Difference Between Bursary and Scholarship

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 14, 2022


Difference Between Bursary and Scholarship Difference Between Bursary and Scholarship

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


Numerous words seem to be the same but are pretty different! Bursary and scholarship are such words that fall in this category. It is important to know the difference between these two if you've got some interest in getting abroad for your further studies. Studying far from your country is very expensive if you are not an Ambani.

But studying abroad is not the choice only for the rich ones! You there, a person filled with aspirations can grab this opportunity. So, it's worth a try to get to know about the nitty-gritty of scholarships and bursaries! Simply, scholarships and bursaries are financial aid that universities offer to students so that they can make the best use of them for their education. But what are these two? Stay connected to know in detail!

What is Scholarship?

Universities provide several types of scholarships to provide financial aid to students. Scholarships are not some sort of a loan. So, you can remain stress-free. These are non-repayable mode of monetary support that covers areas such as tuition expenses, cost of books, reduction of fee, transportation costs and the list goes on! Now, doesn’t that sound interesting?

Now, every student at some point in their lives fills out scholarship applications. But this trend is not very popular in India. In India, Scholarships are hard to fetch. They are mostly available to students who score rocket-high in academics. There's another reason for the non-availability of scholarships as well. People are not very aware of such processes in India. Most colleges and schools do not provide information about such topics in detail over here. So, students are lost in the fog of confusion!

There are several misconceptions regarding scholarships as well. Such misconceptions arise due to insufficient knowledge about scholarships in India. Many people are not very aware even of the term "scholarship". So, misconceptions arise.

One of such misconceptions includes that students perceive scholarships exist only for the underprivileged class. But this is not the truth! Scholarships are available for all. This does not include any sort of social and economic background. Another myth is that scholarships are available only for the nerds. This is also a no-no.

Yes, some scholarships are available in a merit-based way. However, it does not apply to all. Any student can apply for it. Now, let's get into yet another popular misconception! This is about the tedious process of form-filling of scholarships. But, this is not even true. Now that we are in a digital era, it's not difficult to fill up forms. You can simply search about the process in the comfort of your house and fill up your form digitally. So, this does not even require you to get out of your house.

Types of Scholarships

So, now that you know about the crux of scholarships, let me list below some types of scholarships available. This will help you to distinguish between different scholarships and not perceive all of them as one sort! So, let's get going.

Merit-Based Scholarships

This is the sort of scholarship that is available, especially for remarkable students. These students display exceptional skills in academics. Some important merit-based scholarships that are of use today are INSPIRE scholarship, KVPY or Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana scholarship, UGC Merit-based scholarship, etc.

Means Centered Scholarship

Scholarships are liberal. They provide the right opportunity for the backward classes. Our country is not free of economically backward classes. But they have aspirations too. They have a desire to break free of their social backwardness and gain the benefits of knowledge. So, scholarships such as Pre-Matric and Post-Matric are specially set up for minority groups.

Merit Plus Means Centered Scholarships

Simple as it is, this scholarship is for the meritorious backward class of students. To bring their extraordinary talent to the limelight, such scholarships assist greatly. Some of these are worth mentioning. National Child Awards for Exceptional Achievement, Cultural Talent Search Scholarship, and Madhobi Chatterjee Memorial Fellowship are some significant Merit and Means fused scholarships that one may avail of.

Scholarships for Women

Gender discrimination is not an unknown phrase in India. Due to this issue, millions of women from all classes are not able to make full use of the country's resources, especially for educational purposes. Even though women play roles equal to men, they are underestimated. These scholarships play an enlightening role to uplift women. Some such exclusive scholarships cannot be missed out! Dr. Reddy's Foundation Sashankt Scholarship, SOF Girl Child Scholarship Scheme, etc are such worth-noting scholarships that have reduced the illiteracy of females.

Scholarships Provided by The Government

In India, the Government stretches out a helping hand when it comes to scholarships. The state and the central governments supply students who are monetarily backward with this benefit.

This way, equal access to scholarships is provided. These scholarships also address the issue of the socially backward class of children. The National Scholarship Portal provides a crisp idea about the scholarships that the government supplies for the students.

Community Centric Scholarships

Surprised? Yes, communities also supply scholarships for students. Isn't that interesting? Such communities can be religion or caste-based or any of any other sort. Not only this, many organizations are locally situated that support scholarship! One such organization is the Resident Welfare Association. The aim of these scholarships is not only to promote educational upliftment but also to promote brotherhood among different communities.

College Based Scholarships

Now, this is not a new fact that many colleges give scholarships to their students. These scholarships are strictly merit-based. These are provided only to those who can score well in college. So, it provides a reputation to students. So, they are encouraged to work hard in their studies to achieve this exclusive benefit.

What is Bursary?

Bursaries also assist the students financially for educational purposes. Several organizations and institutions supply this need to a great extent. It's interesting that in the UK, the word Bursary is used synonymously used with scholarship. But, in other parts of the world like in India, there's a huge difference between a bursary and a scholarship. Here, you simply cannot mix the two terms! So, without wasting a moment let us get into the nitty-gritty of this unique term.

