The Importance of Scholarship Communication: 7 Statistics to Support Why

College is expensive. Oftentimes, students and families don’t fully understand the cost until they begin searching for colleges. But when the cost of a school is initially discovered, many are left with the pain of sticker shock. We’ve all been there before. Whether as a student, parent of a student, or simply making another major life purchase, the initial sticker shock feeling is hard to erase.

Seven Statistics You Should Know

To understand the value of scholarships to students, it’s important to stay informed on the statistics driving their increased need. Below are some eye-opening figures related to the cost of education and scholarships today.

  1. Annual college costs have risen 25% in the last 10 years. This has forced many low-income students to not seek a degree due its unaffordability.
  2. American student loan totals have toppled over a record $1.6 trillion in 2020. Many students and families are questioning the value of a degree due to the costly sticker prices and the burden of getting into student loan debt.
  3. The coronavirus pandemic has added additional challenges to paying for college with nearly 50 million Americans filing for unemployment over the last 4 months.
  4. Results from the 2020 Naviance Student Survey showed that almost 80% of the Class of 2020 held the cost of education as the top factor in their college decision.
  5. 68% of parents of college-bound students now say they are more worried about paying for their child’s college education in the wake of the pandemic, according to a recent survey by Discover Student Loans.
  6. 58% of families used scholarships to pay for college in the 2019-2020 academic year, according to Sallie Mae. One can only imagine how dependent families will be on scholarships this year and years to come.
  7. Only 9% of students found the process of finding scholarships to be easy, according to the 2020 Naviance Student Survey.

Now more than ever, scholarships will hold extreme importance due to the circumstances that the coronavirus has caused students and families. 

Why Communicating About Scholarships is Important

The college search and application process is already stressful for students and the process of searching and applying for scholarships piles on more anxiety. Today, students are having a difficult time trying to figure out the scholarships available to them. To ease the process, institutions should communicate early and often with students about the scholarships they might be eligible for. 

  • Make college more affordable and increase access. As mentioned earlier, college costs are steadily rising and putting low-income students at a disadvantage. By communicating with students about potential scholarship money available to them, institutions can help in making college education more accessible for students.
  • Communicate early. Students often rule out institutions solely based on sticker price before they even know what scholarships they are eligible for. Scholarships are typically used by institutions as a yield tool rather than a recruitment tool earlier in the student’s process. Through early communication, institutions can help students better understand the true cost of education and become more appealing in the process.
  • Drive student interest. Before students build out a defined college list, institutions can use scholarships to drive a student’s interest in their school. Affordability is a topic that holds high-importance for students and families. With an option on their list that meets their financial needs, students might be willing to learn more about how that institution fits other important criteria.

Intersect is excited to launch a new offering, Awareness for Scholarships, for institutions to use their merit-based scholarships to drive interest from Naviance students earlier in the search process. This solution allows institutions to expand their recruitment efforts around merit-based scholarships by prominently displaying scholarship information on their Naviance College Profile, matching directly with scholarship-eligible students, and strategically promoting scholarships to specific audiences. 

To learn more about setting up scholarship promotion, let us know and we’ll help you get started.

Topics Higher Ed Matching
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