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27 Stunning Scholarships Stats You Should Know in 2020

College can be very expensive and get you in serious student debt you’ll carry around for years. So, one of the best ways to get through is to apply for a scholarship. This financial stimulation is reserved for outstanding athletes, high achieving students, volunteers or members of certain demographics. 


There are plenty of ways to earn a scholarship. We decided to help you out by gathering the latest scholarship stats, which can come in handy when considering this opportunity.

Fascinating Scholarship Statistics (Editor’s Picks)

  • $7.4 billion in scholarships is awarded each year.
  • 1.7 million scholarships and fellowships are awarded every year.
  • 82% of college students got some aid in 2018-2019.
  • There were 526,000 scholarships available in 1989-1990.
  • Only 1.5% of undergraduates got scholarships that covered 100% of attendance costs.
  • The NCAA awards more than $2.9 billion in athletic scholarships annually.
  • 10% of applicants get the NHSC scholarship each year.

General Scholarship Stats

1. There are more than $7.4 billion awarded through scholarships each year.

Source: SavingForCollege

Plenty of funds are available, and a lot of students can get a piece of them. This money is usually awarded by big corporations, philanthropists, and foundations dedicated to education development. 

2. 1.7 million scholarships and fellowships are awarded every year.

Source: SavingForCollege

After getting informed about the total amount of available scholarships, it is good to know that 1.7 million students can get this aid every year. This means that the average amount is somewhere around $4353 per year.  Keep in mind that the average scholarship for undergraduates and other students can vary.

3. $9,520 is an average scholarship amount undergraduates can win.

Source: Investopedia

As mentioned above, the average grant amount can vary a lot depending on location, students’ age, foundations’ policies, and other factors. According to the College Board’s “Trends in College Pricing 2019” report, $9,520 was the average scholarship amount per student for 2018-2019.

Before applying, every student should conduct thorough research in order to find the solution that works best for them. 

4. 82% of college students got some aid in 2018-2019.

Source: Investopedia

Most people think that once you get the scholarship, you have a free ride in college. This is not true since most of the students who apply for grants usually get them, and that means that the amount they got won’t cover all the expenses. In case you’re wondering what percentage of students get scholarships, the answer is 82% in 2018-2019.

5. 97% of scholarship recipients get less than $2,500.

Source: SavingForCollege

While grants, fellowships, and scholarships can be very high, most students won’t get a free ride through college. Less than 1% of high achieving athletes and students can get a golden ticket.

6. 12.7% of bachelor degree holders will receive a scholarship.

Source: SavingForCollege

According to college scholarship statistics, educational levels can affect the likeliness of getting the scholarship. 12.7% of Bachelors get the funds, compared to 4.4% of those with an Associate’s Degree and 3.1% of Certificate holders. 

7. There were 526,000 scholarships available in 1989-1990.

Source: SavingForCollege

We already know how many scholarships are given each year (around 1.7 million), which is a much bigger number than it was back in 1989-1990. This rising trend is pretty constant through the years and it is following the rise of education expenses. 

8. Only 1.5% of undergraduates got scholarships that cover 100% of attendance costs

Source: SavingForCollege

As mentioned above, the scholarship will rarely cover all student’s costs. According to scholarships statistics gathered during 2015-2016, only 1.5% of Bachelor degree holders were able to cover all 100% of attendance costs. This means that relying only upon the scholarship to go through college is not realistic. 

9. 2.7% of bachelor holders cover 90% of attendance costs.

Source: SavingForCollege

Every student should bear in mind that another source of income will be needed to go through college smoothly. Additionally, scholarship statistics tell us 5.9% covered 75%, and 18.8% got enough money to take care of 50% of the cost of attendance. 

10. 17% of students with a 3.5 or higher GPA will win a scholarship.

Source: SavingForCollege

According to academic scholarship statistics, the best chance of getting a scholarship is to be a good student. Students with high grades are more likely to receive grants or scholarships, and 17% of them manage to do it. 

The GPA is not the only factor considered for getting a scholarship. Your chances can be improved or impaired based on your field of study, race, or personal traits.

11. 1,581 million scholarships were available in 2015-2016, college scholarships statistics reveal.

Source: SavingForCollege

If we want to know how many academic scholarships are given each year, we should revisit the data mentioned above. We already know that 1.7 million scholarships are available every year. Of course, this number has been increasing over the years.

During 2015-2016, there were 1,581 million available scholarships, and in 1989-1990, only 526,000. 

