26 August 2022
There are various forms of financial aid in front of students, and they need to understand the importance and difference of all of these.
In this blog, we talk about various financial aids available to students, from scholarships to grants and fellowships to assistant-ships. It is for the student to decide which to target regarding higher education.
Different forms of financial aid offered to students
There are different kinds of financial aids that are offered to students. They include:
- Federal loans.
Domestic students usually take the help of financial aid and scholarships, while international students get scholarships and assistant-ships.
The grants are need-based money without repayment. Scholarships are merit or performance-based money without repayment.
Work study or assistant-ships are need-based campus jobs and earnings get paid directly to students in the form of wages. Federal loans are fixed, low-interest rate money that has to be repaid.
What is a scholarship?
Scholarships are financial aid awards meant for colleges and universities which are provided to help students pay for their degrees. It can be a one-time check or given multiple times on a semester basis.
The main difference between student loans and scholarships is that the letter does not have to be repaid. Sometimes the students get money in their own name, and in some other cases, the money is paid directly to the college or university in which the student is studying.
Scholarships are based on merit or performance, so they are given to students who are brilliant or outshine in academics or other activities.
There are various types of scholarships given to students. Sometimes the money is paid by some private company, and other times it is waved off by the college or university itself for the bright students.
Scholarships may also come from clubs, charities, organizations, foundations, businesses, or even individuals.
Difference between scholarship and fellowship
A scholarship is a kind of fund that can be used to cover educational costs. A student can spend it on books, tuition, or school/college/university fees. They are also known as grants or financial aid.
There are several kinds of scholarships. Some are provided based on financial need and others are based on the merit or performance of the student.
Scholarships are also given when a student participates in some contest or activity. They are also rendered by organizations, clubs, or educational institutional institutions themselves in some cases.
It does not require to be repaid so therefore it is a desirable form of financial aid to a student.
Certain scholarships are renewable, which means they can be renewed as or when needed.
Coming to the fellowship, it is also a kind of grant or financial aid that can be spent on books, tuition, fees, etc. It also does not need to be paid back like a student loan.
Fellowships are usually given to students who are undergoing a master’s degree or doctorate degree.
Some fellowships may include a tuition stipend, while others may be designed to fund some research project.
Fellowships are generally awarded to graduate-level students. Fellowships are not need-based unlike scholarships, and they are not awarded by the means of any contest. They are rather purely merit-based, which means if the student is doing something exceptional in his/her field that entitles them to a fellowship.
What is assistant-ship?
An assistant-ship is a kind of academic employment which is designed to provide financial support to students. In return for the financial support given to students, they are required to assist in research or instruction.
Such programs are usually offered in graduate studies, where students employed as assistants are expected and required to assist the professors in their daily work. This could mean that they become an important part of the research or help professors in preparing undergraduate classes.
The assistant-ship gives a chance to students to gain work experience while they are helping in their respective fields of study, which gives them an edge in their careers ahead.
As a student assistant, one becomes eligible for monthly stipends of tuition fees remissions. The student assistant is required to help the mentor for a fixed number of hours in the week.
Types of assistant-ships
Assistant-ships can be of four major types, which include:
- Teaching Assistant (TA)
- Research Assistant (RA)
- Graduate Assistant (GA)
- Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)
Which one should you choose?
When it comes to choosing between fellowship and assistant-ship, the assistant-ship is better than it gives an opportunity to learn under a mentor. It also provides for financial aid in the form of a salary stipend.
The chance to learn while at work and get hands-on experience is a great way to start your career. It also gives you an opportunity to clear your doubts, as the one you assist is bound to have great knowledge.
You can also opt for a fellowship, but it will not give you access to be under the direct supervision of a mentor or professor. You will need to work on everything on your own.
If you are confident enough, you can choose fellowship, too. The same goes with the scholarship, as it helps you with the financial perspectives of your studies. For further inquires, consult the immigration experts at Landmark Immigration.