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Difference Between Scholarship and Fellowship to Study Abroad

Are you a study abroad aspirant? Is funding your education abroad a challenge for you, too? Well, this blog can help you overcome it. It covers two popular ways to get financial aid to study abroad. It also states the difference between scholarship and fellowship. Moreover, it can come in handy for you to learn the application process for both. In addition, a section also focuses on the generic eligibility criteria. Let us start with what is scholarship meaning.

What are Scholarships?

It is a way of awarding brilliant minds who lack the resources to reach their dreams. Scholarships are financial grants and aid to students who wish to study further. Scholarships help eligible scholars with visa expenses, stipends, and tuition fees. Scholarships mean financial aid; thus, they also offer to cover other expenses, such as travel, accommodation, the cost of living, etc.

There are many types of scholarships. In addition to that, there are several advantages to taking a scholarship.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Scholarships can help you get fully funded scholarships to study abroad
These are the various ways in which getting a scholarship can benefit you. Now, let us learn what fellowship meaning is. Moreover, in further sections, you will also get details on some famous fellowships.

What are Fellowships?

Fellowships are a range of aids offered to students doing research. They also cover scholars seeking a position or opportunity in an institute. Fellowships follow a broader perspective of helping students. They often grant money, cover fees, and even offer stipends. However, fellowships also offer aids like a position in an institute. In addition, employment and research opportunities are also a part of their aid.
There are many merits and demerits of the fellowships as well. Take a look at them below:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fellowships can help you get financial aid to study abroad.
Now that you know what a scholarship and a fellowship are, let's move on. The next section will explain the differences between the two.

Difference Between Scholarship and Fellowship

Refer to the following pointers to understand the difference between scholarship and fellowship.

Expenses Covered

It means how these scholarships and fellowships aid the students. There is a lot that they do and don't cover, from tuition fees and travel expenses to the cost of living, housing, and food. Moreover, it is a vital point to argue over in a scholarship vs. fellowship debate. There is a lot a student requires help in.

It is an opportunity to do community service or an internship related to the area of study. Fellowships are not limited to monetary benefits, unlike scholarships. They offer positions in an organization, research opportunities, etc. The scholarship often helps monetarily. It helps pay tuition fees, travel expenses, grants stipends, and many often cover living expenses for the student.

When to Apply?

Secondly, these two differ on when is the right time to apply. It does not talk about the application deadline but the period when applying can benefit you.

Students who can be considered grown-ups and who are eligible to get involved in community affairs can apply for fellowships. Any scholar who meets the eligibility criteria can apply for the scholarship. They can apply before their college or institute starts.

Eligibility Criteria

Thirdly, fellowships and scholarships generally have different eligibility criteria. However, the exact requirements differ for every scholarship and fellowship. In this battle of fellowship vs. scholarship, these differences are common!

Fellowships are primarily based on choosing the best of those who are good in academics. So, a scholar with an exceptionally good academic record can expect a fellowship. There are several types of scholarships, each aimed at serving a specific section of society. There are awards for economically weak and deserving students.


Fourthly, there are many ways a student can access a scholarship or a fellowship. Several institutes and colleges have provided this financial aid to students. However, many do not offer both.

Fellowships are offered by government bodies, commercial firms, colleges, and universities. You can get scholarships from various businesses, universities, governments of various countries, etc.

Purpose of Funding

Lastly, the intent behind offering such huge amounts must be known. Indeed, scholars from India who work with other nations have a great potential to represent the country well. Thus, it is vital to aid such talents so they aid the progress of this world.

Fellowships usually focus on students willing to contribute to research. Many fellowships also aid research scholars in a specific field. Scholarships are of many types. Thus, there are scholarship options for students in every field and at every degree level.

To simplify, the following is the difference between fellowship and scholarship. Take a look at the pointers and select which aid you want to apply to. hire the best qualified experts to help you study abroad.
These are the parameters where the meanings of scholarships and fellowships differ. Now, let us move on to the next section. It discusses the types of scholarships for Indian students to study abroad.

Types of Scholarships for Indian Students to Study Abroad

There are several types of scholarships for Indian students. These scholarships aid students from various backgrounds. The following are the different types of scholarships for Indian students:
1. Merit-Based Scholarships
2. Need-Based Scholarships
3. Degree Specific Scholarships
4. Equity Scholarships
5. Government Scholarships
6. University Scholarships
7. Fully Funded Scholarships
8. Partially Funded Scholarships
9. Sports Scholarships
10. Research Scholarships
In many of them, besides academic excellence, scholars must also show their work experience. It's another fellowship vs scholarship pointer. The pointers below will explain each of the above scholarships in detail.

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1. Merit-Based Scholarships

Firstly, these scholarships are given to those with good academic records. The scholar needs to have a history of outstanding academic performance. Both fellowship and scholarship are merit-based. Moreover, merit mostly counts as the score in a previous degree or class. Yet, having good marks in all areas of academics, of course, gets you preference over others.

