Mind-blowing Scholarship Stats for 2021

A scholarship can be defined as an amount of money given to a student in order to help them pay for their studies. Most scholarships are merit based, or in other words, awarded to students due to their extraordinary academic or athletic achievements. 

The latest scholarship stats include vital pieces of information for future college applicants, as this type of financial aid, along with grants, doesn’t need to be repaid. Student loans, on the other hand, need to be paid off with interest. 

We have compiled a list consisting of the most important questions regarding these statistics.

Fascinating Scholarship Facts and Stats (Editor’s Pick)

  • The average scholarship is worth $7,400.
  • Only 0.2% of students got $25,000 or more in scholarships per year.
  • The NCAA awards more than $3.6 billion in athletics scholarships annually.
  • Only 1.3% of athletes receive a full or partial athletic scholarship

General Scholarship Statistics

How many types of scholarships are there?

Scholarships can be grouped into three different categories:

  1. Merit based scholarships, which can be:

1) Academic – for candidates with exceptional academic performance.

2) Athletic – for candidates with athletic skills.

3) Artistic – for candidates talented in arts.

  1. Need based scholarships – for candidates from low-income families.
  2. Scholarships for minorities and other groups – based on personal, social, or demographic criteria, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, family associations, place of origin, medical history, etc. 

What are the most common scholarships?

The most common types of scholarships are merit based, mostly on academic or athletic achievement. To qualify for an academic scholarship, the applicant must have a high GPA, a high score on standardized tests like the SAT and GRE, and other measurable academic achievement.

Exceptional athletes applying for athletic scholarships also need to have a good academic background. Other factors that can influence a candidate’s chance of receiving a scholarship are age restrictions. 

What percentage of people get scholarships?

It seems that for most students, financial aid is much welcomed. According to the 2015–16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:16), 63.3% of undergraduate students received a certain type of grant. This includes grants, scholarships, or tuition waivers from federal, state, institutional, or private sources, including employers. The percentage of graduate students who received a grant is 40.3%. The NPSAS:16 sample consisted of about 89,000 undergraduate and 24,000 graduate students. 

How much is the average scholarship worth?

According to the same study, the average grant received by an undergraduate student is $7,400. The average amount received by a graduate student is higher -$9,500. A different source grouped the average amount awarded, depending on where the money came from. However, according to the book Secrets to Winning a Scholarship by Mark Kantrowitz, the average scholarship amount per student is $2,800 a year.

Where did this money come from?

According to an infographic on scholarships made by Fluid Review, in the school year 2010/2011, $49 billion were awarded in scholarships.

Federal, state, and local government sources provided $46 billion. Private companies, foundations and civic groups provided $3 billion.
To put into perspective how the money was divided between students:

  • 48% of students received money from federal scholarships.
  • 36% of students received money from scholarships provided by private companies, foundations, and civic groups.
  • 31% of students received money from state and/or local government scholarships.
How the money was divided between students

Regarding funding, there are some surprising scholarship statistics. Namely, the fast food and soft drink industry provided $.5.5 million in scholarship funds.

Each year these companies give students in the USA the following amount of money:

  • $3 million are given by Coca Cola.
  • $1 million is given by KFC.
  • $1 million is also given by Dr. Pepper.
  • $500 thousand are given by McDonalds.

These companies make $15 billion in profits combined. The amount they give away represents a tiny 0.3% of their profits.

What percentage of students get a full ride scholarship?

If you are a future college applicant hoping to get a full ride scholarship, we regret to inform you that the odds aren’t in your favour. It seems that only 0.2% of students got $25,000 or more in scholarships per year. 

The aforementioned Mark Kantrowitz analyzed data from the 2015-16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) and found the following scholarship stats:

  • 1.5% of students in bachelor’s degree programs got enough scholarships and grants to cover 100% of the cost of attendance.
  • 2.7% got enough to cover 90% of the cost of attendance.
  • 5.9% got enough to cover 75% of the cost of attendance.
  • 18.8% received enough to cover 50% of the cost of attendance.

Is there financial aid for minorities and other groups?

Scholarship stats show that each year a significant amount of money is awarded to students based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.

There are numerous scholarships targeted at women, Native Americans, veterans, students from the LGBT community, and students belonging to a minority.

It seems that scholarships are equally distributed between sexes: 59% of recipients are female and 41% are male.

According to scholarship statistics by race, only 38% of the recipients are minority students, and 62% are white students.

Distribution by Race and Sex

Students who are at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino can receive awards between $500 and $5,000 from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. In order to qualify, they need a GPA of 3.00 or higher.

The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) has 13 scholarship programs. Their sponsors have awarded $80 million in grants since 2003.

The Blacks At Microsoft (BAM) scholarship gives $5,000 to students of African descent who have an interest in technology.

College Athletic Scholarships Facts

How are athletic scholarships divided?

The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) groups colleges and universities into three groups and supplies some funds that schools offer to their students.  

  1. Division I – colleges and universities with the most competitive athletic programs.
  2. Division II – smaller colleges and universities with less competitive programs.
  3. Division III – colleges and universities that are more academically focused yet still offer academic opportunities.

How much is the average athletic scholarship worth?

The NCAA awards more than $3.6 billion in athletics scholarships annually to over 180,000 student-athletes.

