Difference between grants and scholarships

Grants vs Scholarships. All you need to know

People often consider grants and scholarships as synonyms because both provide financial aid. They help students to pursue their studies without the hassle of paying fees.  

But there is a thin line that distinguishes grants and scholarships. A scholarship is only awarded to students, whereas grants are given to students, professionals, or research scientists.

Both scholarships and grants are not student loans and do not have to be paid back in ordinary circumstances. Instead, these are financial help that encourages people to reduce debt, minimize work problems, promote research, and realize their dreams without any financial burden.

Although both come under monetary help and are equally popular, it becomes crucial to have in-depth knowledge about them. 

Grants vs Scholarships

A grant is a financial award from a government, foundation, or company to another company or an individual for a specific goal or to encourage better performance.

Scholarships are also defined as financial awards, but an organization offers government or a college/university only to students to pay for their degree courses as tuition and related fees.

grants vs scholarships

Need vs Merit

Grants are need-based as they are awarded to deserving people who do not have the funds to fulfill their purpose.

Scholarships are merit-based and need-based and go to students who cannot continue their studies because they lack adequate funds and have shown exceptional excellence or outstanding performance in their fields.

1. Purpose

The purpose of grants and scholarships is different as the former is to fulfill a specific purpose which can be educational, research, or even to start a business.

In contrast, the latter is meant only for educational purposes and is given to students who excel in sports, academics, or extracurricular activities.

2. Recipients 

The grants and scholarships differ from each other as grants can be conferred to any individual, entity, non-profit organization, educational institution, or organization working towards a specific purpose.

Scholarships are given only to students for excellence in their academic, athletic, or artistic abilities.

3. Source of funding

The source of funding for grants and scholarships is both similar and different. Grants funding can be derived from non-profit organizations, colleges, and state governments.

Scholarship funding is derived from various organizations and institutions.

4. Performance

Grants and scholarships share a level of similarity. They require their recipients to live up to a certain standard, but the level of performance may vary.

Grants are not purely based on performance, while scholarships depend on performance. Most scholarships may be withdrawn if students fail to keep up their academic performance.

Depending on the type of scholarship, every student must participate and maintain a level of excellence.  

5. Eligibility 

Grant eligibility is based on financial need, whereas scholarship is flexible. It can be need-based, merit-based or given to a specific community.

Eligibility for a grant like the Federal Pell Grant is based on EFC, whereas the New York TAP Grants and Cal Grants establish their eligibility on income cutoff.

The eligibility for scholarships is dependent upon a student’s GPA or high school grade point average, class rank, and test scores from the admission tests.

Additional read: 5 degrees that offer better ROI abroad than in India

Requirements and Restrictions

The specific requirements and restrictions between scholarships and grants vary greatly as eligibility to receive grants ranges from one grant program to another.

Some scholarships have maintenance and eligibility requirements and conditions similar to the grants, whereas others might require maintaining a minimum GPA to renew their scholarships.

Both grants and scholarships are good options for people requiring financial assistance. If your child is going to pursue research-driven courses like a PhD, then grants can be beneficial, while for a master’s, they can opt for scholarships. Start preparing your child for their dreams, financially and academically! 

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