Understanding the Similarities & Difference Between Scholarships, Grants & Bursaries

It might be challenging to pay for a college education. To help students pay for their studies, there are a variety of financial aid options available. Students can choose the type of support that best meets their needs by being aware of the similarities & differences between scholarships, grants & bursaries


Scholarships are given out based on academic success or other merit-based standards like leadership potential or involvement in the community. Although they frequently come from universities and colleges, they can also be provided by independent businesses and groups. These rewards frequently come with conditions, such as upholding a minimum GPA or carrying out particular duties like taking part in an internship. Scholarships may also be based on need, but this is uncommon.

Scholarship Application Procedure

For their scholarships, every university has an application procedure. Some may be online applications, while others may need to be downloaded and sent via an email address that is provided. Schools may hold an audition or test game for a sports scholarship to make sure you are as talented as you claim to be. Your 15 As are typically more than enough to satisfy them, especially for academic grants.


Grants are typically need-based and offered by government or nonprofit organizations with the goal of assisting low-income people in covering the costs of attending college. Unlike scholarships and bursaries, grants do not demand repayment; rather, winners are subject to a number of conditions, such as proving their financial need or enrolling in a work-study program. In order to continue getting grants each semester, beneficiaries may also need to keep up their academic performance.

Grants Application Procedure

You must submit a proposal and plan to the awarding committee for a particular research project, such as a dissertation. To gauge how serious you are about your research, there may be a casual interview or conversation about your goals for the dissertation. There are rarely any issues that prevent you from obtaining the grant as long as it is something you truly need.


Bursaries in most countries are often given out by schools or universities as opposed to the government or charity sector. The eligibility requirements for bursaries can vary significantly; some may require candidates to demonstrate financial necessity, while others may take academic achievement or extracurricular activities into account. Depending on the school’s policies and available funding, bursary amounts can range from a few hundred dollars to full tuition coverage.

Bursary Application Procedure

Bursaries may typically be applied for online through the website of your host university, but depending on where you’re studying, double-check to be sure you qualify for the bursary in the first place. Universities in various nations have distinct policies regarding their bursaries and the types of students they give them to. The nation’s government occasionally provides bursaries to students through local councils, as do organizations.

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Scholarships, Grants & Bursaries Similarities

Some similarities between these three forms of financial aid include:

No Repayment Is Necessary:

Scholarships, grants, and bursaries are frequently given out based on merit, financial need, or other particular requirements. They are not required to be paid back.

Taxable Income:

Scholarships, grants, and bursaries are generally regarded as taxable income and must be disclosed on the student’s tax return in most nations.

Application procedure:

Students must normally fill out an application and include details about their academic and personal backgrounds, as well as their financial needs, in order to be considered for a scholarship, grant, or bursary.


There may be intense competition for all three types of financial help, since several students may submit applications for a finite number of prizes.

Scholarships, Grants & Bursaries Differences

While there are some similarities between scholarships, grants, and bursaries, it is crucial to keep in mind that there are also some variations, including the standards used to assess eligibility and the kinds of expenses that can be covered. Students can select the most appropriate type of financial aid for their circumstances by being aware of these variances. The main distinctions between scholarships, grants, and bursaries are listed here.

Eligibility Requirements:

Scholarships are frequently given out based on merits, such as academic excellence, athletic prowess, or artistic aptitude. Grants are frequently given out based on financial need, but bursaries are frequently given out based on both academic accomplishment and financial need.

Type of Expenses Covered:

While bursaries are often more focused on covering tuition and fee costs, scholarships and grants can be used to cover a variety of expenses, including tuition, fees, books, and living expenses.

Application Process:

There are several requirements for applying for grants, scholarships, and bursaries. Some may need a lot of paperwork and essays, while others may only need a straightforward application form.

Renewable awards:

If a student continues to complete the requirements, they may be eligible to earn a scholarship or grant for a number of years. Bursaries are frequently one-time payments that do not recur.

Funding Source:

While grants are typically supported by government entities, non-profit organizations, or other public institutions, scholarships are frequently funded by private organizations, foundations, corporations, or the private sector. Typically, universities, colleges, or private institutions or organizations sponsor bursaries


When it comes time for students to pay for their college education, scholarships, grants, and bursaries all offer helpful support. Before requesting any kind of financial aid, it is crucial for students to thoroughly investigate all three alternatives. This will help determine which kind of aid best meets their needs.

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