The Future Of Scholarships: A $400B Industry By 2030

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The scholarship industry is a $400 billion market that’s expected to grow by more than 5% per year. As per David Woroboff, this means that within the next decade, scholarships will be worth over half a trillion dollars. While some people may think of scholarships as something small and insignificant, they play an important role in helping students pay for college tuition without taking on massive debt loads. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Education, about 60% of all students use some sort of financial aid—including scholarships—to pay for school each year.

1. The rise of the gig economy is driving demand for education.

The gig economy is a booming industry, and it’s growing exponentially. But what does this mean for education? Well, as we’ve seen with Uber and Lyft drivers in recent years, the gig economy makes it easier for people to earn an income without having to complete years of training or go through a grueling application process.

This has led to an increase in demand for educational resources like MOOCs (massive open online courses) which allow students to learn at their own pace from anywhere at any time — especially when those students are already working full-time jobs!

2. Scholarships that get paid back will become more common.

The gig economy is creating a new class of workers and a new class of students. As the gig economy continues to grow, demand for education will continue to increase as well. In fact, according to a 2018 report from Payscale, 89 percent of employers surveyed said they planned to hire someone with an advanced degree in the next two years. This means there will be more competition than ever before for those jobs—and that means scholarships could become one tool companies use to attract top talent. What’s more, if you’re looking for scholarships that pay back student loans after graduation (i.e., “pay it forward”), you may be able to find them through your employer instead of through traditional sources like banks or private foundations.

3. A surge in non-traditional students will drive up scholarship dollars too.

  • A surge in non-traditional students will drive up scholarship dollars too.

There is a growing population of non-traditional students, meaning that their circumstances are different than those of traditional college students. Traditional college students tend to be young and single with no children, but non-traditionally aged students are more likely to have families and work part-time while enrolled in school. These factors mean they may need scholarships to help cover expenses—and there’s money available for them!

4. Advancements in AI and machine learning will lead to a new breed of scholarships.

When it comes to scholarships, AI and machine learning could be the next big thing. These advancements will allow for more personalized scholarship offers, as well as a more efficient distribution of awards.


The scholarship industry is on the cusp of a major transformation. There are already several companies that use AI to determine whether or not a student is a good fit for their institution, and many more will join them in the near future. The rise of the gig economy has driven demand for education, and new players are entering the market with innovative payment solutions that provide students with more options when it comes time to pay off their scholarships. All these factors will lead to an increase in scholarships over time as well as higher quality opportunities for those looking for funding support towards their education goals.

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