What is a grant scholarship ? - Giggle & Bytes

What is a grant scholarship ?

Academic Research

Grants and scholarships are forms of financial aid that provide students with funds for college without the requirement of repayment. While both are categorized as gift aid, they have distinct differences in terms of eligibility criteria and sources. Grants are typically need-based, relying on a student’s financial situation, while scholarships are merit-based, awarded based on academic, athletic, artistic talent, or other specific criteria.


Grants are funds disbursed by various entities like the federal government, state governments, colleges, and universities to recipients such as nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, businesses, or individuals. They are primarily need-based and require applicants to demonstrate financial need through factors like the college’s cost of attendance and expected family contribution (EFC). State grants and university grants often have income cutoffs, making eligibility dependent on financial circumstances.


Scholarships are awards of financial aid for students to further their education. They are usually merit-based and awarded based on academic achievements or other specific criteria like athletic ability or unique talents. Scholarships can be offered by schools, individuals, businesses, families, community organizations, or other parties. They reflect the values or interests of the donor and may require applicants to meet certain GPA requirements or demonstrate excellence in various areas.

Sources of Grants and Scholarships:

Governments: Federal and state governments provide significant gift aid through programs like the Federal Pell Grant.

Colleges: Many colleges offer grants and scholarships to their students, which can be merit-based or need-based.

Private Organizations: Companies, foundations, community organizations, and clubs sponsor outside scholarships that students can apply for based on various criteria.

Application Processes:

Grants: Applying for grants often involves filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which automatically considers applicants for federal grants like the Federal Pell Grant.

Scholarships: To apply for scholarships, students may need to complete individual applications for various organizations. Online search engines like Finaid, Fastweb, and CollegeXpress can help find suitable scholarships based on demographics, skills, grades, etc.

Identifying the Best Type of Financial Aid:

Students can apply for both grants and scholarships to maximize financial support for college.

Scholarships may be more suitable for high-achieving students with exceptional GPAs or specific talents.

Grants cater more to lower-income families, minorities, students with disabilities, and high-need groups.

In conclusion, grants and scholarships play crucial roles in making higher education accessible by providing free funds to students. Understanding the differences between these forms of financial aid can help students navigate the application process effectively and secure the necessary support for their college education.