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What is Scholarships:
A scholarship is financial support awarded to a student, based on academic achievement or other criteria that may include financial need, for the purpose of schooling. There are various types of scholarships – the two most common being merit-based and need-based. The donor or department funding the scholarship sets the criteria for recipient selection, and the grantor specifically defines how the money is to be applied. The funds are used to defray the costs of tuition, books, room, board and other expenses directly tied to a student’s educational cost through the university.
Scholarships vs. grants:
While the terms scholarship and grant are frequently used interchangeably, there is a difference. Scholarship may have a financial need component but rely on other criteria as well.
- Academic scholarships typically use a minimum grade-point average or standardized test score such as the ACT or SAT to select awardees.
- Athletic scholarships are generally based on athletic performance of a student and used as a tool to recruit high-performing athletes for their school’s athletic teams.
- Merit scholarship can be based on a number of criteria, including performance in a particular school subject or club participation or community service.
Grants, however, are offered based exclusively on financial need and determined using the applicant’s FAFSA information.
A federal pell grant can be awarded to someone planning to receive their undergraduate degree and is solely based on their financial needs.