Unlike scholarships, Bursaries at times act like educational loans. You'll have to pay the amount back after a stipulated amount of time. Once you are employed, you'll need to pay back this loan. So, it's not as stress less as using a scholarship!

You can receive the benefits of a bursary without worrying about educational performance. You may get its perks simply based on your needs. Bursaries may not necessarily be linked to educational loans. This is a sort of scholarship that also looks after living costs! Now, that's one of a kind! So, Bursaries can help not only students who require educational assistance. It helps ordinary people who do not have the simplest privilege of living wholesomely.

Bursaries are generous donations by different foundations, private donors, and companies. Several bursaries are meant exclusively for disabled people. Academic advisors at college may help you out with the right kind of bursary which is needed for your aid. You can apply for Bursaries to the selection committee that takes the decisions regarding the issue. They prioritize the ones who are in most need of monetary support. For applying, you may visit your University's website.

Here, you need to search if there are options for bursaries. If you get the option, you have to select the eligibility rate for applying for the bursaries. Here you have to highlight your financial condition through the required documents. It is only after this that the responsible committee will decide whether to provide you with this financial aid or not. Some Universities in the UK that offer this monetary aid are the University of Birmingham, Kingston University, University of Derby, etc. In India, Amity University is well known for providing bursaries.

Types of Bursaries

Just as scholarships have several types, so do Bursaries. Let us get into it without any delay! Bursaries are mainly need-based loans. But we may divide it roughly into four types. Let us take a brief look at the types mentioned below. This'll provide a clear-cut understanding!

Fixed Bursary

These are the types of bursary which are available only for covering the tuition costs.

Partial Bursary

The type of bursary that covers the expenses of books and tuition in a combo.

Top-Up Bursary

This was a scheme that came to force between 2018 and 2019. The idea was inspired by the Cambridge Bursary scheme. Here, the loans cover the expenses of students based on their requirements or needs.

Full Bursary

As the name indicates, this is a complete bursary to supply loans to students. It covers all sorts of costs covering tuition, books, accommodation, and meals.

Difference Between Scholarships and Bursary in Tabular Form

Table: Scholarships vs. Bursary
Parameters of Comparison
Scholarships are financial aid for students to support their education.
The bursary is financial aid provided by the government or any organization to support the student's educational and living purposes.
Mode of loans
Scholarships are non-repayable financial support for the students. They do not need to pay the amount supplied to them for their educational purposes.
Bursaries are financial aid which at times the receiver has to pay after getting employment. These are not non-repayable loans but are loans in the actual sense!
You find Several sorts of scholarships like merit-based, talent-based, need based, etc
Unlike scholarships, Bursaries are mainly need-based loans
Scholarships cover the costs of the students in one go.
Bursaries supply one-off loans for the students.

Difference Between Scholarships and Bursary in Points

Let us take an easy look at the difference between Scholarships and Bursaries in points.

  • Universities provide several types of scholarships to provide financial aid to students. Scholarships are not some sort of a loan. So, you can remain stress-free. These are non-repayable mode of monetary support that covers areas such as tuition expenses, cost of books, reduction of fee, transportation costs and the list goes on!
  • On the other hand, Bursaries act like educational loans. You'll have to pay the amount back after a stipulated time. Once you are employed, you'll need to pay back this loan. So, it's not as stress less as using a scholarship!
  • Scholarships are of several types. The list is exhausting. Scholarships at times are provided entirely based on merit while at times it is provided in a mixed way. There are scholarships provided by the government, community-focused scholarships, and more. But Bursaries are of a single type. They are a sort of loan for the underprivileged to enhance their living and educational conditions.
  • An important thing to be noted is Bursary is paid according to the family income. More the income less is the amount of bursary loan! There's no such issue in a scholarship. You'll get a scholarship without any consideration of such facts. It is provided equally for all considering the type of scholarship you apply for.
  • Scholarships cover the cost of a student's education in one go. Bursaries are not able to do so. At times, you need to work to pay back your bursary!


Now that you know the exact differences between a scholarship and a Bursary, you shall have no more problems applying for them according to your requirements. Many colleges and Universities are in favor of both types of financial aid. So, you may take the advice of Student Awards Advisors for this purpose. They help you with the latest guidelines related to these two modes of financial help.

There are several kinds of scholarships that benefit people from different backgrounds. Also, there are different sorts of Bursaries. But the nature of Bursaries is mainly of a single type. They are a sort of loan for the underprivileged to enhance their living and educational conditions.

Both modes assist students immensely. They have their ways of helping. These people should be aware of this so that they can reap the maximum benefits. Leverage Edu is a website that provides scholarships that cost 5 lacks!


  • https://careerwise.co.za/types-of-funding/
  • https://leverageedu.com/blog/bursaries/


Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Bursary and Scholarship." Diffzy.com, 2023. Thu. 23 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-bursary-and-scholarship-1027>.

Edited by

Share this article