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Difference between Bursary and Scholarship

Difference between Bursary and Scholarship

Bursaries and scholarships can be a great way to help pay for school, but they are not the same thing. Bursaries are usually given based on financial need, while scholarships are often based on academic achievement or extracurricular involvement. So which one is right for you? Here’s a closer look at the differences between bursaries and scholarships.

What is Bursary?

A bursary is a monetary award given to a student to help with the costs of their education. Bursaries are typically need-based, meaning they are awarded based on the student’s financial situation. However, some bursaries may also be merit-based, meaning they are awarded based on the student’s academic achievement. Bursaries can be used to cover the cost of tuition, books, and other educational expenses. In some cases, bursaries may also be used to cover the cost of living expenses such as room and board. Bursaries are typically offered by businesses, charitable organizations, and government agencies. Some colleges and universities also offer bursaries to their students.

What is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to pursue their education. Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement or other criteria such as community service or athletic ability. Scholarships can come from a variety of sources, including colleges and universities, private organizations, or the government. Financial need is not usually a factor in deciding who receives a scholarship. Students who receive scholarships often have to meet certain requirements, such as maintaining a certain GPA or participating in extracurricular activities. Scholarships can be used to cover educational expenses such as tuition, books, and room and board. Some scholarships are renewable, which means that the student receives the award for more than one year. Scholarships can greatly reduce the cost of attendance for students and help them to achieve their educational goals.

Difference between Bursary and Scholarship

A bursary is a sum of money awarded to a student to help with their living costs, whereas a scholarship is awarded for academic excellence. Scholarships are usually merit-based, and selection criteria may vary from university to university. For example, some institutions may award scholarships to students who demonstrate financial need, while others may reserve scholarships for students in specific programs or from underrepresented groups. Bursaries, on the other hand, are typically need-based, and students may have to submit a financial aid application in order to be considered. Bursaries may also be targeted at specific groups of students, such as mature or international students. Ultimately, both bursaries and scholarships can help ease the financial burden of attending university, but it’s important to understand the difference between the two before you apply.


The main difference between a scholarship and a bursary is that scholarships are usually merit-based, whereas bursaries are typically needs-based. Bursaries can also be awarded for other reasons, such as being an athlete or having exceptional academic achievement. Scholarships are often offered by universities, businesses, or private organizations, while bursaries can come from any number of sources, including the government and post-secondary institutions.

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