Scholarships and grants are types of financial awards that you can earn to reduce college costs. The money from these awards can be used to pay tuition, fees, books or any other college expenses depending on the scholarship. Some scholarships might have specifications and will only cover certain expenses.
Scholarships are often awarded based on academic merit, but can also be given based on your background, financial need, special talents, degree program and other factors. A wide range of organizations offer scholarships, including schools, companies, nonprofits, community groups, professional organizations and more. Grants differ from scholarships because they’re usually awarded based solely on financial need. Another difference is that grants are most often given by public institutions, including federal and state governments, as well as colleges and universities.
Sometimes these awards are a one-time payment and other times these awards are renewable and provide assistance each semester you’re in school. Some scholarships do not give you a payment and instead simply provide a reduction in cost.
Learn more about financial aid types and which you might qualify for as an online student.