Scholarship vs Fellowship: All you need to know

Students often use Scholarship and Fellowship interchangeably. Although both are financial aids given to help students pursue their education, they are different. In this article, we’ll explore fellowship vs scholarship in terms of their meanings and differences. This will help you know the one that is right for you.

scholarship vs fellowship
scholarship vs fellowship

To start with, both Scholarship and Fellowship are used as schemes run by the government to help outstanding students further their education. They are always based on specific criteria that the student must meet.

While scholarship serves as money from the government organization to the students who fit the criteria set by the granting authority, fellowship is the grant awarded to the scholars to support them in pursuing research.

Having gotten a brief insight into what both scholarship and fellowship, let’s discuss them properly. Laying emphasize more on the differences.

Fellowship vs Scholarship Meaning

What is a Fellowship?

The word “Fellowship” means different things to distinct groups of people. For instance, the Christian religion sees it as a gathering of saints while on students on the order hand sees it as financial aid.

That means we can discuss Fellowship in two ways: Christian fellowship and Academic Fellowship. This post will deal with the Academic Fellowship and what it entails.

What is a Fellowship Program?

A Fellowship program is a grant to students from different fields as a way of congratulating them for their excellent performance.

It’s a kind of merit-based financial aid given to outstanding students to help him in acquiring an advanced degree.

That means it gives graduate students the chance to get more graduate and post-graduate research experience without having to pay through their nose.

Most times, students who receive this aid gets it because of their performance in specific research. Note, the aid can cover the students’ tuition fees, and living expenses.

Types of Fellowship

Although there are various fellowships available for students, let’s focus on academic Fellowships. There are three types of fellowship. These fellowships are the most popular fellowship students and scholars get.

  • Graduate Fellowships
  • Research Fellowships
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships

Graduate Fellowships

Graduate Fellowships offer graduate students who want to pursue advanced degrees of tuition scholarships. These fellowships cover the scholar’s cost of living, health, and other expenses related to the professional program he or she is going for.

Research Fellowships

With these fellowships, both undergraduate and graduate students, and scholars can complete a research project without having to pay much.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

This fellowship is for scholars who have a Ph.D. degree. Postdoctoral fellowship can provide an early career scholar additional research experience beyond their studies.

How Long does Fellowship last?

Each academic fellowship has its specific duration which highly depends on the granting institution’s guideline. However, most fellowships last for a year.

Normally, a fellowship lasts at least a year, while some are renewable. This can only happen if the fellow meets the requirements.

Also, you can get more funds for your academic program by combining many fellowships. For Ph.D. fellows, for the duration of their program, their fellowship may last longer.

What is A Fellowship Grant?

Most people think scholarship, grant, fellowship, and fellowship grants are the same. They are not. For clarity, a Grant is like a scholarship. You don’t have to start any repayment. Just like scholarships, you get grant awards based on financial need or merit.

A fellowship grant is an amount an individual gets as an award for studying or making research. Having known what fellowship entails and its types, let’s talk about Scholarship.

What is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is a financial aid that helps students pursue their academic pursuits without having to pay through their nose.

It covers academic costs likes tuition fees, textbooks, travel costs, and even accommodation costs. Students get scholarships either from individuals, groups, institutions, or governments.

It can be a fully funded, partially funded, or merit-based scholarship. Also, students who get scholarships unlike student loans won’t have to pay back.

Just like fellowships, some scholarships are renewable. This means it can cover both your first, second, third, and fourth year in school.

What is the difference between Scholarship and Fellowship?

There are many ways fellowships and scholarships differ, but the significant ones include:

Scholarship providers offer scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students as a way of academic support. These opportunities come based on students’ outstanding performance. Contrary, only graduate students who are making research get Fellowships.

Scholarships are for students while fellowships are specifically for research scholars.

While Scholarships can be merit-based, need-based, or category-based, fellowships are only merit-based.

Also, all scholarships are financial aids, but not all fellowships are financial aids. Some are just status.

Scholarships come as a to support students in their basic studies, while fellowships come as a support to scholars who are conducting research on a specific subject.

Tax Implication of Scholarships & Fellowships

There are tax benefits you should consider when accepting any of these two financial aids. The money you receive may or may not be taxable.

Normally, a scholarship or fellowship will not be taxable if used for paying fees, textbooks, equipment, and materials necessary for education in the school you are studying.

The institution of education you attend will provide regular academic care and have a department, curriculum, and student body. On the other hand, it will be a good school.

