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How are grants for college different from scholarships for students?

Auther: Usseek

Created On: 9/17/2019 6:30:00 PM

How are grants for college different from scholarships for students?

College grants for students, scholarships for students


Even as Grants and Scholarships are different, one commonality between the two is that both are non-repayable “gift money”.   Except for this similarity, both are distinctly different, and students have different parameters to fulfill to be eligible for them. Since it has become common to use them interchangeably or as synonyms, there are some important differences.  Let us take a bird-eye view of these two forms of college education funding.

  1. Normally college grants for students are need-based. Grants are determined based on the financial criteria like the family income of the student. These grants are funded by the Federal or State governments, college/career institutes or the non-profit organizations. The salient Federal Grant is the Pell Grant. State-funded Grants are allocated to students studying in the State. 

 On the other hand, scholarships are merit-based.  It implies that this form of collegiate education funding is awarded to meritorious students; students who have strong capabilities in extra-curricular activities, or outstanding athletic abilities. The funds for scholarships for students are often contributed by religious groups, business houses, communities, high net worth individuals and advocacy groups. There are thousands of scholarships from various kinds of entities and are easily accessible to students. Affiliates of certain groups or high pedigree ancestry too are eligible for scholarships.

  1. Another distinction between college grants and scholarships is the eligibility criterion. Students are eligible for both, grants and scholarships if they have applied in any accredited college, or institute of higher education. The applicants must be U.S. citizens in order to receive grants. Both, the undergraduate and the graduate students are eligible for grants.

The scholarships are however awarded only to the undergraduate students. On completion of these courses, students who pursue graduate-level courses are provided with private financial aid termed as fellowships.

  1. Application process also differs between grants and scholarships. To apply for a grant, students need to fill out Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is relatively simple and straightforward.  In case of scholarships, high school or college is a great source for getting the full-fledged information of all the variety of scholarships available. Alternatively, the internet is another ideal tool to aggregate information about scholarships.