What is Scholarship Statistics?

Learn about the 2020 college scholarship statistics, different types of scholarships, eligibility criteria, and more.

Updated by Bhavana Chiriki on 28th October 2020

Scholarships are vital sources of encouragement to budding learners and their respective households, as they bestow financial assistance for their nurture. The scholarship statistics in the last few decades have witnessed an upward curve. These statistics exhibit the relationship between the users and the scholarships, the number of awarded scholarships, the nominees, and more. 

Education is a birthright of every human being. The U.S Department of Education has commemorated 120 years of outstanding service to the nation. It has initiated several programs, financial aid schemes, events, subsidiaries, and more to assist people irrespective of their caste, and creed. 

People have benefitted highly from the myriad initiatives of the Federal Government, as well as local/private organizations. According to the latest statistics, an approximation of 1.7 million scholarships is awarded annually to the most deserving candidates. Scholarships do not necessarily require to be in the field of academics. They may be awarded for exemplary performance in the field of sports or other extra-curricular activities. Here is our take on scholar statistics for the current year.  

What are the scholarship statistics?

In today's expanding world, plenty of opportunities are given in the form of scholarships for both the distinction and needy students. Due to the timely rise in the market for education, it has become difficult for many aspirants to continue their higher education. So to reduce the number of the dropout rate of the worthy learners, the government and various public, as well as private unions, have come with adequate support to meet their financial shortages. There is a wide category of scholarships specifically designed to celebrate the student’s accomplishment(s), and individuality. There are even full-ride scholarships that cover almost all the costs like tuition, books, boarding, and many other basic needs. The number of scholarships, the types, the nominees, the awardees, the timeline, and the governing bodies entails for the scholarship statistics for the particular year. On average a student can get up to a $9,520 scholarship amount. 

Scholarships - What are the different types?

There are plenty of scholarships provided throughout the year. We can categorize scholarships into different elements like merit scholarship for students (who have an outstanding academic history), sports scholarships for students (good at sports), residential scholarships (for students to reside on-campus), travel stipends (can be used by the interns or job applicants who participate in the job interviews), scholarships for minorities (favorable for financially backward students), scholarships for women, unusual scholarships (for people who are leading in other talents or students who qualify unique scholarship exams), and community service scholarship (for volunteers who have experience in community service). All these scholarships hold the common dictum of uplifting the quality of life for students. 

1. Academic scholarship or merit scholarship statistics

Academic scholarship is for meritorious students or students with a good GPA in the range of 3.5 or above. The average annual merit scholarship is around $5000. The financial situation doesn't matter when it comes to merit scholarship; it is given as a token of appreciation for the work achieved.

There is an exam called the National Merit Scholarship Program. It is recommended to participate in this exam because the reward offered by this program is $2500, which can be instrumental in alleviating issues pertaining to substantial financial assistance. To grab this opportunity, you need to write PSAT/ NMSQT in the month of October. According to a report, 1.5 million students take this exam every year. In 2020, there are 16,000 semifinalists among 1.5 million students. So if you want it, work for it! Here are the top educational institutions which provide massive merit scholarships; they are - 

2. Sports scholarship

The sports scholarship is allotted to a talented sportsperson based on their performance at the state/ district/ national level. There is a particular category of reservation for sports in most of the institutions. Few private institutions even provide free boarding within their college under the condition of practicing sport every day in their college. There are scholarships for nearly every sport. But the popular sports which can get scholarships are lacrosse, ice hockey, baseball, and soccer. To acquire these scholarships, a student will need to be nominated by their school officials. 

3. Residential or housing scholarship

Residential scholarships are allocated to students based on their financial needs and academic performance. It is for students who come from an economically backward sector. Based on the student's identity, they are provided with free boarding. But colleges provide this facility based on the funds they receive. Few private organizations administer funds for housing, based on FAFSA, state awards, institutional awards, emergence housing like catholic charities, voucher programs, and public housing.

4. Travel stipends 

This travel expense stipend is for educational committees, out-of-state and global internships, study abroad programs, and student exchange programs. This stipend is purely for career purposes. This type of allowances can be used by intern students who travel from one place to another for work motive. The total expense during traveling will be provided by the organization or union.

5. Scholarship for minorities 

Minority scholarships cater to the interests of socio-economically backward communities. The communities which come under minority grounds are African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic and Latinos, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and few other communities. Education has molded into a tasking affair for these economically backward groups. Members of the LGBTQ community undergo continuous discrimination which hinders their progress in a plethora of fields including education. 

These scholarships can cover the costs of books, residential life, and even tuition. Minority scholarships are not just limited to education bodies, you can avail of these scholarships by applying to different private/public/government organizations. There are several scholarships accessible to minority groups, here are a few scholarships -

  • The Ron Brown Scholarship

  • David J. Stern Scholarship Program

  • Haz La U Program

  • Scholarships for LGBTQ

  • Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship Award

  • African American Scholarships

  • Hispanic/ Latino Scholarships

  • American Indian/Native American Scholarships

  • Asian/Pacific Islander Scholarships

  • AAIA Scholarships

  • ABA Diversity Scholarship

  • ACHE Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

  • ACS Scholars Program

  • Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

  • African American Network of the Carolinas

  • Against The Grain Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship

  • ALA - LITA/LSSI Scholarship

  • American Indian Nurse Scholarship Awards

  • American Library Association Spectrum Scholarship

  • AMS Minority Scholarships

  • APA Judith McManus Price Scholarship

  • APIASF General Scholarship Program

6. Scholarship for women

It is said that “when you educate women then you are surely educating a nation”. There are numerous government and private scholarships for women and girls at different education levels. The Federal Government has initiated several scholarships and financial aid schemes for women in the country. It is a good opportunity for women who have discontinued their studies because of insufficient funds and wanted to restart their careers. As a woman, it will be even easier to find scholarships because there are different private, and public agencies that specifically extend opportunities to uplift the condition of female education within the country. So all you need to do is to make enough time to apply for scholarships in an organized manner. Few scholarships for women are - 

