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What Is A Scholarship? 

A scholarship is a financial aid given by the government or an organization to students to further their education.

Deeper Definition

A scholarship is an award of financial assistance given to someone to help pay for their education. A school often grants it, as well as government or other organizations, to exceptionally brilliant people but lacks the financial capacity to acquire formal education.

Typically, there are criteria a student would meet to qualify for a scholarship. Some examples of such standards are:

  • Having a high GPA 
  • Participating in extracurricular activities
  • Showing great leadership qualities
  • Scoring high on standardized tests
  • Financial needs

There is no set standard for what criteria qualify a student for a scholarship. Different donors have different criteria to award scholarships. Generally, the selected criteria reflect the values or objectives of the entity giving the award.

Scholarships are essentially free money. That means a student awarded a scholarship is under no obligation to repay the money they received. However, an entity may require that the recipient continue to meet specific requirements during their support period, or it gets withdrawn. For example, Lisa receives a scholarship that covers her tuition fee till graduation based on her high GPA. The organization may require that Lisa maintains a minimum grade point average to continue enjoying the benefits, or it may get withdrawn.

A scholarship does not necessarily have to be money. For instance, a university may waive its tuition fees or dormitory fees.

Scholarships can be awarded based on different criteria. Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on a student’s achievements. These achievements may be academic, athletic, artistic, or other distinguishments. They can often be given directly by the university or organization that the student is attending.

Scholarships can be also be given based on particular students’ needs. If a student comes from a less privileged background, scholarships may be available to fund their education. This is particularly prominent in the United States

Scholarship Example

The Rhodes Scholarship, established in 1903, and is the oldest graduate scholarship in the world. This awards postgraduate students the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program. This is achievement-based and is awarded to graduating high school seniors who have shown a capacity to lead and have significantly impacted their schools and communities.

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