Scholarships Demystified [Infographic]

At FluidReview, we are fortunate to be able to work with some of the world’s best organzations and help them with their needs for scholarship management software. And in doing so, we occasionaly come across some interesting facts and figures relating to scholarships in America. In this infographic, you will see a collection of some of the more interesting facts that we’ve collected over the years.

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Where do scholarships come from, and who is getting them?

In the 2010/2011 school year, there were 2,654,501 first-time students enrolled in full-time programs at degree-granting institutions, and $49 billion in scholarships were awarded to the eligibile students.

82.3% of students in the USA received some form of financial aid for their education.

How was this money divided among the students?

48% of this student body received money from federal scholarship; 36% received money from scholarships provided by private companies, foundations and civic groups; 31% received money from state and/or local scholarships. The average amount awarded was $4,755 from federal sources, $8,366 from private sources and $2,844 from state and/or local sources.

Distribution by race: 62% of the recipients were white, 38% were minority students.
Distribution by sex: 59% of the receipients were female, 41% were male.

Where did this $49 billion come from?

$3 billion came from private companies, foundations and civic groups. $46 billion came from federal, state and local government sources.

How does this compare to other countries in the world?
In Hungary, education is paid for by the state, therefore no students received scholarship or grant money for their education. In Ireland, 86% of students received just enough money from scholarships and grants to fund their education. In the Netherlands, 68% of the students received more money than they needed for their education.

Scholarships you didn’t know existed

A portion of that $49 billion is awarded every year to students who meet some rather unusual criteria:

  • Did java help you cram for your midterms? The CoffeeForLess.com Scholarship wants to hear from you! Award amount: $500.
  • Freakishly tall? Men and women who are vertically-inclined can apply to the Tall Clubs International Scholarship. Award amount: $1000.
  • Future food leaders should consider the Asparagus Club Scholarship for some cash for school. Award amount: $1500.
  • If you draw pictures of ducks all day, applying to the Junior Duck Stamp Scholarship should not be missed! Award amount: $2000.
  • If you know what a mongo-foot or heelflip are, the Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship is probably for you. Award amount: $5000.
  • Athletic scholarships

    There are 177,559 athletic scholarships available in total, worth $1 billion annually. 53% of these scholarships are designated to only 4 sports: football, basketball, soccer and track & field. The other 47% are designated to 22 sports, such as baseball, softball, wrestling and golf.

    Nearly equal opportunities: Men are eligible to apply for 52% of these scholarships, and women are eligible for 48%.

    From the fast food & soft drink industry

    McDonald’s, Dr. Pepper, KFC and CocaCola give a combined $5.5 million annually to students for their education. However, that’s only about 0.3% of their $15 billion dollars of reported profits.

    Cha-ching! Large private scholarships

    A few private companies have set up some impressively large scholarship awards:

  • The Buick Achievers Scholarship program: $100,000 award.
  • Siemens Math, Science and Technology Award Scholarship: $100,000 award.
  • Davidson Fellows Scholarship: $50,000 award.
  • Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity: $20,000 award.
  • American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest: $18,000 award.
  • If a student could win all 5 of these scholarships, they would be awarded $288,000. That’s enough to pay for an undergraduate degree at America’s 4 most expensive schools and still have enough money left over for a brand new BMW 335i sedan!

    Unclaimed scholarships

    Yes, millions of dollars in scholarships go unawarded each year. In Canada, this represents about $15 million; but in the USA this figure is $100 million! One reason for this problem is that students aren’t always clear on eligibility and application requirements, therefore a scholarship fund does not get used to the maximum potential due to a shortfall in qualified applicants. Shameless plug: FluidReview helps to maximize scholarship fund usage, keeping your donors happy and your students even happier!

    That unawarded $100 million would cover the cost of tuition for approximately 14,000 more students!

    Don’t get scammed!

    Every year, 256,000 people in the United States search on Google for easy to obtain or guaranteed scholarships. Coincidentally, 350,000 people are cheated out of $5 million each year due to scholarship scams. The number of cases of scholarship fraud that are reported to the FTC have been on the rise since 2001.

    Protect yourself! Never pay for a list of “unclaimed scholarships” — instead, use free scholarship search engines and apply for as many as you can!

    Sources:

    • http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d12/tables/dt12_387.asp
    • http://www.finaid.org/scholarships/20110902racescholarships.pdf
    • http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/international/tables/C_4_17.asp
    • http://www.collegeplanningservices.org/resources/scholarships.aspx
    • http://www.ihep.org/press-room/news_release-detail.cfm?id=80
    • http://www.buickachievers.com/
    • http://www.rbffoundation.org/
    • http://www.legion.org/oratorical/about
    • http://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2012/03/01/10-high-dollar-award-scholarships-for-college/
    • http://siemens.collegeboard.org/about
    • http://www.davidsongifted.org/fellows/
    • http://www.businessinsider.com/most-expensive-colleges-in-america-2013-7#1-new-york-university-20
    • http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/content/byo/default.aspx
    • http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2013/full_list/index.html
    • http://www.kfc.com/images/foundation/2013-reach-winners.pdf
    • http://www.coca-colascholarsfoundation.org/about-us/facts-and-figures/#.UuAp8xD8WUk
    • http://www.drpeppertuition.com/program-details
    • http://www.mcdonaldseducates.com/scholarship_01.html
    • http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/student_zone/scholarships/eligibility.html
    • http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/student_zone/scholarships.html
    • http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/college-planning/financial-aid/scholarship2.htm
    • http://www.scholarshipstats.com/totalscholarships.html
    • http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/blogs/pay-day-/millions-canadian-scholarship-dollars-going-unclaimed-193114435.html
    • http://edtechtimes.com/2013/09/11/qa-with-navah-fuchs-founder-of-angel-ed/
    • http://www.businessinsider.com/tuition-costs-by-country-college-higher-education-2012-6#usa-3
    • http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2005/05/federal-agencies-release-fourth-annual-report-congress
    • http://money.cnn.com/2003/05/05/pf/college/q_scholarshipscam/
    • http://adwords.google.com/

    * education is funded by the state.

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    Sean O'Dacre

    Sean is a search engine optimization specialist for the online marketing team at SurveyMonkey. He enjoys building awareness of FluidReview through the development of relationships with other web communities. He is also an active member of several search engine optimization user groups and forums.

    • Mackenzie Macintosh

      Scholarships Matter!

    • Sabrina

      Wow these facts are really interesting. I was not aware of issues with scams. Thank you for this post FluidReview!