16 Feb 20242 min read

Difference Between Scholarship & Assistantship: Which Is Fit For You?


As a graduate student studying abroad, you can manage finances through two key aids; scholarship and assistantship. While both options help you fuel your studies, they have significant differences.

Here, a scholarship is awarded to students based on their merit or need, while an assistantship is a part-time job in a particular field you are pursuing with a stipend.

Therefore, choosing one of the two significantly impacts your educational journey.


Basically, a scholarship is financial aid provided by the university or an institute based on your academic profile or financial need. To apply for a scholarship, you will need to prove your eligibility through your academic profile, application, and essays.

This particular aid is available for both undergrad and grad students and to maintain the continuity of this funding, the students have to meet certain academic criteria each year.

There are typically four kinds of scholarships;

  • Merit-based Scholarship: Your grades define your eligibility for this scholarship, regardless of your financial status.
  • Need-based Scholarship: It is awarded when you are unable to meet the financial requirements while some universities also search for certain GPAs.
  • Need-blind Scholarship: There is no fixed grade to apply for this scholarship.
  • Institutional Scholarship: It is provided by certain religious groups, foundations, professional organizations, and charities, only to certain students who meet their criteria.

For more details on scholarships and their types, click to follow the link>>>


As for the assistantship, it is only provided to graduate students in a certain field of study. Generally, it is a part-time job that you do within the university and you later get paid.

Here, an assistantship is provided as an opportunity for students who can earn while gaining practical knowledge in their field hence, while applying, you will be asked for your skills and work experience.

Also, assistantship is awarded on a semester-by-semester basis. As for the nature of the job you will be doing, it depends on the position and may include work such as teaching, conducting research, or assisting with administrative tasks.

Moving on, there are three types of assistantships;

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA): It often provides you the responsibilities to assist in tutoring undergraduate students, grading assignments, and so on.
  • Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA): It requires you to assist the faculty members in the research programs.
  • Graduate Assistantship (GA): It requires you to help the departments with their administrative tasks.

Factors To Consider While Choosing Between Scholarship & Assistantship

  • Academic or Hands-on Research: If you wish to work closely with the professors and other members, an assistantship is for you. However, a scholarship is perfect if you wish to focus only on your studies!
  • Flexibility: Choosing a scholarship will give you a flexible schedule in which you can either study or search for jobs. However, choosing an assistantship will provide you with part-time jobs that are related to your field.

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