difference between a grant and scholarship

The Difference Between a Grant and Scholarship: An Overview

When it comes to funding your education, grants and scholarships can be a great way to help pay for college. But what exactly is the difference between the two? While they may seem similar, grants and scholarships are actually quite different in terms of how they are awarded, who is eligible to receive them, and what they can be used for. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the key characteristics of both grants and scholarships to help you better understand which one may be the best fit for you.

What is a Grant?

A grant is a type of financial aid that is typically awarded to students based on financial need. Unlike loans, grants do not need to be repaid, making them a popular form of aid for students who are unable to borrow money due to their financial situation. Grants can be awarded by schools, state governments, and even the federal government, and they can be used to cover various education-related expenses, such as tuition, textbooks, and room and board.

What is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is another type of financial aid that is awarded to students, but unlike grants, scholarships are typically based on merit instead of financial need. Scholarships can be awarded for a variety of reasons, such as academic excellence, athletic achievement, or membership in a particular organization or minority group. Like grants, scholarships do not need to be repaid, and they can be used to cover a range of education-related expenses.

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What are the Key Differences?

While grants and scholarships may seem similar, there are some key differences between the two. Here are some of the main factors that set them apart:

– Eligibility: Grants are typically awarded to students who demonstrate financial need, while scholarships are awarded based on merit or other criteria.

– Funding source: Grants can come from a variety of sources, including schools, state governments, and the federal government. Scholarships are often funded by private organizations, foundations, or corporations.

– Availability: While some grants are available to all students who qualify, others have limited funding and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Scholarships often have strict eligibility criteria and may only be available to a select group of students.

– Use of funds: Grants are typically used to cover education-related expenses, such as tuition, textbooks, and room and board. Scholarships may be more flexible in terms of what they can be used for, depending on the specific scholarship.

– Award amount: Grants and scholarships can vary widely in terms of how much money they provide, but scholarships are often awarded in larger amounts than grants.

Which is Right for You?

Deciding whether to seek out grants or scholarships will depend on your individual financial situation and educational goals. If you have financial need, a grant may be a good option to help cover the cost of college. If you have demonstrated academic or other types of merit, you may be better suited for a scholarship. Make sure to explore all your options and apply for as many forms of aid as possible to help make college more affordable.

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Table difference between a grant and scholarship

Grant Scholarship
Awarded based on financial need or specific criteria established by the sponsor or organization Awarded based on academic or other merit
Does not need to be repaid Does not need to be repaid
Typically awarded by government agencies, private organizations, or institutions of higher education Typically awarded by institutions of higher education or private organizations
Can be used for a variety of purposes that support the recipient’s educational goals Usually used to cover tuition, fees, and/or textbooks
May require the recipient to submit progress reports or achieve certain benchmarks to maintain eligibility May require the recipient to maintain a certain GPA or enroll in a specific course of study to maintain eligibility