What is the Difference Between a Bursary and a Scholarship?

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Figuring out whether to apply for a scholarship or a bursary can be tough. Here's what you need to know to help you weigh out the pros and cons of each. 

Scholarships and bursaries are awarded for different reasons. Below, we break down the main distinctions that can help you decide which one is for you. 

Bursary 

  • Bursaries are awarded to students based on financial need
  • Some bursaries require students to meet set minimum academic requirements in order to qualify
  • Recipients of bursaries are often required to repay the bursary by working for the company/institution that offered the bursary. Employment is usually for the same period that the bursary was awarded for. 

Scholarship

  • Scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence
  • Scholarship recipients must continue to achieve outstanding academic results
  • Scholarships can be very competitive, as only top academic achievers are considered
  • Recipients of scholarships are not always expected to repay or work off their scholarship

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