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Types of Financial Aid


A financial award based on academic performance, talent or other factors. Scholarships may have certain requirements, but do not have to be repaid.

Merit based scholarships

Aid awarded to students in recognition of academic abilities including special skills, talents, specific fields of study, community service, leadership abilities and athletic ability. Some merit scholarships also consider financial need, but rewarding talent is the primary objective.

Need-based scholarships

Aid awarded to students who do not have sufficient financial resources to pay for their education beyond high school. Distribution is primarily based on the financial need of the student and his/her parents’ income level.

Student Loans

Financial assistance through a lending institution or college that usually does not have to be repaid until you complete your education.


A non-repayable grant. Bursaries are usually smaller cash awards than scholarships and are usually granted on the basis of financial need. The difference between a scholarship and a bursary is that scholarships are usually merit-based and are awarded for scholastic achievement.


A gift of money that does not need to be paid back awarded on the basis of the greatest financial need to finance a particular educational need. The terms scholarships and grants are often the same.


Money usually granted by a university, foundation or other agency to a graduate student. Along with the general requirements of scholarship, a fellowship usually attaches restrictions such as the advanced pursuit of courses or research in a particular field of study or performance of certain duties. Recipients may be subject to service and/or payback requirements after the fellowship terminates.