Difference Between Grants And Scholarships

Q: What is the difference between grants and scholarships for college?

A: Both grants and scholarships will provide the student with free money for college. Unlike student loans, money you receive from a scholarship or grant will not have to be repaid, which is why most experts recommend that college students exhaust all of their college scholarship and grant opportunities before moving onto student loans. Though there are more similarities than differences between grants and scholarships for college, each does have some unique attributes.

Grants for college provide a student with money that does not need to be repaid. Federal and state governments and non-profits are typically the most common providers of grants for college. The two most common types of grants for college are need-based grants and merit-based grants. Need-based grants will factor in an applicants financial need and income level when evaluating eligibility, and a merit-based grant will typically factor in academic requirements (and possibly financial need as well) when evaluating eligibility. For more information on grants for college view: How to get grants for college.

Scholarships for college will also provide a student with money that does not need to be repaid. Unlike grants for college, scholarships for college are provided by a wide variety of sources such as employers, companies, schools, and organizations. Scholarship requirements are often not just limited to financial need and/or academics (though some scholarships may be). Scholarship eligibility can be based on a large number of factors such as community involvement, gender, race, essay writing ability, unique talents or skills, etc… For more on scholarships for college view: How to find college scholarships.

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By , College Financial Aid Editor and lead college financial aid contributor to CollegeWhale.com.

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