Students could receive financial aid in the following forms:

  • Full ride scholarship
  • Partial scholarship
  • Tuition and fees scholarship
  • Room and board scholarship

The actual amount awarded depends on the school’s cost of attendance; however, the percentage of expenses covered will be the same.

The average athletic scholarship amount is around $17,142 per student. However, not every student receives this much. Most athletes are awarded around $5,000. 

What percentage of students receive athletic scholarships?

Skilled athletes should consider having a backup plan when it comes to paying for college. Only around 2% of high school athletes are awarded some sort of an athletic scholarship. Compared to what percentage of students get scholarships in general, the number is very low. 

How many students receive a full ride athletic scholarship?

If only around 2% of high school athletes receive a certain type of scholarship, then we can only assume that the number of athletes receiving a full ride is less than 1%. To be exact, 1.3% receive a full or partial scholarship according to statistics from the NCAA. If we look at academic scholarships vs athletic scholarships statistics, college applicants have a higher chance of receiving aid based on academic merit. 

How to increase your chances of receiving an athletic scholarship?

Having outstanding athletic performance is not the only deciding factor. While it can be considered the most important one, there are other ways to increase your chances of getting a college sport scholarship.

For instance, choosing the right sport can boost your chances of receiving financial aid. Some of the easiest sports scholarships to get are those aimed at track and field athletes. Playing a second sport also increases your chances significantly. 

That being said, there are some age restrictions, too. Applicants need to be between the ages of 17 and 24 in order to receive an official license for playing sports at college or university level.

Of course, maintaining a high GPA should be a top priority for high school students, as academic achievement is also taken into consideration. Committees need to select applicants with good grades, as there is a limit on the scholarships they can award.

According to scholarship statistics from 2018 regarding the amount of scholarships that schools can award, the maximum number is usually no more than 30 students per sport. 

What are your chances of getting a soccer scholarship?

In the school year 2018-19, there are 493,631 male high school soccer players and 410,526 female high school soccer players. In the same school year, the number of male college soccer players is 40,233, and the number of female college soccer players stands at 39,520.

According to scholarship stats, soccer teams in Division I get around a dozen scholarships per year. The women’s team gets 14, and the men’s team gets 10 scholarships. 

However, these are the maximum scholarships allowed, so the number may be smaller if the school has budget limits. The percentage of male high school soccer players who compete the NCAA Division 1 level is only 1.3%. 

What are the baseball scholarship stats?

There are only around 5,400 scholarships for college baseball players.

Division I schools have a limit of maximum 11.7 scholarships per year. These scholarships can be divided between a maximum number of 27 players. The players need to receive a minimum of 25% scholarship. Division II schools offer an even lower number of scholarships, with a limit of maximum nine scholarships per year. 

Getting a full ride baseball scholarship is very rare. Coaches usually divide the amount between their players, giving them a partial scholarship. 

What are the golf scholarship stats?

Much like baseball, golf is an equivalency sport. This means that coaches split the amount of money intended for scholarships between players. Likewise, a full ride scholarship for a golf player is rare. 

In the school year 2018-19, there is an estimated amount of 169,367 male high school golf players and 96,577 female high school golf players. At college level, there are 12,223 male golfers and 7,306 female golfers. 

If we look at statistics, scholarships in 2019 for golf players weren’t plentiful. Division I schools have a maximum limit of 4.5 scholarships for male players per team and a maximum limit of 6 scholarships for female players per team. There are 298 male teams with an average team size of 10 golf players and 266 female teams with an average team size of 8 golf players. 

What are the volleyball scholarship statistics

In the school year 2018-19, there are 476,640 female high school volleyball players, and 66,908 male high school volleyball players. At college level, the number of female volleyball players is 27,582. The number of male college volleyball players is 3,192.

Division I schools have a maximum limit of 12 scholarships for female players per team. The maximum limit of scholarships for male players per team is 4.5.

Volleyball is considered a headcount sport, so all of the student athletes will get a full ride scholarship.

How many track scholarships are given each year?

In the school year 2018-19, there are 600,097 male track and field athletes, and 488,592 female track and field athletes. At college level, there are 33,013 male track and field athletes, and 32,026 female track and field athletes. 

There are 287 male track and field teams, and 338 female track and field teams. The average team size is 34 players for the male teams, and 33 players for the female teams. Division I schools have a maximum limit of 12.6 scholarships for men, and 18 for women. 

Does track offer full ride scholarships?

Most track and field scholarships are partial. Coaches usually divide the amount of money available among players, in order to increase the number of top athletes in their team. 

Full ride track and field scholarships are considered to be very rare. The deciding factor for offering a scholarship is how big of an impact a potential scholarship candidate can have on the team. 

Are Scholarship Stats in Your Favor?

Most scholarships offered don’t cover the full costs of going to college. Less than 2% can actually cover all of the expenses incurred by going to college, while the rest of them have a fraction of the cost covered. 

What’s more, the competition for academic and athletic scholarships is fierce, and the requirements are strict. The percentage of students getting scholarships is small, and the percentage of students receiving enough financial aid is even smaller. Keeping in mind what percentage of students get scholarships, 2018 statistics show 45% of students graduated with an alarming average student loan debt