Scholarship Statistics: Market Report & Data

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Understanding the landscape of academic scholarships can be both intriguing and enlightening. The role of scholarships in facilitating students’ educational journeys is immeasurable. They significantly contribute to alleviating financial burdens, promoting diverse academic fields, and recognizing various talents. Our blog today delves into the dense world of scholarship statistics. By digging deep into the trends, the quantum of scholarships awarded, the economic impact, and the beneficiaries, we aim to provide a comprehensive insight into the profound impact these financial aids have on shaping the education sector and our society. Let’s embark on this enlightening journey.

The Latest Scholarship Statistics Unveiled

More than 1.5 million private scholarships worth over $7.4 billion were disbursed in the United States in 2019.

Presenting an insightful landscape of the magnitude of private scholarships in the United States, the statistic that more than 1.5 million private scholarships, totaling over $7.4 billion, were distributed in 2019 underscores the significant role of private entities in supporting education. This massive investment not only illuminates the expansive opportunities for students seeking financial aid but also serves as a barometer of the private sector’s commitment to enhancing educational access and excellence. Hence, amidst the labyrinth of scholarship statistics, this particular figure stands as a beacon, guiding students and educators towards a better understanding of the private scholarship realm.

The United States federal government offered over $2.9 billion in scholarships and grants in 2020.

Reflecting on the sizeable contribution of over $2.9 billion in scholarships and grants offered by the United States federal government in 2020, unveils the compelling landscape of financial support aimed at breaking barriers to education. Amidst a blog post discussing Scholarship Statistics, this remarkable figure emphasizes the government’s pivotal role in fostering access to education, reinventing dreams, and shaping a future rich in opportunities and advancement. More than merely an impressive statistic, it narrates a story of societal upliftment and the pursuit of an intellectual odyssey, powered by financial aid.

Students who win a prestigious scholarship, such as a Rhodes or Marshall, have an undergraduate GPA average of 3.8.

Shining a spotlight on the impressive figure of an average 3.8 GPA among winners of prestigious scholarships like Rhodes or Marshall could serve as an inspirational and informative beacon for aspirants aiming for these awards. Within the realm of a blog post about Scholarship Statistics, this numerical revelation is significant, paving the way for students to gauge the competition level, strategize their academic goals and hardwire their efforts to attaining this high standard for earning esteemed scholarships.

About 20% of students who apply for scholarships do not follow the necessary instructions properly.

Weaving through the fabric of scholarship statistics, we encounter a curious detail that demands further insight – approximately one in five students applying for scholarships strays from the essential instructions. This fact is pivotal, shedding light on possible obstacles between students and their potential financial assistance. It underscores the importance of understanding and adhering to application requirements, hinting at the potential difference between success and disappointment in the procedure. In essence, this percentage is a wakeup call for applicants to embrace thoroughness, thereby boosting their chances of procuring the desired academic aid.

Approximately 58% of all undergraduate students receive scholarships, with an average amount of $3,852 per student.

Illuminating the path towards higher education, the metric reveals that a significant proportion, specifically 58%, of the undergraduate student community, benefits from scholarships. This resonates as the beacon of hope for aspiring scholars and parents worried about hefty college fees. The figure further quantifies the average scholarship amount at $3,852, indicating the substantial reduction in the financial load these grants can provide. Essentially, this statistic offers an encouraging picture to potential students aiming for a university degree, underscoring the extensive support available that can make their academic dreams become an affordable reality.

Only about 0.3% of students receive full-ride scholarships each year in the U.S.

Unveiling the truth behind the shimmering facade of full-ride scholarships, it transpires that a meager 0.3% of students really hit the jackpot each year in the U.S. This poignant datum is crucial to the big picture of scholarship statistics for a blog post, intricately sketching the reality and rarity of utter relief from educational expenses. Engulfed in this numerical nugget is the realization for aspiring applicants that although full-ride scholarships are the ultimate dream, their ephemerality demands a preparedness to explore other financial support avenues and to diversify their scholarship strategies.

In 2019, approximately 31% of all college students earned a scholarship.

