Fellowship Vs Scholarship: Know The Differences

Fellowship vs scholarship

If you’re planning to study abroad, or even in your home country for that matter, applying for scholarships or fellowships can help you cut down on your educational expenses. But the real question is: what is the difference between fellowships and scholarships? Before we get into the specifics, let’s first recognise the significance of understanding fellowship vs scholarship. While these names are frequently used interchangeably, they have unique features and perform separate functions. You’ll be better able to navigate the world of financial assistance and choose the choice that corresponds with your objectives and aspirations if you understand the subtleties. This blog will try to clear your doubt about the fellowship vs scholarship meaning. 

I. Fellowship Vs Scholarship: Definition And Purpose


A fellowship is an academic or professional opportunity that provides funding and support to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional potential or achievements in their respective fields.

Here are some of the most prevalent areas where fellowships are awarded:

  • Arts and Humanities Fellowships: Fellowships in the arts and humanities allow artists, authors, musicians, and researchers to pursue their creative or intellectual interests. These fellowships may include residences, workshops, or scholarships to help in the development of creative or academic endeavours.
  • Fellowships in public service and policy aim to teach and equip individuals to solve major social, economic, and political concerns. Fellowships in subjects such as public administration, international relations, public health, and social justice are common.
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fellowships: Fellowships in entrepreneurship and innovation help aspiring entrepreneurs, innovators, and changemakers turn their ideas into viable businesses. They offer coaching, tools, and financial assistance to those seeking to develop and expand creative firms or social enterprises.

Eligibility Requirements For Fellowships:

a) Academic Achievements: Many fellowships want individuals with a good academic background, and many of them need a specific GPA or academic record. 

b) Certain Research Interests: Some fellowships are created for those who want to do research in certain fields or areas of interest. These fellowships may provide preference to applicants whose research is relevant to the fellowship’s aims or focal areas. Securing such scholarships may require demonstrating a clear and compelling research plan.


If you get a scholarship to a school or university, your studies are paid for by the school or university or by some other organisation.

Eligibility Requirements for Scholarships

a) Academic Achievements: Many scholarships place a premium on academic achievement, requiring candidates to have a specific GPA or academic record in order to be considered. 

b) Financial Need: Some scholarships are designed to help students who have low financial means. These scholarships take into account candidates’ financial status and may ask for information on their family income, assets, or other relevant financial criteria.

c) Extracurricular Achievements: Scholarships frequently favour applicants who have actively participated in extracurricular activities such as athletics, clubs, community service, leadership roles, or creative endeavours. 

Selection Criteria For Scholarships

  1. GPA and Academic Performance: A solid academic background can demonstrate commitment, tenacity, and the capacity to achieve in further education.
  1.  Essay Submissions: Many scholarships require essay or personal statement submissions. 
  1. Community Service: Volunteering for non-profit organisations or launching social impact initiatives, for example, might indicate a dedication to making a good change in society.

II. Fellowship Vs Scholarship: Funds And Benefits


Funding StructureDescription
StipendsRegular payments provided to fellows to cover living expenses.
GrantsFunds awarded to support research projects or specific initiatives.
Research FundingFinancial support is allocated for fellows to conduct their research.
Tuition WaiversSome fellowships may cover the cost of tuition or provide waivers.
Travel GrantsFunding is provided to support fellows’ travel for conferences or events.

Additional Benefits

MentorshipFellows often receive guidance and mentorship from experts in their field.
Networking OpportunitiesFellowships offer access to a diverse network of professionals and fellow fellows.
Professional DevelopmentMany fellowships provide training and development programmes to enhance skills and knowledge.
Research SupportFellows may receive resources, facilities, and technical support for their research projects.


Funding StructureDescription
Tuition CoverageScholarships may cover all or a portion of the recipient’s tuition fees.
Financial AidSome scholarships provide financial assistance to cover educational expenses beyond tuition.
Living ExpensesScholarships may include funding to support the recipient’s daily living costs.

Additional Benefits

RecognitionScholarships often come with recognition and prestige within academic or professional circles.
Personal Growth OpportunitiesScholarships can provide opportunities for personal growth, such as leadership or skill-building activities.
Access to Supportive CommunityScholarship recipients often become part of a supportive network of other scholars or alumni.