  • Nidec Motor Corporation Engineering Scholarship

  • AMWA Medical Education Scholarship

  • Live Your Dream Award

  • Women in Skilled Trades Scholarship

  • P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

  • Elizabeth and Barets O. Benjamin Scholarship

  • UTI Foundation Brienne Davis Scholarship

  • Girl Scout Leadership Award - Cottey College

  • Lowell L. Bryan Scholarship

  • Ida Gerber Memorial Scholarship

7. Unusual or weird scholarship

The unusual scholarship is offered to students with unique talents. There are several scholarships for students with unique talents, which are otherwise not recognized by the (other) generic financial aid schemes. There are miscellaneous scholarships that reward for rare and extraordinary skills. These categories of scholarships are mostly conducted to encourage students with unique, ‘unusual’ talents. There is a ‘weird’ scholarship called "Little People Of America", and it is for people under the height of 4'10. There are scholarships for creative ideas, lyrical skills, zombie attacks (if ever), and many more. So remember, if you have an unusual talent, you can apply for one of these unusual scholarships. Here are a few unusual scholarships - 

  • Annual Fruit Shoot Contest 

  • The Parapsychology Foundation Eileen J.

  • Remove Warts Fast Scholarship

  • Scholarship Addicts Scholarship

  • Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship 

  • Annabella InPower Dream Big Scholarship

  • SHPE Undergraduate Scholarship

  • Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Inc. Founders Fund Scholarship

  • The Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarships

  • The Kor Memorial Scholarship

  • American Quarter Horse Association Scholarships

  • Left-Handed Scholarship

8. Community service scholarship 

Volunteering in a particular community can lead to community service scholarships. Active participation and contribution in the community by helping those around them may impress philanthropist scholar providers, and lead to the awarding of community service scholarships. The good you do, the better you get. It has been rightly coined "we rise by lifting others".

If you volunteer in your community, you could be eligible for significant scholarship money for higher education. Many foundations and organizations are trying to find students with a record of service in their community. Here is a list of a few community service scholarships available-

  • AXA Achievement Scholarship

  • Brower Youth Awards

  • Bonner Leader Program

  • Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship

  • Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

  • DoSomething.org Easy Scholarships

  • Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

  • Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

  • Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

  • Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program

  • Princeton Prize in Race Relations

  • GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program

  • Young Women in Public Affairs Award

Eligibility Criteria to win Scholarships

As quoted by Jim Rohn, “the stronger the why, the easier the how becomes”. So when you write a scholarship essay make sure to give a proper reason why you need the scholarship and why you deserve it. The eligibility criteria for scholarships are based on the kind of scholarship the applicant chooses. It is different from one scholarship to another. It depends on the terms and conditions of the scholarships. A primary criterion for the scholarship is exceptional performance in the field (pertaining to the scholarship). The student is generally required to be a citizen of the nation. The following paints a general picture of the eligibility criteria for various scholarships.

  • For merit scholarship, the applicant must be in the top 1 percent of meritorious students. The terms and conditions like gender and nationality may apply

  • For sports scholarship, the applicant should be a regular bonafide student of the US government

  • The student should be a citizen of the USA

  • The applicant must not have any criminal record

  • For FAFSA based scholarships, the student must come from a financially backward family 

  • For minority scholarships, the student must demonstrate tangible evidence of his/her racial/ethnic background

  • Few scholarships demand the applicant to be a high-school graduate

Application procedure for scholarships 

For certain scholarships, we can directly apply online. Few scholarships also extend a provision for offline application. The application requires multiple conditions to be fulfilled. The application process differs from scholarship to scholarship. The basic requirements include personal details, uploading of official identification, financial documents, submission of essays (wherever required),  test scores, extracurricular achievements, and any other supporting documentation.

The applicant must scrutinize through the application guidance (if provided), formulate all accomplishments, examining the deadline, student login, update the personal details, fill the form with sufficient evidence, and recheck before submission. It is always favorable to attach a letter of recommendation. 

How are scholarships granted?

Many students apply for the scholarships, but only a few of them receive them. If it is easy, everyone will get it, and the process is typically competitive. The odds of students winning the scholarship differs according to the student characteristics such as grades, test scores, the field of study, and race. These scholarships stem from a variety of sources, including clubs, organizations, charities, foundations, businesses, colleges, and universities, the government, and individuals. The best way to get a scholarship in college is by optimal performance in any field of work - academics or extracurricular. The applicant must qualify the eligibility criteria. Further, the candidate is examined based on his/her performance, the provided evidence as a testimony of his/her credibilities, letter(s) of recommendation, socio-economic status, and more. Sometimes, the student may also be required to participate in live competitions to demonstrate his/her attributes. 

How many students receive scholarships yearly?

According to a recent report by the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, only one out of 10 undergraduate aspirants can obtain a scholarship for a scholar degree. Even with good grades, only 19% of students can qualify for receiving scholarships given by the college. For every individual year, they get 1.7 million scholarships worth $7.4 billion.

How to contact the organization for scholarships?

The easiest way to know about the scholarships and the administering organization is by doing adequate analysis on the internet through various websites. In that way, it will be easier to find a suitable scholarship organization. You may also visit the official websites for these scholarships, contact the scholarship board, consult with your school advisor, or approach a family member (to help you out). 

Not enough? You may visit our college scholarships directory

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