Difference between fellowship and scholarship

Understanding the difference between a scholarship and a fellowship program have become the priority of students who gets confused about the two concepts. If you want to understand the process of fellowships and scholarships, and also know the other meaning of fellowship in education, then you need to read this article to the end as we will be providing information that will be shine light on the following areas:

  • What is a Fellowship?
  • What is the meaning of fellowship in education?
  • What is fellowship program?
  • How do you become a fellow?
  • How does fellowship work?
  • Are there undergraduate fellowships?
  • What is a scholarship?
  • what are the types of Fellowship?
  • Difference between Scholarship and Fellowship

difference between fellowship and scholarship

Many students believe that anything that funds your academics be it loans, grants or any form of financial aid is a scholarship. But because of intellectual implications, it is important that we know the difference between a scholarship and a fellowship.

The only thing that is common between a scholarship and a Fellowship is that both of them are financial aid. Apart from that there are many distinctive differences between them

With that being said, let’s proceed with the answer to the question, what is the difference between a scholarship and the fellowship? And what is the meaning of fellowship in education? We will also take time to provide the list of questions about fellowships and scholarships above.

What is a Fellowship?

The term “Fellowship” means different things to different group of people, conventionally people understand fellowship to be a group of people who have gathered together to commune. But this same word means a different thing in education. The fellowship in this context deals with a form of financial aid that is meant mostly for graduate and postgraduate students to pursue their academic goals.

Some other fellowships would include internship programs or other related service commitment that would take one year or more.

What is a Fellowship

Basically we’d say that fellowships are financial aids mostly meant for graduate or post-graduate students.  And also considered a merit-based opportunity. Winners are selected base on long-term considerations, where contributions made by the students is put into consideration.

The winner of a fellowship is called a fellow.

What is the meaning of fellowship in education?

meaning of fellowship in education

Unlike scholarship that cannot be used outside the education context as it has only one meany. Fellowship could mean a different thing to a different group of people or setting. In this context, we are referring to fellowship as it regards to education. The meaning of fellowships in education has it that it is a form of financial award that offers postgraduate students the opportunity to gain more experience in graduate and postgraduate research without having to spend their own money. Some fellowships have little or no special work requirements, while others work more like an internship for postgraduate students. These kinds of opportunities can strengthen the resume and the pocketbook of a postgraduate student, so every postgraduate candidate should apply for such an award. Fellowships are usually merit-based awards, preferably for people with a high GPA and a promising future career.

What is fellowship program?

While the term “fellowship” has other meaning in different contexts. It is also used by various programs, even as a scholarship, fellowships are generally short-term opportunities that last from a few months to several years. Focus on the professional development of the winner of the fellowship program is sponsored by a specific organization that is trying to develop and expand leadership in that area.

How do you become a fellow?

To become a fellow you must be a member of a learned society, academy or a group of learned subjects (a fellowship) who works together in pursuit of mutual knowledge or practices. There are many types of fellowships that are awarded in academia and industry for various reasons. These often indicate a different level of scholarship.

How does fellowship work?

Fellowships are more competitive than the general scholarship, so you need to prepare an impressive application that won’t go under the stack. Companies are usually looking for academics with high academic performance, heads of charitable services, dedicated honorary students and experienced researchers. Let your motivation and self-direction shine. Do not be surprised if it takes at least two months for the application to be completed and the supporting documents to be collected. The most important things needed is a curriculum vitae, official transcript, letter of recommendation and a research proposal. Participation in an interview with the members of the selection committee is also common.

Are there undergraduate fellowships?

This is basically the reason that there are many postgraduate and graduate fellowships than there is in undergraduate fellowship. But that does not mean that you cannot find undergraduate fellowships. Many undergraduate institutions offer fellowship to their students and each winner is called a fellow. But the process of an undergraduate fellowship is more like the process of a normal scholarship.

Fellowships are considered to be a very competitive merit-based opportunity. And that is why winning a Fellowship is considered to be very difficult.

It is always offered towards research programs which will help develop the student and broadens the person’s Horizon in their study field.

What is a scholarship?

What is a scholarship

The word scholarship is a very conventional word within students,  it is easier to understand. It is considered a form of financial aid offered by colleges for students to pursue their academic dreams without worrying about how to payback

Scholarships offered to students based on different criteria which may include financial need merit-based or any form of qualification requirement chosen by the academic Institution. The good thing about scholarships is the fact that it has a ton of sponsors of which mostly includes governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations, individuals, institutions and some other bodies that are interested to help students financially to achieve their academic goals.

This actually implies that there are way more scholarships than fellowships. Students can easily find Scholarships that they can find fellowships. And eligibility requirements of a scholarship is not always as difficult as it is for Fellowships

Difference between Scholarship and Fellowship

We’ve got some clear distinctive differences between a scholarship and a Fellowship, some of which would make an institution call an opportunity a scholarship and the other a Fellowship.

One of the most notable difference between these two terms is the fact that a scholarship clearly implies that there is a financial aid available for students. But a fellowship do not necessarily imply there is a financial opportunity. A fellowship might just be an opportunity available for students in a particular course of study that will aid there studies or research analysis. It might be an opportunity that will afford the beneficiary the opportunity to use some facilities that would advance their studies.

difference between fellowships and scholarships

Another pungent difference between a scholarship and a Fellowship is the fact that scholarships are open to virtually all the levels of studies. There are scholarships for undergraduates; there are also scholarships for postgraduate; there are even scholarships for high school students or students in their early academics. But this is different when it comes to fellowships.  Fellowships  are meant for advanced levels of studies. There are no fellowships for high school students not even a single one. People receive scholarships based on different eligibility requirements or criteria, which might be based on financial needs or academic brewers. But this is different when it comes to fellowships.

Fellowships are offered based on merit and that is why fellowships are very competitive. And there are a very large number of scholarships and a few number of fellowships.

Another strong difference between a scholarship and a fellowship is the fact that scholarships can be offered to students in wide range of study fields. But fellowships are strictly offered to students undertaking research.

This explains why the few undergraduate fellowships available are offered to undergraduate students, who are undertaking undergraduate research programs

What are the types of Fellowship?

Concentrating on fellowships to help us better see the scholarship vs fellowship distinction, let’s look at the major kinds of fellowships.

Here are the popular kinds of scholarships government and research organizations offer to fellows.

Types of fellowships includes, postdoctoral fellowships, doctoral fellowships, medical fellowships etc


Scholarships are quiet considered to be very easy compared to fellowships.

The are tons of scholarships available for all levels of studies, while fellowships are offered mostly to graduate students to undertake research related programs.

You may need to pay tax for receiving a scholarship or a Fellowship that pays for extra expenses such as rooms and board. It is easier to win fellowship or scholarship if you adequately meet it’s criteria or eligibility requirements.

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