Grants vs. scholarships


Every year, students across the country ask a similar question: What’s the difference between grants and scholarships? First, know that you want both, because grants and scholarships are free money that you do not have repay. The difference lies in who gives you the free money for your education.

A grant is one type of financial aid, usually disbursed by the government. For example, the federal government gives the Pell Grant to low-income undergraduate students to help pay for their tuition. The government also provides free money through the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. In order to determine eligibility for these grants, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Scholarships are another form of financial aid issued by corporations, non-profit organizations, and individuals. Scholarships may ask you to write an essay on a creative topic or create a prom dress out of duct tape. There are scholarships for students of any age and almost everything under the sun, like academic and athletic ability, ethnicity, major, state, affinity for zombies, and much more.

Both grants and scholarships are free money that will help you pay for college, leaving you with less debt after you graduate. So, make sure you apply for as many as you can, and keep applying every month — before and throughout college.

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