Difference Between Grant and Scholarship

Grants and scholarships also called Gift aid is that financial assistance for the studies, which the person needs not payback. These gift aids for the college form an important part of the financial planning of a person when comes to studies.

Even though these two types of gift aids have some of the minute differences, both are almost always used interchangeably. Grants are the aids given based on your situation in the society whereas the scholarships are those which are rewarded based on your merit status.

The grants are based on the entire family status and hence do not changes with your performance in the future but the scholarships may have certain conditions that you have to satisfy in your studies and certain grades you should maintain, to receive them in a continuum.

Grant vs Scholarship

The main difference between Grant and Scholarships is their meanings. The fund offering for emergencies such as the financial need for further study, career, or development is a grant. Conversely, a scholarship is receivable by one based on particular potential, skill, or grades. Both are non-repayable funds, but their purposes vary. A scholarship can be called a reward that is earned by a student. And Grant can be the help to an NGO or businesses.

Grant vs Scholarship


Comparison Table Between Grant and Scholarship (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonGrantsScholarships
PurposeMay gave for any specific purposeAlmost always given for studies.
Criteria for awardingBased on the need and benefits that can be gained through the grantBased on the merit status
Factors considered in awardingBased on the financial situationBased on the merit achievements
Students that can be benefittedBoth undergraduate and postgraduate studentsMostly undergraduate students
The awarding bodiesMostly government bodiesMostly universities


What is Grant?

Grant is financial assistance that is awarded by the government bodies, which can be federal, state or local governments that are not expected to be repaid by the recipient. Every year over 26 federal agencies are awarding more than 1000 grants program which is for the welfare of the people who need money for a variety of purposes

Grants not only help the individual people but also is implanted to save the economical situation of the country, which is one of the Nobel responsibility of the governing body. The only black thing about the grant is that it needs a complex application process which should be endorsed with a  good convincing proposal that how the grant will be useful for the betterment of the local community.

The grants awarded by the government or free from taxes, interest and any other qualities of conventional financial aid,  but are based on the need and situation of the individual. Grants.gov is the website that is offering over several thousands of dollars grants every year.

The applicant, however, needs to clear a complex process of submitting a proposal of his business plan or his need. This should get approved before getting grants.

It is also said that in gist, there are only around 4 main types of grants,

  1. Competitive funding
  2. Formula funding
  3. Continuation funding
  4. Pass-through funding

But the typing of funding in grants varies with fields in which we are talking about.


What is Scholarship?

Scholarships are the financial aid that is awarded mostly to the undergraduate students for their education by universities and other educational institutions. The scholarships are awarded solely based on the merit status of the student.

Scholarships can be either be onetime aid or renewable aid for which the student should maintain considerable progress in their education after the awarded scholarships. Scholarships, if in some case covers the entire fee of the education the student opted for, then the excess money can be refunded to the student from the institutions.

These scholarship aids come from one of the many sources which can be, clubs, organizations, foundations, business firms, universities…. But there are some scholarships even the students who are not excellent in their academics can avail for them.

All you need to do is search for appropriate scholarship awarding bodies and should apply for it, after a thorough analysis of their criteria for the scholarship and checking whether you come into it. The most common modes for which you can get scholarships are:

  1. Leverage your hobbies and extracurricular skills you are good at. Search for the institutions are organizations that are ready to award scholarships for the person excelling in hobbies you are great at.
  2. Register at an online scholarship website and submit a proposal with a clear portfolio on which you are seeking scholarships.
  3. Meet with the schools or colleges in which you seek admission and check if they are offering any scholarships for the students having your score or any of your qualities.
  4. Consider searching for the scholarship schemes for minority students or the students from a particular locality.

You should also consider the time for applying for a scholarship, because some scholarship programs that are conducted each year will have bound off a period within which, can only be applied for.


Main Differences Between Grant and Scholarship

  1. Grants are given by the federal bodies to the local government and for the government public services. Scholarships are awarded by the universities or any bodies or organizations directly to the students.
  2. Grants can be given for any type of purpose. Scholarships are awarded solely for the education of the student.
  3. Grants are awarded based on the need and the financial status of the individual or organization. Scholarships are awarded based on the merit status of an individual irrespective of his/her family situation.
  4. Grants have no limitations but the money awarded should be used only for the purpose for which it is awarded. Scholarship can be used for any purposes when excess to the fee needed for the education.
  5. Grants always require applicants to file FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The scholarship does not always require FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) filling.
Difference Between Grant and Scholarship



Grants and scholarships both are almost interchangeably used but have a gross difference in them. In gist, both are the financial aid offered for the welfare of the people or an individual, which need not be repaid.

 The people who got a grant for the education purpose may call it scholarship without knowing the difference between them. Even though both these financial aids are great, one should analyze both these modes thoroughly and should apply for the most suitable one as per their needs.

If a person has a good business idea and needs help with the funding, he can immediately apply for grants from the government bodies.

Key Differences Between Grant and Scholarship (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Grant and Scholarship



  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4020-4012-2_16
  2. https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3286&context=law_lawreview
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Eve Brooks
Eve Brooks

Both the IDE’s are good. Being a software developer for 12 years now, I would recommend everyone to purchase a license for ItelliJ as the support is much faster when you are stuck somewhere in the IDE functionality itself.

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Eve Brooks

Hi Eve,

Thanks for sharing your experience.
For personal development, people can purchase the license. But at their office, its the company that decides whether to buy licenses for IntelliJ or ask employees to use the Eclipse IDE.