How many third-party undergraduate scholarships are offered in the U.S. each year? (third-party = not from a college/university) How much potential funding does that add up to?
Hello! Thank you for your question about third-party undergraduate scholarships are offered in the U.S. The short answer is that third-party scholarships made up 6% of all scholarships offered in the 2014-2015 school year, which totaled to $11.3 billion. This task was particularly interesting to me as many friends and previous colleagues of mine work in higher education.
Below, you will find a deep dive of our research and methodology.
First, we researched the total amount of scholarships awarded to students, then found the percent of scholarships from companies, foundations and civic groups (third-parties, not colleges). Information varied from year to year and site to site, but we found that most sources were getting their information from collegeboard.org, so we settled on their most recent statistics. We've also included interesting information about the college scholarship industry that may prove to be useful in your decision to invest in an organization in the scholarship space.
According to College Board, in 2014-15, 37% of all grant aid came from the federal government, 41% from colleges and universities, 14% from employers and other private sources, and 8% from state governments.
Private and employer grants made up 6% or $11.3 billion in the school year 2014-15.
We weren't able to extrapolate the number of scholarships awarded from the 2014-2015 school year from College Board, but data from savingforcollege.com showed that 2,654,501 scholarships and $49 billion were awarded in 2010-2011, and 36 percent came from companies, foundations and civic groups. So, 2,654,501 scholarships x .36= 955,620 students received these scholarships totaling $3 billion. The average scholarship was $8,366.
Reports from collegeraptor.com showed that $122.7 billion in scholarships and grants were awarded in 2013-14. Of these, 13% came from private sources. So, the total sum of private scholarships for the 2013-2014 school year was $122.7 billion x .13= $15.95 billion.
If you're interested in a growth timeline of scholarships, there is a chart for the Total Undergraduate Student Aid in 2014 Dollars (in Millions) from 1994-95 to 2014-15 on page 12 of the College Board publication.
The Hecheringer Report published an article using data collected by the Education Department and the College Board to show that wealthier students are more likely than poor students to receive private scholarships. Nearly 13 percent of students from families that make more than $106,000 a year get private scholarships, compared with about 9 percent of those whose families earn less than $30,000, according to data collected by the Education Department. This mismatch of funds is also explained by Saving For College, which reported that each year, around $100 million in scholarships go unclaimed in the U.S., often because there aren't enough qualified applicants.
SUMMARY To sum it all up, about one million private and employer scholarships make up about 6% of the total in the US, or $11.3 billion. I hope you find this answer helpful. Thanks for using Wonder! Please let us know if we can help with anything else.