What is a scholarship?

Reaching your academic dreams requires hard work and dedication. Finding the funds to pursue your dreams may not always be easy, especially in these tough economic times. A scholarship is a great way to reach your dreams and feel rewarded and acknowledged for your hard work. The question which may be asked is: what is a scholarship?

A scholarship usually is granted to students who have achieved very high academic results. There are many different types of scholarships available. Some scholarships are sponsored by the government while other scholarships may be awarded from non government organisations as well as private companies.

The majority of scholarships may be based on academic achievement, however some scholarships may be based on a combination of academic achievement as well as various other factors.

The factors that are chosen to determine if a student should be awarded a scholarship or not is up to the institution giving out the scholarship.

Many people may confuse the term 'scholarship' , with 'bursary'. A bursary is based more on financial needs and is awarded to students based on financial components alone. However a scholarship is more merit based and is awarded to students based on achievements.

Please be aware that in South Africa some people tend to confuse the two terms and use them interchangeably.

Scholarships are not only based on academic ability and can be based on artistic, athletic or other abilities as well. Many organisations may factor in elements such as extracurricular activities as well as community involvement.

The majority of scholarships are paid for by the specific institution and are usually not paid into the students bank account.

However the terms, rules and regulations may differ depending on the type of scholarship which is offered as well as the institution which is offering it. Each scholarship may come with its own unique set of circumstances and conditions.

Many students in South Africa have gone on to become extremely successful after being awarded scholarships. Being awarded a scholarship is a big privilege and if you are lucky enough to be awarded one, you should make the most of it.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela

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