Scholarship vs Fellowship

The terms scholarship and fellowship refer to a form of monetary aid in academic. However, there are some differences between them.

A scholarship is a financial assistance given to students to pay for their education mainly at basic levels. Conversely, a fellowship is granted to a scholar to pursue mostly graduate or post-graduate level programs in a certain field of study.

What is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is a financial aid granted to a student on the basis of the student’s academic or extracurricular achievements, for the purpose of schooling. Scholarships are typically designed for academic-related expenses.Scholarships are awarded to students and are mostly available at the basic level of study, even before an undergraduate study.

What is a Fellowship?

A fellowship is a monetary award given to an experienced researcher to pay for his or her academic pursuit in a specific field of study. Fellowships are mostly awarded for advanced studies (graduate and postgraduate studies). Also, most fellowships will include an internship or other service commitment that will last for one or more years.

Differences between Scholarship and Fellowship

  • A scholarship is a financial aid given to students to pursue their education while a fellowship is a financial reward given to a scholar for his or her academic pursuits in a certain field of study.
  • Scholarships are granted to students and fellowships are awarded to experienced individuals called research fellows.
  • While scholarships are provided to the students for basic studies, fellowships are for advanced studies.
  • Scholarships may be based on merit, need, talent, category or extracurricular excellence. Fellowships are mainly on merit.
  • A fellowship requires completed work in order to receive the fund. On the other hand, a scholarship helps the student solely pay for school.
  • A scholarship is solely about financial need. A fellowship is status first, financial aid second.

These are the key differences between scholarship and fellowship.


Scholarships are available from any level of study (even before an undergraduate study) while fellowships are available from a graduate level. All monetary award available at an undergraduate level in the University is called scholarship and only in very few situations, when related to research activities it may be called fellowship.

Scholarships are given to students while fellowships are given to scholars for advanced study of an academic subject. However, some fellowships may be awarded to students who are showing unique promise within their fields, in academics, or both.

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