How Many Scholarships Are There In the US

Do you want to know how many scholarships are there in the US? Colleges in the United States are not becoming any less expensive.

As costs continue to grow, students are seeking new ways to reduce the expense of their college education. Scholarships are very important in the United States.

Every year, more than 1.7 million scholarships are offered, and 58% of families in the United States use them to help pay for college.

Scholarships are an essential component of modern college education in the United States.

I’ve compiled a comprehensive overview of the most recent scholarship information, including who receives scholarships, how many are awarded, and who is most likely to obtain them.

How Many Scholarships Are There In the US

Every year, more than 1.7 million scholarships are awarded. The Pell Grant is the largest government scholarship fund, providing financial aid to 7.5 million students each year.

Important scholarship statistics

Scholarships come in many different types.

Depending on the degree and curriculum you’re seeking, there are numerous scholarships available to apply for.

These are the important scholarship facts you should know:

  • Every year, 58% of US families use scholarships to help them pay for college.
  • Over 1.7 million scholarships are provided every year.
  • The largest government scholarship fund is the Pell Grant, which provides financial support to 7.5 million students annually.
  • The U.S. Department of Education awards an estimated $46 billion in yearly scholarship assistance.
  • 16% of students receive governmental scholarships, while 13% receive private scholarships.
  • Annually, over 1.58 million scholarships are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Only one in eight college students receives a scholarship.
  • 97% of students who get scholarships receive less than $2,500.
  • Only 0.2% of students obtain scholarships valued at $25,000 or more.
  • Only about 0.1% of students receive full-ride scholarships (education and living expenses).

An ordinary high school student can have the qualifications for up to 50 to 100 scholarships they just don’t realize it.

As can be seen, many students and families in the United States get educational scholarships.

However, there are very few full-ride scholarships that cover all expenses.

Scholarship Recipient Statistics

Who is most likely to get a scholarship in the United States?

GPA (grade point average) can significantly impact the likelihood of receiving a scholarship. But it’s not as serious as you believe.

Here’s a chart of scholarships awarded vs. students’ GPAs:

Student’s GPA Percentage of students awarded scholarships
3.5 to 4.0 4%
3.0 to 3.4 30%
Lower than 2.4 5%

30% of all scholarships in the United States are offered to students with a GPA of 3.0 to 3.4.

Only 4% of scholarships go to students with a GPA of 3.5 to 4.

Grades, while important, are not everything. Better grades do not indicate you are more likely to receive a scholarship.

However, when it comes to private scholarships, this is not always true.

Over 66% of students with higher-than-average SAT and ACT scores earn private scholarships. This means that if you want to receive a scholarship at a private college, you must maintain good grades.

STEM topics in school can also help you get a college scholarship.

STEM stands for:

STEM subjects include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Being a STEM student simply implies that you select these topics in school.

17% of STEM students receive scholarships, compared to 12.1% of non-STEM students. Focusing on STEM at school improves your chances of winning a scholarship.

Over 33% of all private scholarships in the United States are awarded to STEM students.

Demographic Statistics on Scholarships

White students are more likely to receive scholarships than minorities.

However, the percentages are now more balanced than they were previously.

Ethnicity Chances Of Getting a Scholarship
White Students 14.2%
Minority Students 11.2%

A white student’s chances of receiving a scholarship are 14.2%, compared to 11.2% for minority students.

These scholarship statistics demonstrate that simply being white increases your chances of receiving a scholarship by 3%.

Of course, other factors influence the total outcome.

When these statistics are broken down by minority students alone, it becomes a little more interesting:

Ethnic Background Chances Of Getting a Scholarship
Black Students 11.4%
Hispanic Students 9.1%
Asian Students 10.5%

Black students are the most likely to receive a scholarship, with 11.4%. This is followed by Hispanic students (9.1%) and Asian students (10.5%).

How about income?

Students from middle-income families earn 13.8% of scholarships, compared to 10.6% from lower-income families. Only 8% of scholarships are offered to families with higher incomes.

Surprisingly, being from a middle-income family improves your chances of winning a scholarship.

Private school students are also significantly more likely to receive private college scholarships.

10% of kids who attend a private school receive an average scholarship at a private institution of $2,631. In comparison, only 3% of public school students receive scholarships to private institutions valued at an average of $3,463.

