A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education at a private elementary or secondary school, or a private or public post-secondary college, university, or other academic institution.
In other words, it is financial support awarded to a student, based on academic achievement or other criteria that may include financial need, for the purpose of schooling.
Scholarship and grant, what’s the difference?
While the terms are frequently used interchangeably, there is a difference. Scholarships 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 the athletic performance of a student and used as a tool to recruit high-performing athletes for their school’s athletic teams.
- Merit scholarships 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.