New in the Glossary of Confusing Words: Scholarship

dictionary and thesaurusYou might remember that last week we introduced you to a mother in Kazakhstan who shared her story about finding scholarships for her two children to study in America (check out her story if you haven’t read it). She also suggested that we add the word “scholarship” to our Glossary of Confusing Words, writing:

Russian speakers often understand ‘scholarship’ as a living allowance for students, and not a full or partial tuition coverage, while a word similar to ‘scholarship’ in Russian sounds like ‘grant’

Great suggestion!

A scholarship is one type of financial aid that a student can get. It is free money to cover some portion of tuition, fees or other expenses. A scholarship does not have to be repaid, but can come with conditions, such as maintaining a particular grade point average.

Scholarships can be given out by a school, government, private organization, or individual. Some scholarships are designated for students who have particular characteristics, such as a certain ethnic background, an interest in a certain area of study, a certain level of academic achievement, etc. Others may be simply based on your level of need.

[Read more about how universities determine the amount of financial aid to award you]

In the context of financial aid, a scholarship and a grant are basically the same thing.

Financial aid, then, is the broader term used to describe all types of money given to students to help them cover their educational expenses – this includes free money (scholarships and grants), money you have to earn (work-study awards, fellowships and assistantships), and money you have to repay (loans).

Do you have a word to contribute to our Glossary of Confusing Words?  Share words that have confused you or that might confuse others about studying in the U.S.  Leave your suggestions in the comments, or use the form below.