These data may not represent the whole story, as 91% of kids in the United States attend public schools and only 9% attend private schools.

Because public schools have significantly more students, the percentage will be much lower based only on this reason.

Statistics on the chances of receiving a scholarship

So far, we have just looked at specific data from various populations.

But what are your odds of obtaining a scholarship overall?

Only one in every eight pupils is likely to earn a scholarship. That means the average chance of receiving a scholarship is only 12.5%. And this does not imply that all costs are paid.

Only 0.2% of all students in the United States win a scholarship greater than $25,000.

Full-ride scholarships are offered to approximately 0.1% of all students, while full-tuition scholarships are awarded to only 1.5%.

While receiving a scholarship is doable, gaining a full ride is extremely challenging.

Very few students accepted to bachelor’s programs in the United States have enough money to afford their expenses.

Bachelor Program Scholarships Costs Covered
5% 100%
7% 90%
9% 75%
8% 50%
71% Less than 50%

Only 5% of bachelor’s program students received enough scholarship assistance to cover the full cost of their degree. 7% of students received enough to cover around 90% of the fees, while 9% received enough funds to cover 75%.

A further 8% of students received enough money to cover half of the expenses.

Everyone else in a bachelor’s program earned either nothing or scholarships that paid less than half of their fees.

Statistics for private scholarships

Private scholarships are among the most sought-after.

They are also the hardest to obtain.

In 2021, private institutions offered scholarships totaling more than $7.4 billion.

In 2003, private institutions provided only $3.3 billion in scholarships.

This indicates that private college scholarships increased by approximately $4.1 billion over 18 years. This trend is projected to continue.

However, not all private scholarships are awarded by the college itself.

  • Scholarships are available from several organizations and firms, including the Miss America Foundation, which offers up to $12,000 per student for college.
  • Every year, the United Negro College Fund funds more than 400 scholarships.
  • The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation’s largest scholarship is worth $20,000.00.

Each company and organization offers scholarships based on a variety of criteria.

In recent years, scholarships for women have been prioritized.

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) will grant 330 scholarships in 2022. The total value of these 330 scholarships was $1,700,000 for the year.

The Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) provides scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per year for up to four years.

All of them are exclusively supplied to students attending private colleges.

Statistics on Public Scholarships

The Department of Education is the largest giver of scholarships to American families.

They have the longest track record of continuously delivering scholarship funding and have a dedicated budget for scholarships only.

How large is the Department of Education’s budget?

$46 billion.

According to experts, the United States Department of Education provides scholarships to families worth approximately $46 billion. Scholarship funding is provided for a variety of reasons, and it is not limited to the highest-achieving students.

For example:

Pell Grants are allocated to low-income families.

To qualify for a Pell Grant scholarship, the student’s family must earn less than $25,000 per year. The average Pell Grant scholarship for undergraduate studies is $4,418 per year.

However, not all grants and scholarships are completely government-funded.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is intended exclusively for undergraduate students with significant financial needs.

The FSEOG offers scholarships ranging from $100 to $4,000 each year, depending on the student’s financial situation.

However, there is a catch for institutions that participate in the funding scheme.

FSEOG mandates schools participating in the program to donate 25% of the total grant money. The government works with schools to provide financial assistance to students in need.

This has been a successful scholarship program, allowing thousands of youngsters to attend college.

The most common kind of scholarships

You now understand the size of the scholarship market and who is most likely to receive scholarships.

The scholarship statistics below describe the most prevalent types of scholarships and what it takes to obtain them.

1. Statistics for merit scholarships

Merit-based scholarships are awarded to students based solely on their achievements in a specific field. This can include.

Academic gifts.
Test scores
Extracurricular activities.

Other exceptional factors.

Most institutions offer merit-based scholarships to attract brilliant and gifted students. These kinds of scholarships are often the most valuable.

From 2007 to 2008, 14% of students won merit scholarships. Students received an average of $4,700 each.

From 2019 to 2020, 22% of undergraduates won merit-based scholarships.

So, which types of colleges offer the most merit-based grants and scholarships?

Private colleges.

Merit scholarships were awarded to 25% of students attending private colleges.

