Independent or service organizations sometimes choose to write you an actual check, but these scholarship amounts are usually comparatively small.
Student loans, on the other hand, come directly to you.
The increase in lifetime income for an Associate's degree is about half of that for a Bachelor's degree.
Students who pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics will earn higher salaries than students who pursue degrees in art, music, history, culinary arts or sociology.
For the above reasons, some students prefer student loans over scholarships because the money comes directly to you (and in one lump sum) and then you can choose how to spend it.
In the immediate sense, this might be a good thing if you've got your tuition covered but need to pay lab fees or room-and-board, or even purchase several business suits for an internship. And when you're writing those checks for 15 years to pay it back, you'll feel a whole lot better if you know the money funded your education rather than a lot of pizza parties for your college buddies.
Analyses that are based on medians instead of means, such as those conducted by Sandy Baum of the College Board, demonstrate about half as much of an increase in lifetime income.
But there is still a net financial advantage to pursuing a college education.
Instead, the scholarship money goes elsewhere: If a college offers you a scholarship that's a tuition discount, the bill that comes to you will have the scholarship amount credited.
Or if you get a scholarship that's a book allowance, you might get a credit at the college bookstore.