2. Need-Based Scholarships

Secondly, these scholarships are for the economically weaker sections of society. These are perfect for students who have fewer opportunities and more financial challenges. Moreover, these awards empower the entire society by helping brilliant minds. Many students have already benefitted from such scholarships.

3. Degree Specific Scholarships

Thirdly, there are scholarships for students wanting to pursue a specific degree level. For instance, students wanting to pursue a master's degree can apply only for scholarships that offer aid to students pursuing a PG degree. There are a limited number of seats for every scholarship, so students don't have to compete with students of other degree levels.

4. Equity Scholarships

Fourthly, there are awards for socio-economically weaker sections. Students belonging to marginalized communities often get fewer chances to fly than the general public. For them, organizations and even governments launch various schemes. This is a vital point in a scholarship vs. fellowship debate. These schemes aid the education of such students abroad and within the nation.

5. Government Scholarships

Fifthly, the government offers various monetary awards. Furthermore, most scholarships differ based on the provider. Government scholarships meaning declaring efficient awards for scholars and igniting research potential among youth. Their focus is to push forward the nation's most brilliant minds. Thus, their selection criteria are usually based on merit.
Also Read: Best Government Scholarships to Study Abroad for Indian Students

6.University Scholarships

Sixthly, there is financial aid in the form of scholarships from institutes. These colleges and universities grant stipends to cover tuition fees and other expenses. However, the aid is only for students who are eligible. Moreover, their criteria also vary from merit to need.

7. Fully funded Scholarships

Seventhly, there are scholarship aids that aim to fully sponsor students' education abroad. Moreover, they also cover 100% of the tuition fees, travel costs, and living costs. In addition, they grant students scholarship and stipend or a monthly/annual allowance. There are many other benefits like rent and food coverage, etc.

8. Partially Funded Scholarships

Furthermore, there are selectively funded aid. These types of aid focus on a section of tuition fees. Moreover, many scholarships offer a certain amount regardless of the fee. These aim to help students who can afford but not fully.

9. Sports Scholarships

On the other hand, there are these awards for students with high sports profiles. Sports scholarships help talented scholars pursue their higher education. Moreover, many of them also require a good academic record with a sports profile. Yet, these scholars get relief in the tuition fee, and many also offer a fixed stipend.

10. Research Scholarships

Lastly, there are scholarships for students who wish to pursue research. Many of them support a certain field of study or research. Thus, the offered scholarship is for students in that particular field. Yet, it is the best as many of them cover fees, expenses, travel costs, and even stay for 4-6 years.
These are the various types of scholarships for Indian students. You are now aware of the fellowship and scholarship difference. The next section will give you details on some of the best scholarship awards.

Famous Scholarships for Indian Students

Below are 5 famous scholarships for Indian students to study abroad:

CCSE Graduate Scholarship

Firstly, it stands for the Center for Cyber Safety and Education. This scholarship aims to aid students for PG or PhD degrees. It is valid for students to study in countries like Singapore, USA, and Canada.

  • Covers certain expenses
  • Grants up to USD 5,000 once per student
  • 20 students are awarded and the amount reaches the college directly.
  • Also, this money is strictly for tuition fees.
  • GPA must be 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Must have an offer letter from a university
  • Must have passion, merit, and financial need.
  • Can attend classes online or offline, full-time or part-time, in the US or from anywhere in the world.

K.C. Mahindra Scholarships

Secondly, comes the Mahindra scholarships. It aims to aid students who are brilliant in their studies but lack financial resources. It also pushes them one step further with several scholarship programs.

  • Every eligible student gets at least 5 Lakh INR worth of award
  • Top 3 students get 10 Lakh INR
  • Students must have an admission letter from an abroad university.
  • Students must be Indian and possess a first-class degree

JN Tata Endowment Loan Scholarship

Thirdly, there is one of Tata's best scholarships. It has helped more than 5,700 students all over India study abroad. The scholarship aims to offer monetary assistance to scholars who wish to study overseas. Yet, it is for students pursuing their PG or PhD.

  • The award money can range from 1 lakh INR to 10 Lakh INR.
  • Only a few students qualify to get the maximum amount.
  • All Indian students who have completed their graduation.
  • They must have got at least 60% marks in the previous degree.

Narotam Sekhsaria’s Scholarship

Fourthly, this is a scholarship awarded on merit. The provider of this scholarship is an NGO.

  • An interest-free scholarship loan
  • Repayment of which will start from one year after the course completion.
  • Students must be citizens of India.
  • They must be below 30 years of age.
  • They must have a UG degree.

Inlaks Shivdasini Foundation Scholarship

Lastly, a scholarship based on merit. It is available to scholars who don't hold a master's degree from abroad. They provide scholarships for research students, arts students, and others.

  • Grants USD 100,000 (83,21,790 INR)
  • No renewability
  • Students must not be over 30 years of age.
  • Must hold a UG degree with a minimum average of 65% for social science subjects.
  • Must have at least 70% of the score to study maths or science.

