49 Scholarship Statistics

Discover eye-opening scholarship statistics and facts! Unveil the truth about financial aid, application process, and international opportunities.

Understanding Scholarships

Scholarships play a crucial role in the American tertiary education system, especially considering the rising cost of college. They provide financial support to students, enabling them to pursue their educational goals and alleviate the burden of student loan debt. Understanding the importance of scholarships and the common types available is essential for students seeking financial assistance.

Top 10 Key Statistics

  1. In the 2019-2020 academic year, $41 billion in scholarships was awarded to undergraduate and graduate students in the United States.
  2. The average scholarship amount per student is $3,852.
  3. About 1 in 8 undergraduate students (12%) receive scholarships or grants from their institution.
  4. Private scholarships account for about $7 billion of all scholarship awards each year.
  5. More than half of all scholarship recipients have a family income of less than $50,000 per year.
  6. Women are more likely than men to receive scholarships.
  7. African American and Hispanic/Latino students are more likely to receive scholarships than white or Asian American students.
  8. Scholarships are available for a wide range of activities, including academics, athletics, community service, and artistic talent.
  9. High school seniors received an estimated $3.4 billion in private scholarships during the 2019-2020 academic year.
  10. The number of available scholarships varies widely by state.

Scholarship Statistics and Facts

Gaining insight into scholarship statistics and facts is essential for understanding the landscape of financial aid and its impact on college education. This section explores the rising cost of college, scholarship distribution by source, and common misconceptions about scholarships.

The Rising Cost of College

College costs have been steadily increasing, making scholarships increasingly important for students pursuing higher education. As college expenses rise, more students rely on scholarships to help them complete their education. By understanding the rising cost of college, students can seek out scholarship opportunities to alleviate the financial burden associated with obtaining a degree.

Scholarship Distribution by Source

Scholarships are distributed by various sources, including private organizations, the federal government, institutions, and state and local governments. According to Education Data, private sources provide 32% of the total scholarship and grant amount, followed by the federal government at 30%, institutions at 22%, and state and local governments at 16%. These different sources collaborate to provide financial assistance to students, ensuring that scholarships are accessible from a variety of avenues.

Common Misconceptions about Scholarships

Misconceptions about scholarships abound, leading to confusion among students and their families. Some common misconceptions include the odds of receiving a scholarship, the value of scholarships, and which students receive them based on academic performance and race. It's important to dispel these misconceptions and provide accurate information to help students make informed decisions about pursuing scholarships.

Understanding scholarship statistics and facts is crucial for both students and educational institutions. By recognizing the rising cost of college, the distribution of scholarships by source, and dispelling common misconceptions, individuals can navigate the financial aid landscape more effectively. Scholarships play a significant role in making higher education accessible and affordable, empowering students to pursue their academic goals.

Source: https://educationdata.org/

Scholarship Statistics by Category

Here are some additional statistics about scholarships broken down by category:

Academic Scholarships

  • Academic scholarships accounted for approximately 28% of all scholarship awards in the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • The average amount awarded for an academic scholarship is $2,720.

Athletic Scholarships

  • Athletic scholarships accounted for approximately 2% of all scholarship awards in the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • The average amount awarded for an athletic scholarship is $14,940.

Community Service Scholarships

  • Community service scholarships accounted for approximately 1% of all scholarship awards in the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • The average amount awarded for a community service scholarship is $2,170.

Artistic Talent Scholarships

  • Artistic talent scholarships accounted for approximately 3% of all scholarship awards in the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • The average amount awarded for an artistic talent scholarship is $3,770.

Need-Based Scholarships

  • Need-based scholarships accounted for approximately 60% of all scholarship awards in the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • The average amount awarded for a need-based scholarship is $4,890.

Merit-Based Scholarships

  • Merit-based scholarships accounted for approximately 10% of all scholarship awards in the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • The average amount awarded for a merit-based scholarship is $2,130.

Employer-Sponsored Scholarships

  • Employer-sponsored scholarships accounted for approximately 5% of all scholarship awards in the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • The average amount awarded for an employer-sponsored scholarship is $2,870.

Military Scholarships

  • Military scholarships accounted for approximately 1% of all scholarship awards in the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • The average amount awarded for a military scholarship is $3,480.

Financial Aid and Scholarships in the US

When it comes to financing higher education, scholarships play a crucial role in making college more accessible and affordable. Let's delve into some key statistics and facts regarding financial aid and scholarships in the United States.

