Difference Between Grants and Scholarships And List of Universities That Provide Them

Many students have this question in their minds that what is the Difference Between Grants and Scholarships and How to get Grants and Scholarships. And we are also going to discuss the main difference between them and what universities offer Scholarships and grants for students. Remember, applying for both scholarships and grants can significantly reduce your college costs. Consider exploring different options and seeking guidance from financial aid advisors at your chosen institutions.

Both scholarships and grants are “free money” that doesn’t need to be repaid like loans. Some institutions and organizations offer their own unique awards that combine elements of both scholarships and grants. Always carefully review application requirements and deadlines for any financial aid opportunities you’re interested in.

Difference Between Grants and Scholarships:

While both scholarships and grants are forms of financial aid, they have some key differences:


  • Scholarships: Generally awarded based on merit, such as academic achievement, athletic talent, artistic ability, leadership potential, or participation in specific extracurricular activities. Some consider financial need in addition to merit.
  • Grants: Primarily based on financial need, with factors like family income and student cost of attendance influencing award amounts. Demonstrating financial need often requires completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Funding Source:

  • Scholarships: Can come from various sources, including universities, colleges, private organizations, non-profit groups, corporations, and individuals.
  • Grants: Often come from federal or state government agencies, universities, or colleges.


  • Scholarships: Numerous types exist, including academic, athletic, artistic, need-based, special interest, and renewable (awarded annually) or one-time awards.
  • Grants: Fewer types compared to scholarships, with common examples being need-based federal grants like the Pell Grant and state grants specific to certain demographics or academic fields.

Some FAQs:

  • What is the best method to pay for college?
    Students should complete the FAFSA to access financial aid like grants, scholarships, work-study programs and federal student loans. Other sources to pay for college include 529 plans, other savings accounts or working a part-time job.
  • What is the most common way students pay for college?
    87% of families used their income and savings to pay for college. 41% of families borrowed money to pay for college. 73% of families used grants and scholarships to pay for college.

Scholarships and Grants List:

Merit-Based Scholarships:

  • National Merit Scholarship Program: For US high school seniors who excel on the PSAT/NMSQT. Awards range from $500 to $2,500 per year.
  • Coca-Cola Scholars Program: For graduating high school seniors with outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and community service. 150 scholarships of $20,000 each are awarded annually.
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Program: For outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian & Pacific Islander, and Hispanic American high school seniors with strong academic records and financial need. Provides up to the full cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses at any accredited US college or university.
  • United States Presidential Scholars Program: Recognizes and honors the highest-achieving high school seniors in the country. Up to 161 Presidential Scholars are chosen each year and receive a $5,000 one-time stipend.

Need-Based Grants:

    • Federal Pell Grant: The largest federal grant program for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Award amounts vary based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and enrollment status.
    • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): Provides need-based grants to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need who are Pell Grant recipients. Awards range from $100 to $4,000 per year.
    • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH Grant): Provides up to $4,000 per year to eligible students who agree to teach in high-need fields at a public or private elementary or secondary school for at least four years.
    • Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF): Provides scholarships and educational support services to Hispanic students and families. Awards range from $500 to $5,000 per year.
    • American Indian College Fund (AICF): Provides scholarships and other support services to Native American and Alaska Native students pursuing higher education. Awards vary based on individual needs and financial aid packages.
    • Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA): Offers scholarships and internships to Asian American students interested in journalism careers. Awards range from $500 to $5,000 per year.
    • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): Offers scholarships to African American students based on academic merit, financial need, and community involvement. Awards vary based on the specific scholarship program.

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