This is in stark contrast to the 18% of students in public colleges who receive the same type of grant.

This makes logical, right?

Selective colleges are often more concerned with the types of students they accept and the outcomes of those students. The more selective the college, the more financial help it will offer.

It just turns out that private universities are more selective than public colleges.

What more?

Scholarships were awarded by 56% of moderately selective colleges and only 28% of less selective colleges.

35% of highly selective colleges used merit-based scholarships as their major scholarship program.

Interestingly, 24% of Southeast institutions offer merit scholarships to top students.

The main takeaway here is:

If you want to earn a scholarship to a more selective college, the best way to achieve so is through merit.

2. Athletic Scholarships

Sport is huge in the United States.

And elite institutions are constantly striving to lure the brightest students to their athletic programs. However, athletic scholarships are less prevalent than you believe.

Athletic scholarships are available to fewer than 2% of high school student-athletes. This means that if you want to be considered for an athletic scholarship, you must rank in the top 2% of your sport.

However, if you receive an athletic scholarship…

It pays well.

The NCAA Divisions I and II alone offer more than $3.1 billion in athletic scholarships each year. The majority of the scholarships are full-ride.

Male sports in the United States have the highest number of athletic scholarships. Here’s a breakdown:

Male Sports NCCA Scholarships Available
Football 27,304
Track & Cross 12,271
Basketball 9,510
Baseball 8,189
Soccer 6,368

Male athletes will have more options for scholarships. However, this does not imply that institutions do not grant scholarships to women.

Here are the most recent scholarship data on how many scholarships are available for female athletes:

Female Sports NCCA Scholarships Available
Track & Cross 16,620
Basketball 10,222
Soccer 9,870
Golf 3,544
Tennis 4,362

There are still a considerable number of sporting scholarships available for women. Track and cross, for example, have more scholarships available to women than males.

But what are the scholarships worth?

For male students, the athletic scholarships with the highest average financial support are:

Male Sports NCCA Average Financial Scholarship
Basketball $38,246
Football (bowl subdivision) $36,070
Ice Hockey $31,756
Football (championship subdivision) $20,706
Skiing $20,275

Basketball has the largest financial scholarships, with an average of $38,246.

Football ranks second with an average of 36,070, however, this varies greatly depending on the subdivision.

What about the female students?

Here is the maximum average financial amount from NCAA athletic scholarships for females:

Female Sports NCCA Average Financial Scholarship
Ice Hockey $41,693
Gymnastics $40,172
Basketball $36,758
Tennis $32,630
Volleyball $31,138

Ice hockey offers the greatest average financial support of any NCAA sporting program for female students, at $41,693. Gymnastics has the second-highest average financial scholarship, at $40,172.

Different athletic associations provide varying amounts of scholarships.

The NCAA Division I is the sporting association with the greatest maximum scholarships. They give 74,243 total scholarships, followed by the NJCAA with 41,195.

NCAA Division II awards 36,343 athletic scholarships, while NAIA offers 25,778.

3. Scholarship Statistics: Need-Based

The most common type of scholarship is need-based.

However, they differ significantly for many reasons, the most important of which is your financial situation rather than your particular abilities.

It is possible to get both a need-based and merit/athletic scholarship.

37% of students got a need-based scholarship from 2007 to 2008. Students received an average of $4000 apiece.

Today, 16% of beneficiaries were need-based, while 18% earned merit-based scholarships. Times have evolved, and need-based scholarships are now less common than merit-based scholarships.

Need-based scholarships totaled more than $8.8 billion across the United States.

California has one of the highest need-based scholarship expenditures in the nation.

They alone provide need-based scholarships worth more than $1.8 billion. This represents a 37.2% increase since they initially provided this type of assistance.

However, not all states grant college scholarships for students who require financial assistance.

Georgia and New Hampshire have invested exactly zero dollars in need-based scholarships since 2012.

So, if you need financial aid for education, these are not the places to look.

Final Thoughts

That concludes the newest scholarship numbers.

Most “scholarships” are financial help.

Less than 2% of all scholarships are awarded to help students pay for education. It’s even less if you include living expenses.

But the good news is that there are many scholarships available.

And not all of them are based on your merit or skills. The United States Department of Education gives a large amount of scholarship funds to students in need.

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