Source: https://educationdata.org/

Total Scholarships and Grants Awarded

In the 2019-2020 academic year, over $41 billion in scholarships and grants were awarded to undergraduate students in the United States. This substantial amount of financial aid helps students pursue their educational goals and alleviate the financial burden associated with tuition and other expenses.

Distribution of Undergraduate Student Aid

Scholarships and grants make up 26% of the total undergraduate student aid in the U.S. Federal loans constitute the largest portion at 34%, highlighting the significance of scholarships in reducing student debt and easing the financial strain on students and their families.

Among undergraduate students receiving scholarships or grants, the distribution of aid sources is as follows:

These statistics emphasize the importance of various aid sources in supporting students' educational journeys [2].

Average Scholarship Amount

The average scholarship amount awarded to undergraduate students in the United States is $7,329. This financial support helps offset the costs of tuition, textbooks, and other educational expenses, making college more accessible for students.

It's worth noting that there is variation in scholarship amounts depending on the source and eligibility criteria. On average, scholarships awarded to students in the USA amount to around $4,000 [3].

Unclaimed scholarships are also a significant issue. More than $100 million in scholarship money goes unclaimed each year in the United States because students fail to apply for them. This highlights the substantial amount of financial aid opportunities that are left untapped by students.

Understanding the financial aid and scholarship landscape in the United States is essential for students and their families. By exploring available scholarships and maximizing opportunities for financial assistance, students can minimize the financial burden associated with pursuing a college education.

Scholarship Criteria and Application Process

When pursuing scholarships, it's important for students to understand the criteria and application process involved. Scholarship criteria can vary greatly depending on the organization or institution offering the award. Avoiding common mistakes in scholarship applications is also crucial to increase the chances of success. Additionally, it's worth noting that there are unclaimed scholarship funds each year that students often overlook.

Common Scholarship Criteria

Scholarship criteria serve as a way for organizations to identify deserving recipients. Some common criteria include:

  1. Academic Achievement: Many scholarships require a minimum GPA, often around 3.0 or even 3.5. Some renewable scholarships also require students to maintain a certain GPA annually to continue receiving funds, providing motivation during challenging academic periods.
  2. Financial Need: Financial need is a prevalent criterion, with applicants' families needing to fall below a certain income level. This can be verified through tax documents and payroll stubs, ensuring that scholarships are awarded to those who require financial assistance.
  3. Geographic Boundaries: Some scholarships have geographic restrictions, aiming to benefit students within a specific region. This criterion can help organizations establish networks within the community and potentially benefit from hiring recipients in the future.
  4. Familial Associations: Scholarships may be limited to immediate family members of current employees as an employee benefit. However, setting restrictions that are too stringent can discourage applicants, while scholarships may also be limited to students with no familial association with current employees to maintain equity.
  5. Demographic Considerations: Demographic restrictions are utilized to provide opportunities to marginalized individuals based on the demographics of employees, institutions, or communities. This criterion aims to promote equity and level the playing field for applicants.

Mistakes to Avoid in Scholarship Applications

When applying for scholarships, it's crucial to avoid common mistakes that can lead to disqualification. Some mistakes to be mindful of include:

  • Not Following Directions: Failing to carefully read and follow the scholarship application instructions can result in immediate elimination from consideration. Paying attention to details such as word limits, required documents, and submission deadlines is essential.
  • Missing Deadlines: Timeliness is vital in scholarship applications. Missing the application deadline can render an otherwise strong application invalid. It's important to plan ahead, organize application materials, and submit them before the specified deadline.
  • Lack of Attention to Detail: Simple errors, such as spelling and grammatical mistakes, can create a negative impression. Proofreading the application thoroughly helps to ensure clarity and professionalism.

Unclaimed Scholarship Funds

Surprisingly, a significant amount of scholarship funds go unclaimed each year. More than $100 million in scholarships remains unclaimed because students fail to apply for them. This highlights the importance of actively searching for scholarship opportunities and submitting applications in a timely manner. It's essential for students to explore all available resources, such as online databases, school counselors, and community organizations, to discover scholarship opportunities that align with their qualifications and goals.

By understanding the common scholarship criteria, avoiding application mistakes, and actively seeking out unclaimed scholarship funds, students can increase their chances of securing financial assistance for their education. Diligence, attention to detail, and proactive effort are key when navigating the scholarship application process.


[1]: https://www.thinkimpact.com/scholarship-statistics/

[2]: https://educationdata.org/scholarship-statistics

[3]: https://scholarships360.org/scholarships/common-college-scholarship-requirements-guide/

[4]: https://www.forbes.com/sites/markcperna/2021/11/01/100-million-in-scholarship-money-goes-unclaimed-every-year-does-it-have-to/