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October 29, 2020

Difference Between Scholarships and Education Grants

There is much confusion on the difference between education grants and scholarships.  Although there are institutional education grants aimed at developing new education programs and are awarded to large institutions and not students, the confusion between scholarships and education grants comes down to the education grants aimed for individual students.

Education Grants for Individual Students

These type or grants are awarded for the sole purpose of paying for college or career training.  There are only a few federal education grant programs that do this, including the well-known Pell-Grant.  Grants of these types are usually awarded based on financial need.


The majority of education grants for individual students are known as scholarships.  Although, scholarships and student grants are the same in that they are intended to pay college costs, scholarships are merit-based financial aid, unlike grants which are need-based. Here is a partial list of college scholarships.

Where the Terms Intertwine

Need-based and merit-based financial aid is no longer very clear-cut because foundations, organizations and corporations, offer scholarships based both on need and merit.  Students in general apply to several scholarships on top of their federal education grants.  Both scholarships and education grant money does not need to be paid back.

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