Saturday, April 2, 2016

Scholarships versus grants

The term '"scholarship"' is sometimes used to describe any financial aid given to a student that does not have to be repaid. However, more precisely, and universally among college financial aid offices, scholarships and grants are quite different.
A scholarship is given to a student because of a reason: the student has qualified for or won it by academic, artistic or athletic ability, or by agreeing to follow a particular career, or has some special ethnic or other characteristic. Scholarships are not given for financial need alone.

Types of scholarships[edit]

The most common scholarships may be classified as:
  • Merit-based: These awards are based on a student's academic, artistic, athletic or other abilities, and often factor in an applicant's extracurricular activities and community service record. The most common merit-based scholarships, awarded by either private organizations or directly by a student's intended college, recognize academic achievement or high scores on standardized tests. Most such merit-based scholarships are paid directly by the institution the student attends, rather than issued directly to the student.[2]
  • Need-based: Some private need-based awards are confusingly called scholarships, and require the results of a FAFSA (the family's EFC).[citation needed]
  • Student-specific: These are scholarships for which applicants must initially qualify based upon gender, race, religion, family and medical history, or many other student-specific factors. Minority scholarships are the most common awards in this category.[citation needed] For example, students in Canada may qualify for a number of aboriginal scholarships, whether they study at home or abroad.[citation needed] The Gates Millennium Scholars program is another minority scholarship funded by Bill and Melinda Gates for excellent African American, American Indian, Asian Pacific Islander American and Latino students who enroll in college.[3]
  • Career-specific: These are scholarships a college or university awards to students who plan to pursue a specific field of study. Often, the most generous awards to students who pursue careers in high-need areas such as education or nursing. Many schools in the United States give future nurses full scholarships to enter the field, especially if the student intends to work in a high-need community.
  • College-specific: College-specific scholarships are offered by individual colleges and universities to highly qualified applicants. These scholarships are given on the basis of academic and personal achievement. Some scholarships have a "bond" requirement.[4] Recipients may be required to work for a particular employer for a specified period of time or to work in rural or remote areas; otherwise they may be required to repay the value of the support they received from the scholarship.[5] This is particularly the case with education and nursing scholarships for people prepared to work in rural and remote areas. The programs offered by the uniformed services of the United States (Army,NavyMarine CorpsAir ForceCoast GuardNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration commissioned corps, and Public Health Service Commissioned Corps) sometimes resemble such scholarships.
  • Athletic: Awarded to students with exceptional skill in a sport. Often this is so that the student will be available to attend the school or college and play the sport on their team, although in some countries government funded sports scholarships are available, allowing scholarship holders to train for international representation.[6][7] School-based athletics scholarships can be controversial, as some believe that awarding scholarship money for athletic rather than academic or intellectual purposes is not in the institution's best interest.[8]
Of increasing interest in the United States are "last dollar" scholarships. These can be provided by private and government-based institutions, and are intended to cover the remaining fees charged to a student after the various grants are taken into account.[9] To prohibit institutions from taking last dollar scholarships into account, and thereby removing other sources of funding, these scholarships are not offered until after financial aid has been offered in the form of a letter. Furthermore, last dollar scholarships may require families to have filed taxes for the most recent year; received their other sources of financial aid; and not yet received loans.