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Grant vs Scholarship: What’s the Difference

Many people believe that a grant and a scholarship are the same thing. But, there is a huge difference between grant and scholarship! Although they have a similar purpose, they are not the same. In order to understand grant vs scholarships, you need to know what both things are and how they can help students. We will explain both of these and give you examples.

Student grants definition and basics

Grants and scholarships are both a type of gift aid. They do not need to be repaid in any way. But, a grant is eligible to students with specific, financial needs. Grants are given according to the difference between COA (college’s cost of attendance) and EFC (expected family contribution). This applies to most grants. Some of them, the best example would be Federal Pell Grant are determined and given only according to the EFC. What is a university grant? It is a grant for a university.

Almost all grants are given to students by the state or federal government, colleges, and obviously universities across the country. Most students can apply for a grant for free. This is a relatively simple process but it is time-consuming and there are a lot of students who will want the same grant.

When a student applies for a grant, he will need to write an application essay on a specific topic that will be provided. For instance, if the grant is related to black students, you may want to write racism argumentative essay or multiple essays and send the best one. You can see some of the best examples at Try to remember that these essays have huge importance. A paper must be based on proper research, cover racism or any other topic completely, and explain causes and effects.

Regardless of which type of paper you are writing, these are mandatory requirements. With a grant, you will be able to get a college education or at least to get help with the financial aspect while studying. A student with a grant will have to keep his GPA at a specific level. This is mandatory if a student wants to renew his grant and get it the next year. Most grants require students to maintain the minimum GPA while some are more complicated than that.

Almost 50% of all grants in the country are given by universities and colleges. Almost ¼ of them are obtained from Federal Pell Grant. The rest are divided between state grant programs and obviously military student programs.

What are scholarships?

All scholarships are based and given according to talent or merit. In simple terms, scholarships are given to students who are excellent in one thing. For instance, a student with exceptional academic skills, impressive in sports, or with a specific talent can get a scholarship. The main advantage is obvious. A student will get a complete ability to complete college thanks to his talent. If you are unable to afford this type of education, a scholarship may be the answer.

Scholarships are not given by colleges. In order to understand who funds scholarships, you need to make a clear difference between these and grants. Scholarships are given to students by employers, philanthropists, non-profit organizations, fraternal groups, and religious institutions.

It is important to add that a student with a scholarship must maintain a specific GPA or grade point average. By using this, he can maintain the scholarship and complete college successfully. This is actually one similarity between scholarships and grants and very important to remember.

You may want to know about fellowships as well. This is a type of scholarship. They are given to graduate students and they are basically the same as most other scholarships. You will still have to write persuasive paper or a different type for this kind of a scholarship.

Scholarships are very common these days. They total $6 billion per year and 1 of 8 students will get it. The average value is $4000. Students can apply for various scholarships but generally, only the most suitable candidates will get it.


Now you understand both topics. Grants and scholarships are a type of free aid given to students to help them with higher education. The benefits are stunning. Students can afford college, can get financial help, or can even study for free! But, grants are given in a more complex way while scholarships are given to students with a specific talent.  

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