On the other hand, a scholarship or fellowship will be taxable and must be reported as part of your gross income is used to pay for expenses not necessary for education in the school you are studying.

For instance, for some scholarships that don’t cover accommodations and travel expenses, you will be taxed if you use the money for any of the expenses.

Also, a scholarship or fellowship will be taxable if the income you receive is a fee for research, teaching, or other activities that you have to do in order to receive an education or training.

For example, if you are offered a scholarship as a fee for teaching one or more teachers at the school, education is considered must-have money.

How can I Apply for Scholarships and Fellowships?

For every scholarship and Fellowship, there is a deadline which varies. This means, for your application to be accepted, you must apply before a certain number of days.

In terms of GPA requirements, most curricula and subjects have their minimum and maximum score qualifications. For example, you may need a GPA of at least 3.0 to apply or you may need to be a member of an organization or crowd to qualify for the award.

Irrespective of what the software demands, it is important to obey all the guidelines when developing your application to optimize your chances of completion. 

It is also important to note that many career and college contests are competitive; there are several other students who want free money for tuition, so you can make the effort to do your best and apply an application that you are going to brag about. 

List of Top Fellowship for international students

Many fellowships are available to international scholars who want to carry out researches. These fellowships are offered by the government and organisations.

Having said that, let us take a look at the top fellowships:

American Association of University Women (AAUW) – International Fellowships

These Fellowships are for non- American women who are into full-time research. Getting and of these fellowships is based on academic performance and commitment to women and girls. Fellows who are beneficiaries of these fellowships end up becoming exceptional leaders to be reckoned with in their community.

Intel PhD Fellowship Program

This Fellowship Program is for scholars who are pursuing their Ph.D. programs. To get this opportunity, you must be exceptional in your research which must be related to Intel’s business and research interests. To learn more about this fellowship click the button below.

American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) – Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Completion

ACLS Fellowship for Dissertation Completion offers Ph.D. graduate scholars in the humanities and related social sciences in writing one-year research. The program encourages the timely completion of the Ph.D. Applicants must be prepared to complete their dissertations within the period of their fellowship tenure.

Symantec Graduate Fellowship Program

Symantec Graduate Fellowship Program is for Ph.D. students with a desire to work in an industrial research lab. It’s also for students working on innovative research projects in areas related to Symantec’s businesses. To learn more about this fellowship click the button below.

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) – Graduate Research Assistantship

This Program is a year-round educational program that provides graduate students with relevant research experience they need. With this program, students can carry out graduate program thesis research at the Laboratory.

Find Scholarships to Study Abroad in 2020

Click on any of the following countries to find scholarships for your study abroad destination. Visit Best Schools Abroad to get information on the best universities abroad that offer free education.

Find more scholarships in 2020 always visit our scholarship search engine at

List of Top Scholarships for International Students

Also, here is a list of some top Scholarships for International Students you can be eligible for.

Check them out!

Germany – DAAD Scholarship

DAAD Scholarship is one of the top scholarships available for international students. The scholarship is specifically for graduate students who intend to pursue their Master’s or Ph.D. degrees.

Generally, DAAD scholarships support students who want to study either in their country (or abroad.

Fulbright Foreign Scholarship

This Program is another top scholarship opportunity international students can apply for. Basically, this program is for Masters, Ph.D. and non-degree postgraduate studies to study at USA Universities.

Australia Africa Awards Masters Scholarships 2020 (Fully Funded)

Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships offering the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia. 

Hence, these scholarships address the development needs of Australia’s partner countries, as well as strengthening links between people and organizations.

MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

This Scholars Program aims at educating and developing young people in Africa who are willing to the transformation of the continent. It will also help equip them with the values, knowledge, skills, and leadership to fuel economic and social progress across Africa.

Generally, the MasterCard Foundation Scholars program helps over 15,000 young people within 8 to 10 years.

Chevening Scholarships (UK)

These scholarships are among the Foreign and Commonwealth Office fully sponsored scholarships to over 1500 students who want to study in the UK. With these scholarships, students can pursue a degree without worrying about tuition fees, stipend as well as other expenses.


While scholarship is provided to the students to assist them in pre-graduation studies, the fellowship is the financial aid provided to help the research scholars to conduct research in a particular field, after they complete their graduation or post graduation.

Some scholarships are renewable in nature, in the sense that students can reapply for them. On the other hand, the fellowship is for a fixed term only, which cannot be extended.

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