Top Differences (and similarities) of Scholarships and Grants

Not all people fully understand the differences between grants and scholarships; both terms mean that there is no need to repay the money provided. However, there is a difference between the two and here are the top differences between scholarships and grants.



Grants are financial aid provided by the government or a trust, foundation or corporation to an individual, non-profit organisation or educational institution. They are granted to assist a project associated with agriculture, construction or education.

They are for different purposes such as research, business, education and even for natural disasters. The grant should only be used for the purpose specified.


Scholarships are financial aid awarded to students only. The rules are more rigid compared to those for obtaining grants. There are different kinds of scholarships – merit-based, student-specific, career-specific and athletic.

  • Merit-based. Awarded based on the applicant’s academic achievement.

  • Need-based. Awarded to students based on specific criteria.

  • Student-specific. Only available to students of a particular group or community, and may be based on ethnicity, heritage or gender.

  • Career-specific. Awarded to those who want to pursue a specific course.

  • Athletic. Granted to students who are active in sports.

Some colleges provide scholarships for odd reasons such as best prom dress and the like.

Who can receive them?

Grants are for people or entities that need them, while scholarships are for students only. A grant is an amount of money given by the government or anybody to support an individual on a specific purpose. Scholarships are monetary assistance provided to students to assist them through high-level education.

What are the requirements?

Scholarships require the applicant to have outstanding merits. Grants, on the other hand, depend on the financial situation of the applicant. It is necessary that you sustain a particular grade or GPA to keep a scholarship while for a grant, there is no such thing.

Scholarships may require the applicant to go through a series of tests such as essay writing and interview with the scholarship committee. It is for students with high grades or those who are active in sports.

What are the sources of grants and scholarships?

The government, private organisations and colleges provide both.

Colleges have stricter policies compared to the government when it comes to awarding grants and scholarships. Another source of financial aid is private organisations which may include labour unions, a religious centre and parents or employers.

One private company that provides grants and scholarships is the Patokh Chodiev Foundation. This company offers financial assistance to outstanding students of International Law School and MGIMO undergraduates.

To conclude, there are slight differences between the two yet still both assist people who are genuinely qualified for them. If you are preparing for college, it will be best to apply for every grant and scholarship available. Compared to student loans, these forms of financial assistance do not require repayment, so you don’t have to worry about anything but your grades and diploma.

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