The revelation that around 31% of all college students in 2019 received a scholarship substantially paints a snapshot of the current investment in human capital within the educational landscape. It underlines a promising trend in higher education, affirming that a significant fraction of the student population is benefiting from financial aid, lightening the load of education-related expenses. This figure serves as a beacon of hope for prospective students, a testament to the increasing recognition of diverse talents and competencies. Furthermore, it fuels the argument that more can still be done to increase this percentage, making higher education less of a financial burden and more accessible to deserving students. For the reader, whether a prospective student or a policy-maker, this statistic provides a crucial reflection of the scholarship landscape, urging them to engage with it, either as a hopeful beneficiary or a potential influencer of policies.

Among high school students who took the PSAT/NMSQT and met qualifications, only 15,000 out of 1.5 million become National Merit Scholars each year.

Highlighting this specific statistic offers a stark retelling of the sheer competitiveness of the National Merit Scholarship program. The significantly low proportion of successful National Merit Scholars – a mere 1% out of a plethora of students meeting initial qualifications – mirrors the intensity and challenge surrounding this scholarship pursuit. The statistic speaks volumes about high academic standards, exclusive prestige and the high level of competition that comes with such scholarships. This information provides prospective students and parents a realistic perspective on scholarship opportunities, accentuating the importance of diversifying their scholarship search and not limiting to high-profile ones such as the National Merit Scholarship.

About 1 in 8 students in bachelor’s degree programs win private scholarships, at an average of about $4,200 per year.

Delineating the landscape of scholarship statistics, the fact that approximately one out of every eight students in bachelor’s degree programs secures private scholarships, averaging around $4,200 annually, offers illuminating insights. This nugget of information not only quantifies the availability and reach of private scholarships but also accentuates their critical role in attenuating the financial burden of higher education. It underscores the prevalence of such financial aid and encourages students endeavoring to pursue a bachelor’s degree to vigorously explore and apply for these opportunities. It potentially also spurs policy makers and private entities to consider the significant assistance such endowments provide and possibly reevaluate or bolster their scholarship policies or contributions.

As of 2019, among students who applied for scholarships, only about 10% of students received scholarships from organizations outside their intended college.

Delving into the realm of scholarship statistics, the revelation that a mere 10% of students, as of 2019, clinched scholarships from external organizations beyond their intended colleges, paints a compelling picture. It underlines the stiff competition in the quest for financial aid, highlighting a substantial gap wherein a whopping 90% of aspirants are left to rely predominantly on their own colleges for scholarship opportunities. This not only signifies the crucial role colleges play in student financing but also brings to light the importance of intensifying efforts and strategies when applying to independent scholarship organizations, thus giving the readers an accurate roadmap of the prevailing scenario.


Scholarships serve a crucial role in alleviating financial burdens of higher education, allowing those from various backgrounds and financial statuses to pursue their academic dreams. Based on our exploration of scholarship statistics, it’s clear that millions of students benefit annually from these financial aids. However, the disparity in distribution suggests a need for further awareness and opportunities, particularly for minority and low-income students. Understanding these statistics not only sheds light on the current state but also helps us identify areas requiring attention, affirming that efforts to democratize education should continue unimpeded.


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What percentage of college students receive scholarships?

According to NCES data, approximately two-thirds of full-time students in post-secondary education receive some form of financial aid, including scholarships.

Do scholarships impact high school graduation rates?

While there's no direct correlation, scholarships can motivate students to complete high school by providing a financial pathway to further education.

What is the average value of a college scholarship?

This can greatly vary depending on the type of scholarship and the institution. However, in 2019-2020, the average amount of financial aid received by college students, including scholarships and grants, was around $14,940 per student according to College Board.

How many students apply for scholarships each year?

The exact number is hard to quantify due to the number of scholarships available and varying application processes. However, it's estimated that nearly one million scholarships are awarded each year.

What are the odds of winning a scholarship?

This significantly depends on the scholarship in question and the pool of applicants. For smaller, local scholarships, odds can be reasonably good; for large, national scholarships, odds might be lower. It's estimated that about 1 in 8 students win a scholarship, according to a report by CBS News.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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