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Difference Between Fellowship and Scholarship

by Hailey Young
November 14, 2022
4 min read
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The difference between a fellowship and a scholarship is that scholarships are a type of financial aid that gives a certain amount of money to college students so that they can pay their tuition and fees while fellowships are geared toward post-graduates. There are many different kinds of scholarships, but scholarships are often either need-based or merit-based.

Need-based scholarships are awards given to college students based on their expected family contribution, or the amount of money that a student's family is able to pay for their college tuition. Merit-based scholarships, on the other hand, are based on a student's abilities, passions, or experience. Whether you have a particular academic achievement or experience with leadership or extracurriculars, it could help you win a merit-based scholarship.

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A fellowship is a merit-based scholarship that is specifically for postgraduate students of a certain academic subject. Fellowships are sponsored by the association, organization, institution, or government which gives their fellows a monetary stipend. The main difference between fellowship and scholarship money is that, unlike scholarships, fellowships do not require you to work in return for the yearly or monthly stipend.

Difference between fellowship and scholarship

Scholarship and fellowship money does not need to be paid back, but typically fellowships are only for those who already have an undergraduate degree. Fellows are typically either graduate students or graduate degree holders who are receiving training beyond what they learned in grad school.

Fellowships often support various activities, including research, training, or graduate study. While scholarships can be competitive, fellowships are only given to graduates with certain academic achievements or experience. This makes them difficult to win. If you are looking for further education after graduating from college, a fellowship program may be the best option.

Scholarships come from many sources, including higher education institutions, community organizations, companies, and platforms such as, the largest independent scholarship provider in the country. There are hundreds of exclusive scholarships available on that can't be found anywhere else, so sign up today to start applying!

What Is a Fellowship at a University?

Depending on the academic institution that you're considering, they may have a fellowship program that you can apply for and use to cover your tuition fees and educational expenses. These programs may be sponsored by a specific research institute or a certain college within the university.

Unlike scholarships, which can require students to teach while studying, fellowship funding requires students to contribute to a study or research project in order to get financial assistance. Fellowship experience can help you learn about the field you're interested in going into without even leaving your academic institution! Your fellowship research can also look great on a resume and can help you build connections with professors, research scholars, and other graduate students.

What is a fellowship at a university?

What Is the Point of a Fellowship?

The point of a fellowship is to give scholarship money to postgraduate students that will help them pursue their intellectual passions. These students have the opportunity to conduct research or study that could potentially make a positive contribution to their academic discipline. Fellows may have access to other research facilities or financial support that other scholarship programs may not allow.

Additionally, fellowships go beyond financial need and allow students to attend graduate school, train, or do research without any financial constraints while scholarships are typically exclusively used for tuition expenses.

Is a fellowship the same as a grant?

Frequently Asked Questions About Fellowships and Scholarships

Is a fellowship the same as a grant?

Fellowship recipients pursue higher education or research using a monetary award from their fellowships. While grants also give people financial aid, grant money can only be applied to a student's education.

In contrast, fellowships are financial aid awards that could apply to postgraduate study, research, or training. Both grants and fellowships are funded by government agencies, but other organizations may fund fellowships as well. Additionally, grants are need-based awards, meaning that they're given to students with significant financial need and often aren't open to middle or upper-class students. Fellowships, on the other hand, are merit-based, which means that you may get a higher award amount from a fellowship than you would from a grant, depending on your financial circumstances.

How long is a fellowship?

Depending on your chosen field and level of study, a fellowship usually lasts a couple of months or longer. Most professional fellowships are between three months to one year in length. There are also summer fellowships of two to three months for enrolled students while a medical fellowship typically lasts one to three years.

Once you've figured out your path of study, you can find more detailed information about the length of your particular fellowship and the options you have. Depending on the source of your fellowship, you can get more information from the director, academic department, or other center that runs the fellowship.

If you're still completing your high school or undergraduate studies or if you've done a fellowship but are still in need of financial assistance for educational costs, consider applying for additional scholarships. To get started, browse through the hundreds of scholarship options available on!

Hailey Young

About Hailey

Hailey is adept at writing about financial aid and scholarships. Hailey has spent the majority of her high school and college career crafting her writing skills. In high school, Hailey’s writing experience included writing for her school’s yearbook as well as writing some articles for Redefy, an international non-profit whose goals are to fight stereotypes and promote positive perspectives. Hailey began studying Literary Arts and Africana Studies at Brown University after high school. In her studies, she has taken a variety of writing workshops that have helped her hone her craft as a writer. She will earn her bachelor's degree, which includes an honors degree in Creative Writing from Brown. 

Hailey is also passionate about scholarships and financial aid, as she was a scholarship recipient through high school and college. Through the generosity of others, Hailey has been able to receive a quality education and would love to pass this gift on to others. As a current senior in college, Hailey has become well-versed in the ins and outs of scholarships, student debt, and college spending. With this experience and knowledge, she is readily prepared to help others as a Content Writer for 

Hailey is no longer with the Writing Team, but we continue to value and appreciate her contributions.

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