Difference between Scholarship, grant and Bursary

You want to know the difference between Scholarship Grant and Bursary? then stick to this article. This article would be directed in a way that it would answer the question of the difference between scholarship, grant and bursaries.

Many students have always been confused about these three terms. And most times mistake one for the other. It is important that as a student you know which one you’re being offered. Disregarding the difference between scholarship, grants and bursary. One common thing about these three terms is the fact that they’re ways of Supporting students financially. They can be offered to students who are discovered to be in need of them. Or to students who apply for any of them.

Difference Between Scholarship Grant and Bursary

Difference between Scholarship, Grant and Bursary

The Difference Between Scholarship Grant and Bursary is not always considered by many, because they are similar on the basics that they are all forms of financial assistance. But this content will go as long providing information about the key difference between these three terms.

Below is a very quick overview of the difference between scholarship, grant and bursary and how they work.

What is Bursary?

A typical example of the difference between Bursary, Scholarship, and Grant is that Bursaries are considered to be a set-aside lump of cash offered to students based on the financial state of the parents. Or based on what the parents can offer financially. This kind of financial aid operates on a sliding scale matrix.  This means that what a student gets is inversely proportional to what the parents earns.

A student whose parents earns small receive less in Bursary. While a students whose parents earns less receives more in bursary. And of course, any students whose parents are considered to be very rich would definitely not receive anything in bursary, because the parents have enough money to send them to school. Bursary is a very encouraging thing for students. And you don’t have to pay back.

Scholarship vs Bursary

A Scholarship is a non-refundable, generally financial means of support that is granted based on the individual assessment of predetermined criteria. A scholarship focuses on recognizing and rewarding your academic achievements.

A bursary is a non-repayable form of financial support designed to support students who meet certain eligibility criteria. The word “bursary” interchangeable with the word “grant”.

Difference Between Scholarship and Bursary

How is Bursaries gotten?

Bursaries can be applied for through the university website. And it is important that before you apply for any bursary, you should make sure that you are eligible to apply.

Universities around the world have varying eligibility requirements when it comes to bursary application. This requirements would be disclosed to students during application process.
Other organisations, individuals and firms also offer Bursary

What is Scholarship?

Scholarships are basically offered based on academic excellence, and some sort of being talented in a particular thing. Some scholarships are offered based on the student’s commitment to social services and related activities. It is always directed towards tuition fees, rooms and board, and other academic related expenses

Universities have values they place on their scholarships. Some Universities prefer offering scholarships to students who are sportsman than students with straight A’s. Universities like this one focuses on extracurricular activities more than academic excellence.

How Do I Get a Scholarship?

Scholarships are offered based on varying eligibility criteria and requirements, which is decided by the platform offering the scholarship. There is somewhat practical scholarships which applicants will be required to do some test, exams or some sort of competition where the winner will be offered a scholarship.

More often, students who are dominant in academics do not require to get involved in some of these texts and exams, there straight A’s would definitely land them the scholarship.

What is Grant?

Grant is a form of financial aid offered to undertake a particular task. More often it is offered to undertake research or to pay off a particular academic due. It is more specific than other forms of financial aid. Most times it is the University where the student studies offers this kind of financial award.

A student carrying out a very profitable research or academic projects that will benefit the university and the community at large is likely to attract this kind of financial aid.

Grants basically would likely go to any student who is researching a solution to a problem, than a student who wants to study abroad. Because the providers of the Grant would want their money to go to someone who is likely to solve a lingering problem in the academic world

Is Grant a Scholarship?

Most students are always confusing this two terms, and it goes as long as affecting them in their scholarship application. Trying to explain the difference between scholarship, grant and bursary connotes that there is also a difference between grant and scholarship, that a grant is not typically a scholarship.

A scholarship is a financial support granted to a student to continue his studies. The scholarships are awarded according to various criteria, which generally reflect the values and goals of the donor or founder of the scholarships. Grants are funds paid by a party (grant maker), often a government department, company, foundation, or trust, to a beneficiary, often (but not always) a nonprofit, financial institution, education, company, or an individual.

Difference Between Scholarship and Grant

Scholarship vs Grant

Scholarships and grants are not the same, and the two terms are usually confused. Scholarships are basically based on merit. This means that they are issued to potential beneficiaries based on the desired qualities such as sporting skills, academic achievements, athletic ability or participation in a specific extra-curricular activity. Scholarships can also be based on certain characteristics such as belonging to a group or ancestral background

Grants are usually based on needs, and are available to students according to criteria such as family income. The main sources of funding are the federal and state governments. State-funded grants are usually awarded to students studying in that particular state.

How do I get a grant?

If you’re carrying out a dissertation just like a piece of research. You need to submit the overview which would include the processes and the problem you wish to solve after research to the award provider. The provider of the Grant may want to have a chat with the person carrying out the research, just so he can know what the person is up to and how confident the person is in solving the problem.

Getting the Grant won’t be a problem so long as the solution the researcher wants to bring after the research is needed.

Grant vs Bursary

Bursaries tend to be given more often for financial purposes and offered by organizations that want to support students who are from low-income households or from groups that are underrepresented.

Grants are mostly offered by charitable organisations and can be given for a variety of reasons. In general, the charity or trust has been founded to support people from certain groups, e.g. People from a specific region, social or religious background, people with disabilities or people with difficulties.


Talking about the difference between scholarship grant and bursary does not mean that Bursary, Scholarship and Grant not similar on the basis that they are a form of financial aid. They can be used to support students to achieve their academic dreams in any field of study. Just so you know , they are also differentiated by so many distinctive differences which have been discussed above.

Hope this content was helpful. do well to leave us a comment in the comment section.

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Bassey Chimezirim James is an ardent writer who has written for top education and tech websites, which includes the likes of World Scholarship Forum, After School Africa, Gadget Wrights etc. He is a motivational speaker, and a life coach for students. Bassey Chimezirim James is a graduate of Physics and the Team for the https://stayinformedgroup.com/ Project