Bursary vs Scholarship: Difference and Comparison

Schools, universities, and different foundations launch programs and funds to encourage and help the youth. These funds include various terms such as bursary, scholarship, grant etc.

Now you may ask what the difference between these and what are the requirements of getting them are. Therefore this article will discuss the differences between bursaries and scholarships.

Key Takeaways

  1. Bursaries are financial aid based on financial need, while scholarships are merit-based and awarded for academic, athletic, or artistic achievements.
  2. Bursaries do not require repayment, while scholarships may have specific requirements for maintaining eligibility.
  3. Bursary applications may require detailed financial information, while scholarship applications focus on academic or extracurricular accomplishments.

Bursary vs Scholarship

A bursary is a form of financial aid given to students based on their financial needs and is awarded to cover the cost of tuition fees, books, and other necessary expenses. Scholarships are awarded to students based on academic merit, athletic ability, artistic talent, or other achievements.

Bursary vs Scholarship

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A bursary is a monetary help provided to students whose families are struggling financially and incapable of paying school fees.

Many sources, such as schools, universities, foundations or NGOs, provide a bursary. Bursaries’ main purpose is to help unprivileged families and their kids get educated.

Scholarships are for awarding students who are bearers of extraordinary talent and merit.

The purpose of the scholarship is to encourage young minds full of opportunities and give them the fuel they need for the future. The financial background of the students has zero significance in scholarships.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBursaryScholarship
Definition A bursary is an economic aid that is provided to unprivileged families. The scholarship is provided to students who possess exceptional talent in an area of expertise.
PurposeThe bursary aims to help students who are struggling to pay fees.The scholarship is for students who are gifted in terms of education.
For whom It is for students who are financially incapable of paying their fees. This is for students who are scholars in an area of education.
Area of considerationThe financial status of the student is the main consideration of the bursary. The skills and merit of the student is the main consideration of the scholarship.
Paying backSome bursaries may claim a certain percentage of the provided fund returned once you get a job.Scholarships are non-refundable awards.

What is Bursary?

Not every family is well off financially, and that does not mean they are not entitled to get an education.

A bursary is a financial aid that intends to help out such students. This help is offered by various charity foundations, organizations, universities, and schools.

To get a bursary, the candidate must belong to a family lacking money.

In order to be competent to get this aid, the candidates must present the financial details of his/ her parents. Among all the applications, people who earn the least amount of money will get this aid.

One type of bursary is given based on the marks obtained by the students, but belonging to a poverty-stricken family remains a must condition. This type of bursary gets confused with the scholarship.

In usual cases, students get to sign a bond according to which they are accountable for paying back a certain percentage of the bursary money once they become financially independent.


What is a Scholarship?

The scholarship is based on the student’s merit and skills in education or other fields.

Not only the current grades and marks but the performance in the previous classes are also considered. In a few cases, extracurricular activities also get discussed.

Different scholarships have different demands and rules, and students must meet those all in order to be eligible to receive the scholarship.

It is a kind of award that students receive as an award for their talent. They receive scholarships as a gift for their giftedness.

However, you are expected to serve the foundation from which you got your scholarship in some ways to encourage young talent after you have established yourself as a professional.

In case the student is not interested in doing so, then he/she is expected to return the scholarship money.


Main Differences Between Bursary and Scholarship

  1. A bursary is an economic aid provided to unprivileged families who are unable to make ends meet and do not have the money to pay the fees of school or universities. On the other hand, scholarship is provided to students who possess exceptional talent in an area of expertise.
  2. Bursaries look into the financial state of the students, whereas scholarships do not consider the student’s financial condition.
  3. Bursary intents to help students who are struggling to pay fees, but scholarship is for students who are gifted in terms of education.
  4. Bursaries are given based on the economic condition of the student’s family, whereas scholarships are provided based on the merit of the student.
  5. Bursaries can be categorized as aid, but scholarship is more like a gift or award.
  6. One does not need to pay back scholarship money, but some bursaries might come with the contract, which will demand you to pay back the money once you get a job.
Difference Between Bursary and Scholarship
  1. https://journals.co.za/doi/abs/10.10520/EJC-144919d3b7
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03054980903518910

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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