What Is The Difference Between A Fellowship And A Scholarship

The government offers several programs to help needy and/or deserving students further their education; these programs are available to students only if they meet certain requirements. Fellowships and scholarships are two such programs that are frequently misunderstood in this regard.

In general, “scholarship” and “fellowship” imply “financial aid” for scholars and researchers, as well as for anybody interested in looking for, discovering, and researching new information. A university, study center, educational institution, laboratory, agency of the government, or foundation establishes “scholarships” and “fellowships.”

Financial aid comes in many forms for students attending college, such as loans, grants, scholarships, and fellowships. However, precisely what is a scholarship or fellowship?


A scholarship is an initiative that supports students in their academic endeavors and targets those who want to attend colleges and universities at the postsecondary level.  Due to the high cost of postsecondary education, many students discontinue their studies after completing grade 12 or secondary school.  

Some have very strong credentials and meet the minimal requirements to be admitted to universities, but because of the unfavorable activity, they cannot afford to continue their studies. Their dreams simply fade and are not fulfilled.  Scholarship exists to reduce the disparity. 

Scholarships give graduate and undergraduate students access to free money. Scholarships never require repayment, in contrast to loans, which borrowers are required to repay. Both merit- and need-based scholarships provide recipients with free money. 

Numerous organizations provide scholarships. Scholarships are given out by colleges and universities, as well as by the federal and state governments. Scholarship competitions may be held by foundations, businesses, private donors, and professional associations. 

Similar to scholarships, grants also offer free college funding; however, grants are more likely to originate from government organizations and require documentation of financial need.


A fellowship offers financial assistance to students with no repayment obligations, similar to a scholarship. However, the majority of fellowships help graduate students, unlike scholarships. Although undergraduate fellowships are rare, master’s and doctoral students are typically the recipients of fellowship funding.

In addition, a fellowship frequently pays for tuition and offers a monthly stipend, in contrast to a scholarship, which normally offers a fixed amount of aid for a single year. Doctoral research fellowships are typically granted by the different specialty areas. 

It is usually not need-based but merit-based. Fellowship recipients typically have the freedom to use the money however they see fit to assist themselves while seeking graduate education. They frequently include a stipend.

How Are Applications for Fellowships and Scholarships Different?

Scholarships and fellowships have different application procedures as well. It’s possible that students only need to submit one application to be considered for their institution’s fellowships and scholarships. Students must finish a sometimes drawn-out application process to be considered for additional fellowships and scholarships.

Scholarship-granting companies, foundations, and professional associations establish their requirements for applications and eligibility. Certain requirements, such as a specific major, intended career path, or background, may apply to applicants. Numerous scholarships take into account things like financial need, leadership, and community service.

There may be several steps involved in applying for government or foundation fellowships. Materials such as a research statement, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement are frequently required of applicants. To distribute funds, the fellowship committee may even hold interviews.

Scholarships are awarded to students at the undergraduate level and beyond, while “fellowships” are primarily open to experienced applicants. For instance, if you search Google for “scholarships for journalists,” the majority of the results will be about “financial aid” to study at any level in a university; however, if you search for “fellowships for journalists,” the results will be about programs first for the experienced field worker. 

Last Remark

Fellowship and scholarship are sometimes used synonymously, which can lead to misunderstandings and indicate different things at different times. Although scholarships are given to students to help them with their pre-graduation coursework, fellowships are special because they offer financial support to researchers to help them carry out research in a particular field after they graduate. Certain scholarships allow recipients to reapply, making them renewable.  However, the fellowship is only intended to be used for that specific time frame and cannot be extended.

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