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What is the difference between Scholarship and Fellowship?

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What is the difference between Scholarship and Fellowship?

Both scholarship and fellowship in general assume a financial aid for students and researchers, or any individual with an interest to search, find and research something new. Scholarships and fellowships are instituted by a University, a research center, academic institution, laboratory, government or a foundation.

Main difference between Scholarship and Fellowship

The most important difference between scholarship and fellowship is that the term scholarship always means that there is a financial aid available. So there is no scholarship without financial aid. If there is scholarship, then a financial aid is included as a tuition fee, as a per diem, as a living allowance or in any other shape, but there is always money included. In case of fellowship, though in most cases a financial aid will be provided, but the term does not necessarily suppose a financial aid.

For example, if someone receives a scholarship to study at Ohio University or to do a research at NASA that means the person has for sure received money to study or to do a research. When MIT or Harvard announce scholarships for undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate students, for researchers or journalists, that always means the University or research institute or the foundation is going to fully or partly cover some of the costs.

But the fellowship first of all is the status, only then a financial aid. Fellowship is a status within the University or research institute and it may or may not include a financial aid. Cambridge or Oxford sometimes announce a fellowship and only provide a desk with a computer at the library. For that particular position often apply many renowned researchers or public figures, who are ready to pay for all other costs themselves, only to receive the announced fellowship.

Fellowship may be granted as a status within an academic institution and that’s it, nothing more, no salary (sometimes with salary), no financial aid, just status. With that status the person may be accepted as a fellow of certain college or department and have access to some of library and research facilities.

Other differences between scholarships and fellowships

Scholarships are available from the very early stage of academic career. Even before University career and undergraduate studies one may apply for a scholarship in the school, but no fellowships are available for that stage.

The same is true for undergraduate studies. All financial aid available for undergraduate students in the University is called scholarship and only in rare cases, when related to research activities it may be called fellowship.

From graduate level financial aid, which is called a fellowship may be available for students who are particularly interested in some specific research area.

Scholarships are granted to student level and above, and the fellowships are mainly for experienced individuals to apply. For example, if you search google for scholarships for journalists you will mainly get results about financial aid to study in the University at any level, but if you search fellowships for journalists you will get first of all results about programs for experienced journalists to conduct some investigations and do some research.

In many instances scholarship and fellowship are used interchangeably, cause some confusion, and sometime mean the same thing or something different. Hopefully this short introduction about the differences of scholarship and fellowship is helpful.

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