12. $3,852 was the average scholarship in 2015-2016.

Source: SavingForCollege

Once again we should take a look at the previous text in order to find out the average academic scholarship amount. This number was also been changing through the years, and it was at $just $3,852 in 2015-2016, compared to $9.520 in 2018-2019. Keep in mind that these numbers are applicable to undergraduates.  

During 2015-2016, bachelor degree holders received $4,202 on average.

13. You need at least a 2.0 GPA to apply for an athletic scholarship.

Source: Athletic Scholarships

If you’re trying to find out what is the minimum GPA for an athletic scholarship, you should note that 2.0 GPA is what you need to apply. Besides that, you’ll need to do well on the SAT. 

For instance:

If you have a 2.0 GPA, you’ll need to score 1010 on the math and critical reading. Besides SAT, you can also take the ACT, in which case you’ll need 86 combined points from math, English, reading, and science.

14. If you have a 3.5 GPA, you’ll need only 400 on the SAT.

Source: Athletic Scholarships

All students with 3.5 GPA or higher will need to score 400 on the SAT, and that’s the answer to the question of how to get athletic scholarships for college if you already have good grades. 

Of course, high achieving students can also choose to go with the ACT, in which case they’ll need only 37 combined points in order to apply and get a scholarship. All of these numbers vary depending on the division level you want to play in. So, keep that in mind while researching for the best option.

15. You need at least a 2.3 GPA to apply for a D1 scholarship.

Source: Athletic Scholarships

Among other D1 scholarship requirements, every student will need to have at least a 2.3 GPA. It’s not easy to climb your way to Division 1, but the requirements are reasonable and can be achieved. 

Here’s the thing:

You’ll need to pass 16 NCAA core tests, SAT or ACT, graduate from high school, and take 10 additional tests before senior year. Once you’ve fulfilled these requirements, the scale will be made, and you’ll know if you’ve got the scholarship.

16. 2% of college students go on to have a professional athletic career.

Source: NCAA

According to the NCAA, the percentage of college athletes that go pro is usually around 2%. This isn’t a surprise since pro careers can last for a decade or so, and there are not a lot of vacancies. 

On the other hand, there are plenty of requirements every aspiring athlete must meet before going pro. Still, college years are the best way to improve your athletic skills, learn more about the sport, and try to start your professional athletic career. 

17. 6% will move from high-school to the NCAA.

Source: NCAA

Among other college athletic scholarship facts, we can see that 6 out of 100 students will manage to move to the NCAA and get financial aid through grants and scholarships. 59% of Division I students will get a scholarship, compared to 62% from Division II, and 80% from Division III, where the institutional financial aid averages $17,000.

18. There are 492,000 NCAA student-athletes

Source: NCAA

According to gathered college sports scholarships statistics, there are 492.000 NCAA student-athletes who can apply for a scholarship. As we mentioned above, a lot of them will get it. 

But that’s not all:

There are 7,300,000 high school athletes who are also giving their best to secure a scholarship. 

19. The NCAA awards more than $2.9 billion in athletic scholarships annually.

Source: ScholarshipOwl

According to athletic scholarship statistics, the NCAA is able to award more than 150,000 students every year and spend around $2.9 billion on this purpose. The latest data suggests that there are 181,306 scholarship recipients, which means that an average of $15,995 is going to every student. 

Of course, this amount can’t provide students with a free ride, so they should try to find other sources of funding.

20. There were 92,463 college football players in 2018-2019. 

Source: ScholarshipStats

While looking at football scholarship stats for 2018-2019, we learned that there were 92,463 active college football players, compared to 1,042,446 high school players. It looks like one out of ten is able to continue their athletic career in college. In addition, only 16.4% will get in NCAA I – FBS, and get an average $23,236 scholarship.

21. 2.6% of high school players are competing at NCAA I schools.

Source: ScholarshipStats

According to the latest scholarship statistics, there are some very talented kids who managed to get grants and start playing at NCAA I schools. 2.6% of high school football players get the chance to play at NCAA. In addition, 8.8% of high school players play at any college level. 

22. There were 32,841 male and 27,757 female college basketball players in 2018-2019

Source: ScholarhipStats

Basketball is the second most popular sport among college athletes. According to gathered scholarship stats, during 2018-2019, there were 32,841 male and 27,757 female college basketball players. The majority of them received a scholarship. 

Of course, all of them had to be chosen from high school, where the numbers were much higher – 546,231 male and 403,098 female basketball players during the same academic year.

