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Although the two terms grant and scholarship are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing. A grant simply refers to financial assistance. In the academic sector, students are awarded scholarships based on their financial need. However, scholarships are not usually need-based. based on a student’s achievement, ability, or certain ethnic or other special characteristics. This difference in basis is the main difference between a grant and a scholarship. It is also important to note that grants and scholarships are not expected to be repaid. However, both usually require some standard, such as maintaining a certain GPA, to continue funding.
The term grant refers to non-repayable funds given for a specific purpose. Funding is often provided by a government, company, foundation or trust. Recipients are often non-profit organisations, educational institutions or individuals. In the field of academics, scholarships refer to money given to an individual student to further their education.
Where To Find Grants And Scholarships
This type of grant is usually based on need, not merit or any other factor. This means that the grant is awarded based on the financial situation of the student or his family. A grant may be awarded by the government or another organisation. They can be awarded to students pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degree. Some examples of grants in the USA include Pell Grant, SEOG, ACG and National SMART Grant.
Difference Between Grant And Scholarship
A scholarship is financial support given to a student in order to further his education. It does not have to be returned and can be based on various factors. Merit, need, career and characteristics of students, and especially ethnic and other characteristics
Merit-based scholarships are based on a student’s academic achievements, athletic or artistic abilities, or other extracurricular activities. Need-based scholarships take into account the student’s financial background and are awarded to those in need of financial assistance. Some scholarships also take different factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. A minority scholarship is an example of this category. Some universities also award scholarships to students who intend to pursue a particular field. This type of career-based scholarship is usually awarded to students who wish to pursue careers in high-need fields such as nursing.
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College grants and scholarships allow students to pay for their degrees while avoiding major costs. According to data from Sallie Mae, scholarships and grants covered 25% of students’ college expenses in 2020-21. That same year, about 7 in 10 families relied on scholarships and grants to fund a student’s education.
In this guide, we provide an overview of college scholarships and grants, including eligibility requirements and strategies for finding the best opportunities for you.
Although both scholarships and grants provide free money that does not have to be repaid, there are some key differences between the two.
Let’s Talk Scholarships
Grants are usually awarded by federal and state governments. They are usually allocated on the basis of financial need rather than merit. A well-known example is a Pell Grant, awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Students can apply for college scholarships by simply submitting the FAFSA.
Scholarships, on the other hand, are awarded by various entities such as non-profit organizations, employers, foundations, schools, religious organizations, and professional organizations. These grants require separate applications and are usually awarded on merit. Factors influencing scholarship decisions may include GPA and grades, SAT or ACT scores, extracurricular activities, and essay.
Many scholarships target specific student populations, such as certain majors, women, students of color, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.
The US Department of Education offers grants to specific student populations. Qualifications usually include financial need and a specific field of study.
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States often set aside grant money for residents who wish to earn a college degree. Since states create their own requirements, however, eligibility and awards may vary. Contact your state’s department of education to learn more about the scholarships available to students.
Other scholarships include special scholarship programs aimed at specific fields of study and/or specific student populations. For example, the Foreign Languages and Area Studies Scholarship awards sums of money for the summer and the academic year to students studying specific areas and languages.
Scholarship providers vary widely. Students can contact their school’s financial aid department to learn more about the options available. Here are some of the most common types of scholarships for students.
Students who earn high SAT/ACT scores and/or maintain a certain minimum high school GPA—often 3.0-3.5—may be eligible for merit-based scholarships.
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Demographic scholarships target underrepresented student populations, such as students of color, women, and LGBTQ+ students. The aim of these programs is to promote diversity on college campuses and raise education levels in certain communities.
Students who demonstrate physical fitness and strong athletic abilities may pursue athletic scholarships. Many of these target specific sports, such as basketball, football and volleyball
Aspiring artists in fields such as music, fine arts and performing arts can apply for creative grants, which usually require a portfolio or performance along with an application.
Some of the most unique college scholarships focus on students’ talents and hobbies. For example, you might be asked to create a prom dress out of duct tape or make a greeting card.
College Grants And Scholarships For Student
Academic and athletic scholarships often provide the biggest rewards. That said, students with exceptional creative abilities may be eligible for full-ride scholarships at some institutions.
Students can also receive significant scholarships from their community. Local businesses can invest in students who attend the college. Similarly, community organizations such as foundations and civic groups often have funding available to students studying fields related to their cause.
Another option is religious organizations, although these scholarship programs may require you to be a member of the organization. Working students can also talk to their companies about employer sponsorship for college.
To apply for federal grants, all you need to do is file the FAFSA. Students should also consider local organizations, member associations and charities, which usually provide guides and links to college scholarships available on their websites.
Grants And Scholarships
While federal student aid is a great place to start, finding college scholarships requires due diligence. You can start by collecting scholarships based on demographics and majors. Other websites, such as Fastweb and Cappex, maintain more extensive lists of student scholarships.
Current undergraduate students seeking scholarships should contact the financial aid department to inquire about institutional scholarships. Completing the FAFSA and CSS Profile (if required by your school) may also lead to scholarship opportunities.
Note that while grants usually only require you to fill out the FAFSA, merit-based scholarships tend to come with their own applications. Merit-based scholarship applications may require transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.
Students should consider their academic background, strengths and weaknesses to identify the best scholarship opportunities for them. For example, if you have a low GPA, you may want to focus on need-based scholarships rather than merit-based scholarships.
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Making a list of potential scholarships and organizing them according to their deadlines can help you manage your time so you don’t miss any deadlines.
Finally, applying for local scholarships can increase your chances of winning money, especially if you are a member or actively involved in the organization.
Grants and scholarships come from many providers and therefore vary in their closing dates. With federal and state grants, be sure to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible when it becomes available each year on October 1st. For scholarships, contact your scholarship provider to see when the application is due. Some scholarships are available throughout the year, while others adhere to hard deadlines.
External scholarships can affect your eligibility for financial aid or reduce the total amount of money you receive from a school. At Cornell University, for example, external scholarships will reduce the initial amount of loans and/or work studies you receive from the school. Contact your institution to learn more about financial aid policies and the role external scholarships play in student aid packages.
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Generally, there is no hard limit on the number of scholarships and bursaries you can receive for college. However, if the total of the scholarship and grant is more than your school’s cost of attendance, you may see your award amount reduced. Make sure you check your institution’s policy on scholarships and grants.
College scholarships and grants usually specify how students can use the money. Some providers may allow students
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