What Are Your Scholarship Odds?

by Suzanne Shafer, Parent Editor

When you look at your scholarship odds, is applying worth it?

scholarship odds

Most students hope for some sort of scholarship for college. Few are able to pay for the entire four years. Parents dream of getting that letter in the mail that says, “Congratulations, you have won a full ride for four years.” It happens, but it’s not the norm. The students who receive scholarships work hard and spend time searching and applying.

What are the scholarship odds?

Not everyone is going to win a scholarship. According to the 2007-08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), about 1 in 10 students enrolled full-time at 4-year colleges used scholarships to pay for their education, and the average amount was about $2,800. That sounds depressing and might cause you to think why bother; but keep reading to the bottom of the article for some hope and encouragement.

Athletic Scholarships

You will hear parents brag that their student is an athlete so they aren’t worried about scholarships; their student will get a full ride athletic scholarship.

Statistics rarely lie. And unfortunately, the numbers show that the recruiting game is a tough process to go through. There are more than seven million high school athletes, but there are college roster spots for just two percent of them. Getting to the NCAA Division I level is even tougher. Just one percent of those seven million student-athletes get a full ride to a Division I program. The recruiting process takes work, and earning an athletic scholarship is far from easy. It’s better to focus your time on academics, where your chances for a merit based scholarship are greater.

Here’s an infographic to demonstrate the point: Athletic Scholarship Statistics.

Here’s a chart that lists which athletic scholarships are available, how many, and the award amount: Scholarship Stats

It’s not all bad

Each year rumors and speculations arise around the topic of scholarships. You will hear statements like: there’s no way I will qualify so why bother applying; there are millions of applicants so I won’t win one; if you aren’t an A student you shouldn’t even bother. All of these, of course, are not true.

Scholarship Experts talks about myth vs fact: Scholarship Facts you won’t believe

What are my chances?

The best answer I can give you is your chances are ZERO if you don’t apply. Do the work, follow the rules and apply for the right scholarships by using a matching search engine. Think outside the box and apply for scholarships with the fewest applicants (like local ones), thus increasing your chances.

The simple adage applies with scholarship searches: no pain, no gain. It may take you time and require you to push your limits, but the reward is worth it.

Related: The Scholarship Mom tip series

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