 23. 0.9% of male and 1.2% of female basketball players are competing at NCAA schools.

Source: ScholarhipStats

As with football, there are some very talented basketball players in high schools, and some of them manage to compete in NCAA schools. According to the latest basketball scholarship stats, 0.9% of male and 1.2% of female athletes went to NCAA schools straight from high school. 

24. $5,377 is the average basketball scholarship for men and $5,872 for women.

Source: ScholarhipStats

While football scholarships can be over $20K, basketball players need to get by with an average of $5,377 for men, and $5,872 for women, according to college scholarships statistics. Scholarships are usually given to 15-16 players per team. Again, playing at NCAA I will get you the highest scholarships, which is on average $17,469 for men and $18,557 for women.

25. $5,460 is the average scholarship for college baseball players.

Source: ScholarshipStats

According to available baseball scholarship stats, there were 57,222 players during the 2018-2019 season, and their average financial aid was $5,460. Again, for those who’ve won their spot in NCAA I, the scholarship was higher and averaged at $17,169. As with all other sports, there were many more high school players during the same period – 508,147. 

26. Male lacrosse players got $5,417, while females got $5,961.

Source: ScholarshipStats

While looking at the latest lacrosse scholarship statistics, we’ve learned that male players will get an average of $5,417, while females get $5,961 in scholarship money. These are the numbers for 2018-2019. Lacrosse players who made it to NCAA I usually get $17,900 (male) and $19,201 (female). In the end, there were 2.6% male and 3.3% of female high school players competing in NCAA schools.

27. 10% of applicants get an NHSC scholarship each year.

Source: PCOM

The National Health Service Corps scholarship program is created to help students continue their careers, mostly in primary healthcare. According to NHSC scholarship statistics, more than 1800 students apply for financial aid each year, and approximately 10% of them get the scholarship. 

This grant covers educational costs, tuition, school fees, and living expenses, which are paid directly to students as some kind of allowance. Application forms for a given year are usually available in the spring, mostly during April. The ones who win the scholarship usually find that out at the end of September.


Q: Which sport has the most scholarships?

Source: MarketWatch

As football is the most popular sport in the US, it’s not a surprise that there are the most scholarships available for student-athletes. There are more than 1 million football players in schools and colleges, more than 25,000 scholarships are available each year. Next in line is basketball with nearly 10,000 scholarships and baseball with approximately 8,000.

Q: What is the average track scholarship?

Source: ScholarshipStats

If we’re talking about track and field scholarships, we should be aware that these are awarded to whole teams. Depending on the school and the division, they can go from $2,957 to $24,059, averaging at $11,260, according to data gathered during the 2018-2019 academic year. There were 37,046 male and 36,526 female track and field college athletes competing during the same period. 

Q: How much money is a full-ride scholarship worth?

Source: USnews

It is very hard to say how much money is enough to get through college depending solely on a scholarship. Usually, scholarships are not that high and won’t cover all the expenses. The amount of needed money depends on the school you’re going to, the equipment you need, the rent you need to pay, and many other factors. According to some data, $45,000 is the cost of attendance, and the average scholarship is $18,000.

Q: What’s the easiest sport to get a scholarship?

Source: USAToday

If we take a look at the available stats, the easiest sport for men to win a scholarship is lacrosse, since 12.7% of high school players manage to get it. Next in line is baseball with an 11.5% success rate, followed by ice hockey with 10.5%. In addition, as a female athlete, your best pick is ice hockey (18.1%), Lacrosse (12.6%), and soccer with a 9.2% success rate.

Q: Which universities give the most scholarships?

Source: CollegeVine

On the top of the list of colleges that give students the highest merit aid awards is Hollins University with an average scholarship of $29,647. Clarke University is in second place with an average of $24,955, followed by Cardinal Stritch University with $21,939. Keep in mind that even these scholarships can’t provide the student with a full-ride.

Q: How hard is it to get a scholarship?

First of all, it can be a bit hard to even apply for a scholarship. There are tons of papers you need to put together besides your good grades and athletic achievements. As mentioned above, a full-ride is hard to get, and that is reserved for approximately 1-2% of all applicants. On the bright side, 82% of students get some kind of financial aid every year.


Getting a scholarship shouldn’t be that hard if you have decent grades or you’re involved in some of the most popular sports. According to the latest scholarship stats, the fund for scholarships is getting bigger every year. 

Bottom line:

It is very important to apply in time, pass all tests, and get some athletic acknowledgments. You can then win a scholarship, which can help you go through college much easier.


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