Understanding Grants vs. Scholarships

Sup guys…, I’m confused about the difference between grants and scholarships. Can someone please explain how they differ? Are they essentially the same thing? Thanks in advance…



Grants and scholarships are both forms of financial aid that don’t need to be repaid, but they have some key differences. Grants are typically need-based, meaning they’re awarded based on your financial situation. They’re often funded by the government or institutions to help students who need financial assistance to attend school. Scholarships, on the other hand, are usually merit-based and awarded for academic achievements, talents, or other specific criteria. They can come from various sources, including schools, private organizations, and community groups. While both aim to help you pay for your education, the main distinction lies in how they’re awarded: grants are based on financial need, while scholarships are based on merit or specific qualifications.


A grant is typically granted based on need, but a scholarship is usually offered based on merit. The amount of financial assistance offered to you is what the scholarship award letter refers to as a “grant”. It will most likely be utilized to reduce the total amount you owe by applying it to tuition.

Hey @MegWhitgal Grants and scholarships are both types of financial aid that help cover educational costs but differ in key ways:


  • Based on financial need, provided by government, schools, or private organizations.
  • Do not need to be repaid (gift aid).
  • Examples: Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, state-based grants.


  • Based on academic merit, athletic ability, talent, or specific criteria set by the provider.
  • Do not need to be repaid (gift aid).
  • Examples: Academic, athletic, talent-based, and private scholarships.

How they differ

  • Eligibility: Grants are need-based; scholarships are merit/talent-based.
  • Repayment: Neither needs to be repaid.
  • Funding Sources: Grants often come from the government or schools; scholarships can come from various sources, including private organizations.

Both grants and scholarships are valuable and can be combined to help cover education costs.

Grants are given based on financial-need, while scholarships are merit-based and awarded to students based on their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, field of study, and more.