What Is the Difference Between Grants vs Scholarships? The main difference between grants vs scholarships is that grants are typically need based. In comparison, scholarships tend to be merit based. Both grants and scholarships provide money to students that they may not have to repay. A grant is a type of financial aid, according to Grants.gov. It generally comes from the government. Pell Grants are one example. These may provide funds to low income undergraduate students. They may use these funds to pay for their tuition costs. This type of funding comes from the Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) document according to Federal Student Aid. They may then be eligible for a federal Pell grant or other times of financial aid from the federal government. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. Scholarships are different. They are also a type of financial aid. They may be issued by non profit organizations or provided by corporations. Sometimes individuals provide these funds to students. Many times, students need to complete an essay or meet other qualifications to obtain the scholarship. Students who plan to go to college may need to apply for both grants and scholarships. These funds may help pay for some educational needs. They may not pay for all of the costs a student has. However, they may be able to apply for student loans. Those loans may cover other costs. Sometimes their high school helps them find these programs in their senior year. There are also other programs available that may help including online tools. This may reduce the cost of attendance so much so that it makes it much more affordable to go to school in one area or the other. What are Some Sources of Grants vs Scholarships? There are various sources for grants vs scholarships. Grants come from federal government programs. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) provide the funding for these programs. They may be available to students who demonstrate financial need. Pell Grants are those that may meet specific income requirements, according to Federal Student Aid. The application process may determine if a student qualifies for this type of grant. Other grant programs may exist. Some receive these as a part of the work they do. This includes Afghanistan Service Grants. Another type of grant is given to a student who participated in military service in Iraq or other locations, according to Federal Student Aid. There are also state grants and other local grants. These grants come from government sources. They may cover costs for a range of needs. Again, grant money generally does not have to be repaid by the student. Some grants come from organizations that need more employees in them. For example, a TEACH Grant or The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education is an example, as noted by Federal Student Aid. This program helps to provide people who wish to become a teacher to pursue an education in it. The goal of a TEACH Grant is to help fill in gaps in education. This may be due to a specific field that needs more teachers. This is common for science and tech. They may also fill a specific need in an area of the state. Some state grants help encourage students to get access to financial aid they may be able to use for their education. In return, the student may have to teach in more challenging areas and school districts in the state. These areas may have a significant need for teachers. Where Do You Find Scholarships? Scholarships are a bit different, according to Federal Student Aid. Any organization has the ability to create a scholarship. They set the terms for that scholarship. They also make sure to determine what qualifications there are for any of these. Scholarships may be more comprehensive. Some organizations may offer them to students who have a specific athletic ability. This may help to reduce the costs the student pays to go to school there. In this case, the student may need to participate in that sport for the school to keep the scholarship. College scholarships often are given for sports needs. Private organizations often offer students a scholarship. This could be a company in the community. It may be an organization in the area of their educational focus. The organization sets the terms for the scholarship. It may provide funds to only those who attend full time. Others may cover part time education while the student works. Some scholarships require the student to complete internships during the summer or require a work study arrangement. A common scholarship opportunity comes into play in organizations that need workers. This may be a high need field such as nursing and teaching. Students who want to work in these fields may qualify for a scholarship. Students may receive funds to help pay for their education. High need field scholarships are growing in popularity. Some companies offer them to help encourage students to enroll. A variety of organizations offer these scholarship opportunities. Sometimes students just need to ask about them to get access to them. What are the Eligibility Requirements for Grants vs Scholarships? The eligibility requirements for grants and scholarships changes significantly. Here is a look at the differences students should know. Eligibility for Grants To qualify for federal grants, students may need to complete the FAFSA. This is a document provided by the U.S. Department of Education. It gathers a student’s financial information. It determines if they are eligible for student loans as well as grants. Students may need to provide a significant amount of personal information. This includes information about their income and their parent’s income. With the FAFSA done, students may learn about any federal grants they are qualified for. They may then use this information to obtain some student loans. This may not include private student loan information. Private student loans offer various repayment options, as noted by Federal Student Aid. They have different interest rates as well. Federal student loans are different. They follow a specific pattern for repayment and eligibility. They offer flexible repayment plans and loan consolidation. Federal and state grants are a type of aid that typically do not have to be repaid by the student. State grants have the same type of qualifications. It is important to know that some colleges also offer grants. These may be for specific programs in the school. They may also be for very limited access. In this case, the student may be eligible if he or she meets the requirements set by the school. This may range widely. It may be due to athletics. It may be due to educational qualifications. Some may be based on academics. Many grants are usually income based. This may include need based programs. Others are merit based. That means they are based on the qualifications of students. Eligibility for Scholarships Scholarships have many different qualifications. They are all dependent on what the organization sets as the rules for applying. Often, these are published and may be easy to find. Many colleges offer scholarships to students. These may be merit based or their educational achievements. Others are based on their course of study. Some colleges offer scholarships based on financial need. Some state governments may offer scholarships (or even grants) for students in that state. They may do this because they want to encourage students to get their education in the state. Another source of scholarships comes from private organizations. Any company has the ability to set them up if they want to do so. Nonprofits may also set them up. For example, some organizations create scholarships for students in their field. To qualify for scholarships, the student may need to provide their an application with school transcripts, letters of recommendation, essay, contact info and any other specific required information. Private organizations may set the number of scholarships. For example, they may offer one each year. It may be based on an essay question. Some scholarships are just for veterans, women, or a specific ethnicity. Private organizations may also offer scholarships based on a family’s history. This may include the family’s religious affiliations. If a parent is a member of a union or organization, that may help a high school student qualify for the scholarship. Other organizations are national programs such as American Legion or Future Farmers of America. With so many different opportunities it may be hard to narrow down scholarships. Often, students should consider use their school as a starting point. Then reach out to organizations who offer awards for their college majors. How to Apply for Grants vs Scholarships? Applying for grants vs scholarships is also different. As noted, there are various ways to apply and submit information for aid. Grant Programs To apply for a grant program, students typically need to complete the FAFSA as a starting point. Their college’s office of admissions may let the student know about any federal and state grants the student qualifies for in an award letter. This is set just months before they are scheduled to enroll. It may come from the school when they announce their acceptance into the program. Some schools, including colleges and universities, may require additional college aid information to be provided. Students may need to complete this after reaching out to the school’s admissions counselor to learn more. The school’s financial aid office may be able to provide a great deal of information for students on all available grant programs. Students applying for other types of grants may need to complete specific applications for them. This depends on the organization offering them. Read through the terms required for the grant. Follow them exactly to qualify. Scholarship Programs Students also may need to apply for scholarship programs as noted by Federal Student Aid. This is done separately. Some colleges use FAFSA to make scholarship decisions. They may also require additional forms to be filled out. This information may help them to decide if a student meets the requirements of the program. For private organization scholarships, the process may be far more complex. Students need to first find out which scholarships are available to them. They then need to reach out to those organizations to request information about the scholarships. Then, they must complete the required information. This may include essays. It may also include providing personal information. Often, letters of recommendation are required. Students may also need to meet GPA and ACT and SAT test score requirements. The key is to submit all information requested to the organization offering the scholarship. All students should consider applying for both educational grants and scholarships. They may help reduce the cost of attendance significantly.