There are a variety of financial aid options to help pay for college expenses. Grants and scholarships are financial aid that you don’t have to pay back. They are also called gift aid which are mostly based on financial need but a good amount is awarded based on merit and academic achievement.
Grants and scholarships are usually interchanged but they are usual differences between these two forms of financial aid.
Most scholarships are merit based which means they are awarded to students who meet certain qualifications such as academic or athletic ability. Scholarships also have rules like maintaining GPA, course level work or athletic achievements.
On the other hand, grants are need based. They are usually awarded to students based on your or your family’s financial situation and need.
Grants and scholarships come from many different sources such as the government (federal, state and even local). The federal government offers need-based grants in the form of Pell Grants. State governments have grants or scholarships for students wishing to attend state schools.
College also offer grants and scholarships to their students. These are usually based on merit or need based or a combination. Colleges who offer scholarships have stricter requirements in order to maintain the scholarship. Many other forms of scholarships offered by private organizations are given without any future requirement conditions.
Finally, private organizations such as companies or associations may also offer grants or scholarships.