Gen Z Insights Briefing: Exploring Students’ Perceptions of Branded Scholarships

Gen Z Insights Briefing: Student Views on Brands That Offer Scholarships

ScholarshipOwl, the leading scholarship platform, conducts a monthly survey to delve deeper into the mindset of Gen Z students. In April 2023, the focus was on students’ perceptions of brands that provide scholarships and how it affects their interest in those brands’ products and services.

Over 8600 high school and college students on the ScholarshipOwl platform participated in the survey, with 61% of respondents being female, 37% male, and 2% identifying as other. The majority of respondents (48%) were Caucasian, followed by Black (21%), Hispanic/Latino (17%), Asian/Pacific Islander (7%), and other (7%).

The survey found that 61% of respondents were high school students, primarily seniors, while 31% were college undergraduates, with most being freshmen. Additionally, 5% were graduate students, and 3% identified as adult/non-traditional students.

As the cost of college continues to rise, scholarships provide an opportunity to cover the expenses. However, there are limited scholarships available, resulting in the majority of students depending on student loans to defray costs. The survey found that middle-income students, in particular, face difficulties as they are often ineligible for need-based assistance.

Insights from the survey can aid businesses in understanding Gen Z’s mindset when it comes to brands that offer scholarships, which could influence their purchasing decisions.

Survey Questions and Results

The survey asked three questions. First, respondents were asked about their feelings towards a brand that offers a scholarship. 73% of the respondents said that they would have positive feelings about a brand that offers a scholarship. 68% responded that they would feel that the brand understands their needs as a student, and 66% said that they would feel that the brand cares for them and other students like them.

Then, students were asked about their feelings towards the scholarship offered by the brand. 69% of the respondents said that they would feel that the scholarship is more likely to be credible and trustworthy, and the same percentage of students (69%) also said that they would be more likely to apply for the scholarship.

The survey then asked about how students would feel about future interactions with the brand. 75% of respondents said they would want to be contacted about additional scholarships being offered by the brand. 62% said they would want to find out more about the brand’s products and/or services.

Key Takeaways

The survey results show that offering scholarships is a viable marketing channel for brands to connect with Gen Z students. It shows that 99% of Gen Z students would not only be very interested in scholarships offered by brands, they would also be interested in interacting with brands that offer scholarships. That is one of the biggest indicators that brands offering scholarships can gain significant brand equity among Gen Z students and build a positive and loyal relationship with this coveted audience.

To leverage scholarships as a marketing channel, brands can create scholarship campaigns with the ScholarshipOwl for Business platform. By launching and promoting scholarships, brands can attract, engage, and nurture Gen Z students while also meeting the scholarship needs of those who struggle to afford the cost of college.

The ScholarshipOwl survey results reveal that scholarships are an effective way for brands to connect with Gen Z students. By offering scholarships, brands can establish a relationship of trust and loyalty with students and generate brand equity. 

For brands looking to leverage scholarships as a marketing channel, ScholarshipOwl for Business is a great platform to create and launch scholarship campaigns. Visit to learn more.