Scholarships play a vital role in reducing student loan debt and expanding access to higher education. There are many great sources of scholarships including companies that compile lists of available scholarships such as Fastweb, Scholarship Owl, etc. and most College’s offer scholarships for various majors/types of students.
Here are some good statistics regarding scholarships courtesy of the National Scholarship Providers Association:
- The number of scholarships awarded has increased by over 45% in the last 10 years.
- Each year, an estimated $46 billion in grants and scholarship money is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education and the nation’s colleges and universities. An additional $7.4 billion is awarded through private scholarships and fellowships.
- An estimated $100 million in scholarships goes unawarded each year. This is mostly due to a lack of applicants. There’s plenty of money out there to help pay tuition, you just need to find it and work for it!
- An estimated $2.6 billion in Pell Grants were left unclaimed in 2018-2019 Academic Year. Make sure you take advantage of all the “free” money you can find to help pay for school by filling out the FAFSA.
- Scholarship providers evaluate many factors when selecting scholarship recipients, not just grades. You don’t have to have a 4.0 GPA to be considered for a scholarship.
- Are you an Amish Descendant? Or do you enjoy Gypsy folklore? Or perhaps you or a family member works in the fence industry! There are lots of niche scholarship awards out there, you just have to find them!
- Don’t be fooled by scholarship scams! You never have to pay a submission fee, registration fee, or any other kind of fee to apply for scholarships!
- Scholarships make college more affordable and reduce the student debt burden.
- Scholarships expand college choice allowing students to pursue a more selective or expensive college.
- Scholarships increase the college graduation rate.