III. Fellowship Vs Scholarship: Duration And Commitment


Short-termFellowships that last for a few months to a year.
Long-termFellowships that extend for multiple years, providing sustained support for advanced studies or research.
Project-basedFellowships that are tied to a specific project or initiative, with a duration aligned with the project timeline.

Level Of Commitment From Fellows

Full-time dedicationMany fellowships require fellows to commit their full-time efforts to their research or project.
Research ObligationsFellows are expected to actively engage in research activities and fulfil the requirements of their fellowship programme.
Participation in EventsFellows may be required to participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, or other scholarly events.


One-timeScholarships that provide funding for a single academic year or specific educational expenses.
RenewableScholarships can be renewed for subsequent years, subject to meeting certain criteria.
Multi-yearScholarships are awarded for multiple years upfront, covering the duration of a degree programme or a specific period.

Level Of Commitment From The Recipients

Maintaining Academic PerformanceScholarship recipients are expected to maintain a minimum academic standard or GPA.
Involvement in Designated ActivitiesSome scholarships may require recipients to participate in specific activities or programmes.
Fulfilling Programme RequirementsRecipients may need to meet specific obligations outlined by the scholarship provider or institution.

IV. Types of scholarships available for higher education:

  1. Merit-Based Scholarships:
  • Awarded based on academic achievements, such as high GPA or standardized test scores.
  • Recognize exceptional academic performance and intellectual abilities.
  1. Need-Based Scholarships:
  • Awarded to students who demonstrate financial need.
  • Designed to support students from low-income backgrounds and ensure access to higher education.
  1. Athletic Scholarships:
  • Offered to student-athletes who excel in sports.
  • Recognize athletic talent and provide financial support for education.
  1. Minority Scholarships:
  • Aimed at supporting underrepresented groups, such as racial or ethnic minorities.
  • Promote diversity and equal opportunities in higher education.
  1. Subject-Specific Scholarships:
  • Awarded to students pursuing specific fields of study, such as STEM, humanities, or arts.
  • Encourage excellence and growth in particular academic disciplines.

V. Types of fellowships:

  1. Research Fellowships:
  • Support individuals conducting advanced research in various academic disciplines.
  • Provide funding and resources for research projects, allowing fellows to contribute to knowledge and innovation.
  1. Teaching Fellowships:
  • Offer opportunities for graduate students or recent graduates to gain teaching experience.
  • Combine teaching responsibilities with professional development and mentorship.
  1. Professional Development Fellowships:
  • Focus on enhancing skills and knowledge in specific professions or industries.
  • Provide funding and training to help individuals excel in their chosen careers.
  1. Postdoctoral Fellowships:
  • Designed for individuals who have recently completed their doctoral degrees.
  • Allow postdocs to continue their research and receive mentorship as they transition to independent academic or research positions.
  1. International Fellowships:
  • Provide opportunities for individuals to study, conduct research, or work abroad.
  • Promote cultural exchange, collaboration, and global perspectives.


Finally, fellowships vs scholarships are critical for those seeking financing for their educational or research endeavours. Fellowships provide financial assistance, mentorship, and networking opportunities, with an emphasis on research and academic progress. Scholarships, on the other hand, give financial assistance as well as recognition, promoting personal growth and providing access to support groups. Understanding the fellowship vs scholarship difference will help you make firm decisions.


Q1. What is the difference between a stipend and a scholarship?

Ans: A scholarship is a monetary award or support provided to students to help them with their studies, whereas a stipend is a money granted to apprentices and interns as financial assistance.

Q2. What is a fellowship vs scholarship?

Ans: Scholarships can be based on merit, need, talent, financial issues and more. Unlike scholarships, fellowships are rewarded to selected candidates in the advanced years of their higher education.

Q3. What is the difference between bursary and fellowship?

Ans: Fellowships are usually awarded at the graduate level, whereas a scholarship can be awarded at either the grad or undergrad level. 

Q4. Is scholarship paid to college?

Ans: Scholarships can be completely or partially financed, which means they can pay the entire cost or only a portion of it. 

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Fellowship vs scholarship

Fellowship Vs Scholarship: Know The Differences

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