What is a grant and how does it differ from a scholarship?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 53,046
    Financial advisor Brad Barnett discusses what a grant is and how it differs from a scholarship.

    Brad Barnett

    Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business.  He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health.  He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University.  Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees.  In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.”  Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college.  He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.

    Host: What is a Grant and how does it differ from a Scholarship?

    Bard Barnett: Well Grant And Scholarships are usually free. Every once in a while, you will find there is a qualifier in the end of it, that if you don t complete a certain amount of service requirement, you may have to repay it, but by and large, they are typically free. When you hear the term grant, it s usually something that comes from the government. It s usually a Federal grant or a State. Although there are some colleges that do offer institutional grants. Grants are typically need-based, meaning that there s a financial component to determining your eligibility. Scholarships usually come from a different funding source. On the college level, they usually come through donations that maybe in the form of scholarship, endowments etc, so you really looking at a difference in the funding source. With Scholarships also, you will find some are merit-based which have nothing to do with your financial status. They are looking at things, like maybe leadership ability, or accomplishments in the past et cetera to determine who gets their money. Some scholarships though are need-based, well, they look at your financial situation. Others maybe a combination of the two, so the bottom line is, they are both usually free, they just come from different funding sources.