Important Differences Between Types of Financial Aid for Students


When it comes to paying for college tuition, there are not that many options. It is either a loan, a grant or a scholarship. Dr. Philip Baldeo, a famous family doctor in New York, believes that scholarships offer great advantages to excellent students. He encourages students to work really hard to earn suitable scholarships.

Different stats indicate that parents are the major contributors to funding college education for their kids. In second place is free financial aid, which usually takes the form of scholarships and grants. Student loans are the third major contributor. But the gap between scholarships and loans is not really big. Usually, both options get a large number of students. But loans and scholarships are very different from each other. The former requires payment with interest, while the latter is considered free money that won’t be returned.

What are scholarships?

Scholarships are financial awards that are made specifically to cover college education expenses for deserving students. There is no single qualification required for all scholarships. Each program has its own specific requirements. For instance, there are scholarships that target students with excellence in the arts or sports. Other scholarships are looking for the best achievers in academic performance. Also, there are a few scholarship programs that are designed to assist students only in financial need.

Scholarship funds come from various sources, such as private businesses, charity organizations, individual donors, and many other sources.

What are grants?

Scholarships and grants are not repayable. However, the core difference between a scholarship and a grant is the target recipients. While scholarships focus more on talented or straight-A students, grants are designated for students in need. Grants don’t come from various sources like loans. The government and some federal authorities provide the grant money for deserving students.

Student loan definition

Student loans are exactly what the name suggests. It is money borrowed by students to attend their desired colleges. You are required to repay the loan; usually the lender determines the repayment deadline. You are supposed to return the loan sum with interest. There are two basic types of student loans: government and private loans.

Explaining the differences between scholarships, grants, and loans

Despite being repayable financial aid, student loans are a popular choice among many students. This is due to the lack of complicated requirements that make a student eligible for a loan. If you are going for a student loan, you will need to prove your ability to repay. Once you have this covered, you can get your college money.

Scholarships are more diverse than grants. You can qualify for a scholarship if you are choosing a highly demanded field. But you can’t have a grant based on this factor.

Qualifying for grants doesn’t require being of a talent or academic excellence. The only considered factor is the financial need. You need to start your journey to qualify for a grant by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. But there are various providers for scholarships. So, you can begin by checking the websites of scholarships’ providers to read the requirements of each program carefully.

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