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Scholarship vs. Freeship — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 20, 2024
Scholarship typically involves financial support awarded based on academic or other achievements, while a freeship covers tuition fees, often based on financial need without merit criteria.
Scholarship vs. Freeship — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Scholarship and Freeship


Key Differences

Scholarships are financial aids provided to students primarily based on their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, or other talents, supporting their education financially. Whereas, freeships are a form of financial assistance that covers the entirety or part of the tuition fees for students, usually granted on the basis of financial need, without necessarily considering the students' academic or extracurricular merits.
Scholarship programs often require recipients to maintain a certain level of academic performance to continue receiving the aid. On the other hand, freeships may not impose such academic performance criteria, focusing instead on the student's financial situation.
While scholarships can come from various sources, including governments, institutions, and private organizations, aimed at encouraging and rewarding excellence in different fields, freeships are typically provided by educational institutions themselves to ensure that financial barriers do not prevent students from continuing their education.
Scholarships often come with certain conditions, such as the requirement to study a specific field, conduct research, or contribute to the community. Freeships, however, mainly aim to alleviate the financial burden of tuition fees for students in need, without additional obligations.
The application process for scholarships can be competitive, requiring essays, interviews, and recommendations. Freeships, while possibly requiring proof of financial need, usually have a simpler application process focusing on financial status rather than merit or achievements.

Comparison Chart

Basis of Award

Merit (academic, extracurricular, talents)
Financial need


Can cover tuition, living expenses, books, etc.
Primarily covers tuition fees


Governments, institutions, private entities
Educational institutions

Performance Requirement

Often requires maintaining a certain academic standard
No academic performance requirement

Application Criteria

Merit-based (essays, interviews, recommendations)
Financial need (proof of income, financial status)

Compare with Definitions


A fund allocated for education purposes based on excellence in academics or other fields.
His scholarship covers not only tuition but also housing expenses.


A form of aid aimed at ensuring education is accessible to all, regardless of financial background.
The freeship program has helped many students complete their education.


Financial aid provided to a student because of merit, with the aim of supporting their further education.
The university offers scholarships to students with exceptional academic records.


Financial assistance provided by educational institutions to cover tuition costs for needy students.
Thanks to the freeship, he could continue his studies without financial stress.


A grant or payment made to support a student's education, awarded on the basis of academic or other achievements.
She received a scholarship for her outstanding performance in science.


A waiver of tuition fees for students based on financial need, without merit requirements.
The college offers a freeship to economically disadvantaged students.


A financial reward for students excelling in sports, arts, or academics, facilitating their education.
The scholarship enabled her to pursue her dream of becoming a professional athlete.


Support for students to help them avoid tuition fees due to their financial situation.
Her freeship allowed her to focus on studies rather than worry about expenses.


An award to facilitate research or study for academically gifted individuals.
He won a scholarship to study environmental science abroad.


An educational grant given to alleviate the financial burdens of students, focusing on tuition fee waivers.
The university's freeship program covers the full tuition for qualifying students.


A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education at a private elementary or secondary school, or a private or public post-secondary college, university, or other academic institution. Scholarships are awarded based upon various criteria, such as academic merit, diversity and inclusion, athletic skill, financial need, among others.


(obsolete) Freedom; liberty.


The methods, discipline, and attainments of a scholar or scholars.


(obsolete) Liberality; generosity.


Knowledge resulting from study and research in a particular field.


(India) A studentship offered at no cost to the student.


A grant of financial aid awarded to a student, as for the purpose of attending a college.


A grant-in-aid to a student.


The character or qualities of a scholar.


The activity, methods or attainments of a scholar.


(uncountable) The sum of knowledge accrued by scholars; the realm of refined learning.


The first year of high school, often accompanied by exams that needed to be passed before advancement to the higher grades.


(intransitive) To attend an institution on a scholarship.


(transitive) To grant a scholarship to.


The character and qualities of a scholar; attainments in science or literature; erudition; learning.
A man of my master's . . . great scholarship.


Literary education.
Any other house of scholarship.


Maintenance for a scholar; a foundation for the support of a student.


Financial aid provided to a student on the basis of academic merit


Profound scholarly knowledge

Common Curiosities

Can anyone apply for a freeship?

Freeships are typically awarded based on financial need, so applicants usually need to demonstrate their financial situation.

Do you need to repay a scholarship or freeship?

No, both scholarships and freeships are forms of financial aid that do not need to be repaid.

Can scholarships cover living expenses?

Yes, scholarships can cover living expenses, books, and other education-related costs, in addition to tuition fees.

Do freeships require any academic performance?

Freeships generally do not require recipients to meet specific academic performance criteria, focusing instead on financial need.

Can you lose a scholarship?

Yes, if the recipient fails to meet the ongoing criteria, such as maintaining a certain GPA, they can lose their scholarship.

Are scholarships only for academic achievers?

Primarily, but scholarships can also be awarded for excellence in sports, arts, or community service.

Is a freeship the same as a scholarship?

No, while both provide financial aid, scholarships are merit-based, and freeships are need-based, mainly covering tuition fees.

Can scholarships be renewed?

Yes, many scholarships are renewable, provided the recipient continues to meet the eligibility criteria.

What is the main purpose of a freeship?

The main purpose of a freeship is to ensure that financial barriers do not prevent students from pursuing their education.

Are there scholarships for non-academic talents?

Yes, scholarships exist for a wide range of talents, including sports, arts, and community engagement.

Can international students receive scholarships or freeships?

Yes, many institutions and organizations offer scholarships and freeships to international students.

How do you apply for a scholarship?

Application processes vary but often involve submitting academic records, essays, and sometimes interviews or recommendations.

How does a freeship benefit students?

A freeship benefits students by relieving the financial burden of tuition fees, allowing them to focus on their studies.

How can one find freeship opportunities?

Freeship opportunities can be found through educational institutions, financial aid offices, or specific educational programs.

What is the main purpose of a scholarship?

The main purpose of a scholarship is to support and encourage students in their education and achievements.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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