These are the various famous scholarships. The tables above also contain the last date of application. Now, let us explore the steps of applying for a scholarship to study abroad.
Also Read: How to Get Fully funded Scholarships in Canada?

How to Apply for a Scholarship to Study Abroad?

Follow the steps below to apply for a scholarship to study abroad:
1. First, get good counselling about the best scholarships available. You can also research one yourself.
2. Secondly, go to the official website for the scholarship you shortlisted to fill out the form.
3. Thirdly, gather all the academic records they ask you to upload. Prepare all the achievements you can recount in the form.
4. Fourthly, collect the government IDs and proofs to upload for verification.
5. Fifthly, write an essay if they ask you to. Make sure to stick to the word limit.
6. Sixthly, pay the application fee, if there is any, and submit the form.


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These are the steps you must follow to get a scholarship to study abroad. Now, let us talk about the generic eligibility criteria for getting a scholarship to study abroad.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for a Scholarship?

Indeed, every scholarship has various requirements. However, the common demands are as follows:

1. Firstly, have a strong academic record at school and previous university or college.

2. Secondly, you must have vital documents and paperwork to apply for a scholarship. These documents are: hire experts to get help in documentation for study abroad.

Thirdly, although the criteria varies for every award, you must have an offer letter from a reputed university.

4. Fourthly, many of them also ask for an English skill test score.

5. Fifthly, it is vital to have all the documents valid and verified from the government.

6. Lastly, if your award is subject-centric, make sure to verify if you have chosen the specific subjects that scholarship applies to.

These are the various eligibility requirements to get a scholarship to study overseas. Now, let us move on to the section on fellowships.

Famous Fellowships for Indian Students

Now that you are aware of the various scholarships, let us talk about fellowships. There are many fellowship grants and awards for scholars. The list below mentions the three most popular fellowships for Indian students.

Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowship

Firstly, this list starts with a program that helps students study in the US. It allows eligible Indian scholars to conduct research in the US for 6 to 9 months.

  • Provides J-1 Visa support
  • Gives monthly stipend
  • Grants return ticket economy class
  • Pays allowances and affiliation fees
  • LOR from the supervisor who observes and approves the student’s research.
  • Must be an ongoing researcher for at least 1 year before applying for the scholarship.

AAUW International Women's Fellowships

Secondly, it is a beneficiary that got launched in 1917. As the name suggests, this one is for women and girls only.

EXPENSES COVERED The students get USD 50,000 for one year.
APPLICATION DEADLINE 15th Novemeber 2023
  • A woman who does not have a US citizenship
  • Who is full-time available to work as a member of fellowship
  • Students from weaker sections of the society will get preference.

Fullbright Kalam Climate Fellowships

Lastly, this is another great fellowship for PhD scholars of India. This one also chooses students and grants them a chance to conduct research in a US institution.

  • Offer J-1 visa support
  • Grant a monthly stipend
  • round trip in economy class
  • allowances provided also for dependents.
  • A PhD student who started their PhD on 1st November 2023 or before.
  • Their thesis submission date should be 3 months after the end date of this scholarship.

These are the various fellowships you can enroll in if you wish to study abroad. Now, let us know how you can apply for a fellowship to study in your dream country.

How to Apply for a Fellowship to Study Abroad?

You see fellowships in India are not that famous. However, this blog aims to educate its readers about the fellowships that can help them ace in life. This section is about the application process for fellowships:
1. Firstly, research well on which fellowship can cater to your requirements.
2. Secondly, manage excellence in academics. Try to be consistent with a good score in previous degrees.
3. Thirdly, showcase your passion and zeal for research through projects.
4. Fourthly, visit the official websites of the programs.
5. Furthermore, propose an excellent research pitch and submit the application.
Don't forget to mention how you learned leadership and other skills via several certificates, etc.
To sum up, there is a huge difference between scholarship and fellowship. Thus, scholars must apply to them if it suits their requirements from a financial aid option. To study abroad or within the country, both the aid options play a significant role in a student's life. Yet, many are unaware of the details of these schemes. aims to help students find their dreams a ladder to climb on. Moreover, the experts here focus on advising the students with the best of options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What Exactly is a Fellowship?

Fellowships are a way to fund your education or research. Fellowship meaning constitutes your involvement as a fellow member. Moreover, having a fellowship also brings perks like skill development and community involvement.

Q2. Is it Tough to Get a Fellowship?

Indeed, the competition is high as there are many competitors and the seats are fewer. However, you can get a fellowship if you have a good academic record or a great history of helping communities. Moreover, if you are a research scholar, you can get a fellowship easily to study abroad or in India.

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View all comments
Chirag Kapoor

This breakdown made it much easier for me to grasp the concept of scholarships versus fellowships.

Gaurav Choudhary

Thanks for the detailed explanation, now I have a clearer understanding of scholarships and fellowships!

Virat Mehra

Can you explain how scholarships and fellowships differ in terms of eligibility criteria?


Scholarships often consider academic merit or specific criteria like extracurricular activities, while fellowships typically focus on postgraduate study or research and may prioritize leadership, innovation, or professional experience.


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