Types of Scholarships in India

Types of Scholarships in India


As a student in India, I often searched for scholarships and grants to ease the economic burden of higher education, only to find that I was either not eligible or that I missed the deadline for scholarships. Today, I am going to share with you all that I learned about various types of scholarships that you can avail of.

Scholarships are the life bread of educational equality for all in the country, yet the information is so vast and far spread that it is impossible to keep track of all the scholarships and their deadlines in time. For the majority of students, scholarships turn out to be a missed opportunity. We have compiled a list of different types of scholarships available to you so that you never have to miss another opportunity for a better future.

Busting the Myths

Like you, I had a few misconceptions regarding scholarships which often limited my ability to make full use of the resources the country provides for my education. To keep you from making the same mistakes that I did, here are some of the common myths and misconceptions people have concerning scholarships in India.

  • The first and the biggest myth amongst students is that Scholarship especially financial aid is only provided to students from economically weaker or socially backward sections of society. This is not the case, there are several scholarships open to general category students.
  • Many students believe that scholarships are only available to class/school/college toppers, however, it is not always the case as financial aid is usually based on socio-economic factors while meritorious scholarships may have certain eligibility criteria, which do not necessarily require an applicant to be a topper.
  • Many students give up scholarships out of the fear that the process of application is tedious and the amount is too small in comparison to the effort. The fact is that a single drop contributes to an ocean and every penny helping towards reducing the cost of your education can make an enormous impact. Further, online Scholarships and, the role of technology especially in education have made the process of application and its tracking far easier than before. 
  • A major concern amongst students is that you can only apply to one or other Scholarships which may or may not cover all your expenses. This could not be farther from the truth, you can apply to as many scholarships as you can meet the criteria for.

Now that we have these common misconceptions out of the way, let’s take a look at the type of scholarships available to you in India.

Scholarships can be of various types depending on the criteria for categorization, some of the common ones are as follows:

Scholarships in India Awarded based on Beneficiary and the Purpose of Scholarship:

1. Means – based Scholarship – this is the financial aid provided to those students who are not able to afford the cost of education or belong to certain socio-economically backward sections of the society.

S. no.
Name of Scholarship
Provided by

Pre Matric and Post Matric Scholarships for minorities
Ministry of minorities, GoI
Religious minorities


3.     Merit – cum – means based Scholarships â€“ These scholarships are provided to meritorious students from socio-economically backward sections of the society.

S. no.

Name of Scholarship

Provided by



Merit Cum Means Scholarship for Professional and Technical Courses CS (Minorities)

Ministry of Minority, GoI

Students pursuing Professional and technical course


National Means cum Merit Scholarship

Deptt of School Education and Literacy, GoI

Class 9th – 12th


Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship for College and University students

Deptt of higher education, GoI

Class 12th passed with >80 percentile



North East Council

Meritorious North eastern students


Scholarships in India, Based on who is providing them

  1. Government scholarships – these scholarships are provided by the central and state Governments to students belonging to all social and economic categories. These scholarships are often focused on equal access to education thus provide a large number of scholarships for socio-economically backward sections of the society. For more details visit National Scholarship Portal.
  2. Private Scholarships – These Scholarships are provided by private organizations or individuals as part of their philanthropic contribution to education. They are often provided with education in the field of their business to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and industrial practices.
  3. Community-based Scholarships – These Scholarships are provided by an individual’s social community like a religious organization, a caste-based organization, or even a local area organization such as the RWA.
  4. School/ College Scholarships – These scholarships are provided by individual schools or colleges to students enrolled in their programs on either Need, Merit, or Need cum Merit basis. These scholarships are often more stringent in terms of grade requirements by students, etc.

Micro scholarships in India

Micro Scholarships provide small amounts to students every month, especially to those enrolled in middle school or high school. This incentivizes students to learn as the condition for receipt is generally dependent on the fulfillment of a minimum requirement of a score in a quiz or test conducted regularly.

AuroScholar which is India’s first micro Scholarship program provides subject-wise monthly quizzes where students can earn by scoring more than 80% in the quiz thus incentivizing learning.