Grant vs Scholarship – Here’s the killer difference

Grant vs Scholarship

It’s very easy to confuse “Grant vs Scholarship” because both of them involve money. But in the context of education and financial aids, what is really the difference between Grants and Scholarships?

People easily interchange these words, but the ideal difference on the right word to use is to know who is giving out the financial aid and who is the receiver of the aid.

In this article, I will explain the difference between a Grant and a Scholarship and help you understand how each works.

Grant vs Scholarship

What is a Grant?

A grant is a gift a student receives to solve a financial need. The grant helps to pay tuition fees and handle all financial needs in school.

Most times, grants come more from the federal government, followed by the state government and non-profit organizations that want to give back to society.

Looking critically into the meaning of grants, I found out the grants are “need-based”, meaning that they are there to serve the student based on criteria.

Examples of Grants includes:

Federal Pell Grants: This is only for students in college(undergraduates) in search of financial aid and not having a bachelor’s degree.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG): This grant is made for some specific schools and for undergraduates with extreme financial needs.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants: This grant is for people who seek to become teachers in a high-need field but a low-income area.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants: This grant is for the children of fighters that lost their lives during Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Grant vs Scholarship

What is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is an earned financial aid based on a unique ability, academic performance, or exceptional talent. Just like grants, scholarships pay for tuition fees and handle some parts of the financial needs of a student meriting the scholarship.

Scholarships come from non-profit organizations, businesses, and labor unions who want to give back into society.

Types of Scholarships:

There are various types of scholarships, obtained based on the different criteria. These scholarships includes:

Merit-based Scholarships: These are scholarships students obtained based on an exceptional academic performance. Just like the name implies, it is got as merit.

Need-based Scholarships: These scholarships are similar to merit-based scholarships but here, the scholarship is awarded to some students that meet specific criteria in school.

Career-specific Scholarships: Just as the name implies, career-specific scholarships are awarded to students interested in a specific career that is in high demand in society.

Branded scholarships: Companies and incorporations award this scholarship based on application or hitting a particular bench-mark.

Athletic Scholarships: These scholarships come as a result of being exceptionally good in the school athletic or sports programs.

Read this: Reasons why College is Hard

Grant vs Scholarship (Difference)

The eligibility of a federal grant requires FAFSAThere is no FAFSA required.
A grant is like a gift receivedA scholarship is an earned financial aid
Provide information about your financial circumstance.No need to provide information about financial circumstance.
There are no categories of grantsThere are different types of scholarships; Merit-based, Need-based, Career-specific, Branded, and Athletic Scholarships.
Grant vs Scholarship

Grant vs Scholarship (Similarities)

  • Both solve the problem of financial needs in college.
  • A grant/scholarship forces you to level up in your studies to keep up with the terms and conditions of the financial gain.
  • To some extent, both don’t require repayment.


To get away with college debts and financial worries, it’s best to apply for scholarships and grants. The amazing thing about these financial opportunities is that you don’t need to pay them back and as such, you get to focus more on your reason for being in school (studying).

One of the primary steps to getting grants and scholarships is by applying( in the case of scholarships) and filing a FAFSA form (in the case of grants) to provide your financial information to the government.

Read this: USC vs UCLA – Which College is BETTER? (Full Ultimate details)

Awesome one, I hope this article answered your question.

Thanks for reading this article.

Share this Information.

You May Also Like