.

4. Prospective Merchant Sponsors

Q. How can I sponsor the Give Back and ProStart programs?

Become a Beyond Customer

Thanks to Beyond and Chip-In, merchants can support Give Back’s mission by becoming a customer of Beyond, Inc., one of the most trusted and fastest growing payment processors and payroll providers in the U.S.  Give Back is a beneficial owner of Beyond, meaning that every merchant of Beyond and every customer who shops with Beyond merchants is supporting Give Back.  For more information about how your restaurant and business can sign-up with Beyond, please contact Ivy Cohen at ivy.cohen@getbeyond.com.

Promote Chip-In

Chip-In, a unique program of Beyond, empowers merchants and consumers to give to their favorite charities including Give Back and ProStart just by shopping and using your registered card.  Download the Chip-In app from your phone’s app marketplace to see how it works and what other businesses and charities are utilizing it near you.  For more information about Chip-In and to sign-up, please visit https://chip-in.getbeyond.com/.

Offer Internships to Give Back Scholars

Your restaurant or business can offer internships to Give Back scholars if your business is in an existing area where Give Back’s program is operating.  If we are not yet operating in your state, your interest in supporting the program in your community will help bring it there.  Contact info@giveback.ngo for more information.

 

Donate to Give Back

Donating $500 or more to support Give Back’s coaching and post-secondary curriculum program in your area will ensure that your business is listed as a supporter on Give Back’s website. Additionally, Beyond regularly recognizes merchants that support Give Back across its social media platforms and blog.

Q. What is expected of the merchants that sponsor?
We would like (but do not require) our merchant partners to consider using our Chip-In program as a method of supporting local nonprofits.
Q. How can we help in ways other than financial support?

It is great when a merchant can offer part-time employment and/or internships for our students.

Q. How do we see where funds are going?
The Chip-In program reports that information monthly.  Also, as a public charity, Give Back’s financial information is available through its annual 990 filings.
Q. How does sponsorship with these programs benefit my business?

Merchants enjoy numerous benefits from supporting local charities.  Customers are more likely to shop or dine at businesses that support charity.  Employee morale is higher when merchants support their local communities and your support will translate into increased visibility.  Your community will benefit and be a better place for students and businesses alike.

Q. Is Give Back in my local community?

We are always building programs for future states behind the scenes and are seeking to move into new areas in the near future.  Please keep an eye on our website and social media accounts to see regular updates on our program, expansion, and opportunities for partnership.

Q. How can I hire Give Back Scholars?

Currently, Give Back has students in seven states: California, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.  If you have businesses in those states seeking to offer jobs to excellent students, please contact: info@giveback.ngo

Q. What are some businesses that Give Back already works with?
Give Back is the primary beneficiary of Beyond, Inc., a payment processor, payroll provider, and business solutions company founded by Robert O. Carr. Beyond currently has thousands of businesses throughout the country as clients, especially those focused on food service and hospitality.

5. Prospective Merchant Supporters

Q. How can I work more closely with businesses in the hospitality industry through Give Back?
Give Back is the primary beneficiary of Beyond, Inc., a payment processor, payroll provider, and business solutions company founded by Robert O. Carr. Through this company, Give Back has access to thousands of businesses throughout the country, especially those focused on food service and hospitality.
Q. How can I support Give Back through my local business?

Becoming a member of Chip-In means you will join a community of businesses with a goal of giving back to the local community. Give Back is just one of many options in a broad network of possible nonprofits to support. Please download the Chip-In app on your phone to see all of the local business and nonprofits in your area.

Q. Will we have access to Give Back staff to increase program engagement with our employees?

Yes, Give Back team members can work with your business to provide information about the Give Back program as a possible pathway for their children, and to encourage the adoption and utilization of the Chip-In program.  For more information, please contact info@giveback.ngo.

6. Prospective Internship Businesses

Q. What makes Give Back students different from other interns?
Give Back students have hope for the future and are on their way to a post-secondary education. These students receive mentoring from volunteers and are required to maintain good academic standing in school and demonstrate upstanding character.
Q. Does this program help in finding interns for my business?

We can work to make connections between our students and your business. Contact info@giveback.ngo with requests or questions.

Q. How are interns selected?
Internship selection for scholars through Give Back will be determined by ensuring the scholars are meeting all Give Back requirements. Beyond that, our goal would be to match youth with internships in their potential career paths.
Q. How do I become an internship partner with Give Back?

Currently, Give Back has students in seven states: California, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. If you have businesses in those states seeking to offer internships to excellent students, please contact: info@giveback.ngo

Q. Do I have to offer paid or unpaid internships to be an internship partner? Full-time, part-time?

There is no requirement for the type of internship you offer. We just ask that it be a safe and educational experience for our scholars. Most will always have classes, so it is more beneficial to offer part-time experiences.

Q. What other internship partners does Give Back have?

Give Back is a majority beneficiary of Beyond, Inc., a credit card payments and business solutions company founded by Robert O. Carr. This company is also a partner in providing internships. For more partners, please email info@giveback.ngo for updated information on current internship partners.

Q. Will we have someone on the Give Back staff we can contact for questions or concerns?
Yes, you will be able to contact the Give Back team members nationally or in your area to help you maximize your partnership with Give Back.

7. Prospective Nonprofit and Association Participants

Q. Does Give Back work with nationwide associations?

Yes, Give Back is seeking partnerships with nationwide associations to help us support more students, expand to additional states, and provide new career pathways for our scholars. To partner with Give Back, please contact: info@giveback.ngo

Q. My association works with certifications, are Give Back students interested in specialty certifications?

Yes, our Give Back Scholars are interested in certifications in many different fields. Please contact info@giveback.ngo to get in touch or ask questions.

Q. Will Give Back provide programming to my association specifically?

Contact info@giveback.ngo to discuss opportunities to offer programming to your association members.  Specifically, Give Back seeks opportunities to open up career pathways including internships and certifications for scholars.

Q. Can Give Back support association gatherings through sponsorship?
Currently, we do not sponsor association gatherings.
Q. Will Give Back help the educational foundations in our organizations?
Yes, we will. Please contact us to make a connection to Give Back in your state.