Difference Between Scholarship and Fellowship


Both scholarship and fellowship are two terms often used interchangeably to describe aid given to a student to further his or her education. However, there exists a slight difference between scholarship and fellowship. The outstanding differences between fellowship and scholarship is that fellowship is always based on merit while scholarship can be based on other factors aside merit.

Definition of Scholarship

The scholarship is a financial aid awarded by the government, university. or any other organization in order to support the education of students. The financial aid gotten from scholarship can be used to pay for tuition fees, books, accommodation, and other expenses incurred. Scholarships do not require repayment.

The scholarship grantor lays down the criteria for awarding scholarship, which may be academic achievement, category, needs, etc. The criteria for selection of scholarship recipient expresses the objective of the grantor.

Definition of Fellowship

The fellowship is a financial aid provided to scholars from different discipline such as science, literature, agriculture, management, arts etc., to recognize excellence. To be more specific, fellowship is a graduate level, merit-based form of funding which does not need to be repaid. It includes tuition fees and stipends for living expense.

READ ALSO: Difference Between Scholarship and Grant.

Differences Between Scholarship and Fellowship

Highlighted below is the difference between scholarship and fellowship.

1. A scholarship is a form of financial aid awarded to a student on the basis of their academic qualification, to support them in their further studies, and also to encourage them to do better. On the other hand, a fellowship is a form of financial assistance provided to an individual who is willing to research further on a specific discipline, after they fulfil the prescribed criteria.

2. The scholarship is provided on to students while the fellowship is only for research fellows.

3. There are different types of scholarship, i.e. merit-based (awarded to meritorious students), need-based (awarded to poor and needy students) category-based (awarded to candidates belonging to a specific category). On the other hand, the fellowship is only merit-based, i.e. those candidates who are selected as research fellows can avail fellowship.

4. Scholarships are available from the very early stage of an academic career, even before undergraduate studies one can apply for a scholarship, while fellowships are available for the later stage

5. Financial aid available for all undergraduate students in the University is called “scholarship”. Financial aid available for all graduate research in some specific area is called “fellowship”

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