Difference Between Bursary and Scholarship

Scholarships and Bursaries are forms of monetary compensation provided by institutions to deserving students. In order to obtain these financial aids, individuals must meet certain standards, which are defined by the institution’s policies.

Bursaries are usually need based and will only take into account financial hardships. However, scholarship can be awarded to anyone who has excelled in academics, sports or any other field, irrespective of his or her financial status.

Moreover, scholarship money is usually fixed, as oppose to bursaries, where the monetary benefits decline if the family earnings improve.

Furthermore, scholarships can be gender or religion specific, can be offered by companies and organizations and can be availed at all levels of schooling.


  • 1


    A bursary is a monetary award, given to those who cannot pay their tuition fees. The student or applicant will need to provide family income details and meet a certain university criteria in order to be eligible for this type of financial help. It is mandatory for parents to fill an application form, provided by the institution’s bursar, and list details about their financial circumstances, supported by relevant documents.

    The application will be then reviewed and checked by the bursar, and if it meets the requirements, the student will be given financial help.

    Typically, two types of bursaries exist; mean-tested and scholarships. The former is available for every student whose family income is insufficient or is below a defined annual amount. Students, whose parents have the lowest income may be granted bursary. However, if the earnings increase after a certain period of time, the financial amount may be subject to reduction. The latter type of bursary is performance based and will be discussed in detail in the next step.

    Image courtesy: marymound.com

  • 2


    Scholarships are a form of financial aid, provided to those with strong academic skills. They will be awarded by evaluating past performances and can be distributed according to financial need as well. However, the criteria for qualification may not only be performance driven, but will in effect, reflect the purpose of the donor or sponsor.

    Scholarships can be classified into various categories including merit based, need based, student specific (race, religion, family, medical history), career specific etc. Each scholarship will have its own requirements which must be met by all applicants. Some scholarships may require students to work for a particular organization in order to free themselves from education related debt.

    Image courtesy: greelyplayers.ca

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× three = 21