As a Nigerian student, you can access financial aid for your education through a number of dependable sources – without taking loans. Two possible, stress-free sources of funds include Scholarships and Grants. And yes, you can access educational grants in Nigeria.
Before we proceed to itemize the available educational grants in Nigeria, first consider why student loans are not recommended. And then we can proceed to state the difference between an educational grant and a scholarship.
Firstly, a student loan would require you to pay it back within a stipulated period of time after graduation (or otherwise face penalties). A typical student loan would likely be due for payment as from the second year after graduation from a higher institution. Or perhaps 2 years after completion of NYSC, as the case may be. And of course you would need to be employed and earning a salary/wage before you can do so.
There is no assurance that you will be gainfully employed and early enough in the unstable, modern world. Remember that so many people are actively searching for jobs.
Secondly, loans accrue interest over time and get bigger – so the earlier you pay it off the better. But will eventualities and realities allow you to pay it off in time? Will you be able to relieve yourself of the burden to even have decent savings, or embark on other projects? That remains a petty question. Interest-free loans are quite rare; and even at that, having to pay a loan puts you on edge constantly until it is fully paid.
You can as well avoid the psychological stress that comes with having to pay off a loan. So we recommend that you go for an educational grant or a scholarship. Here in this article, we will focus more on how to access educational grants in Nigeria, and with little stress.
Educational Grant Versus Scholarship: What’s the Difference?
It is pertinent that you know what differentiates an educational grant from a scholarship. Both of them are financial aids, or gift aids awarded to existing or prospective students of an educational institution. Which means that the gift aid is given FREE – it will not be paid back by the recipient.
To begin with, an educational grant is financial aid given towards payment of tuition fees, usually by a government (or government-registered organization). Such other organizations could be private organizations, non-governmental organizations, colleges, or universities.
While a scholarship is financial aid provided by any capable and recognized organization or individual – also towards payment for tuition fees. Scholarships are usually awarded by a non-governmental organization; but a government might as well offer scholarships..
The second and most important difference, though, is the criteria or condition for awarding each gift aid. Education grants are awarded based on the needs of the student; while scholarships are awarded based on academic performance.
To qualify for a scholarship, the student is expected to maintain an above-average or higher academic grades (which will be clearly specified). An educational grant does not place any condition on the student – so long as he/she meets the basic requirements.
Additional Points to Note About Educational Grants
One of the important conditions for awarding an educational grant is the financial status of that student.
– Typically, an educational grant will be easily awarded to a student from a low-income group (with proofs). It is believed that if you are from a higher social class, you should be able to afford paying your own tuition fees.
– Grants are usually country-specific. And each grant comes with its own criteria.
– Grants may be awarded to students in primary, secondary or tertiary institutions.
Available Educational Grants in Nigeria
We have dealt with scholarship opportunities available for Nigerian students in another article. Now we will expose our readers to educational grants in Nigeria, available for Nigerian students.
There are local and international organizations that willingly award such grants to Nigerian students on an annual basis. Just like scholarships. And they are made available at specific times of the year – so you need to be alert, constantly checking for them. In newspapers, on the internet, and higher institutions themselves make such announcements on their bulletin boards.
However, you will notice soon enough that the majority of local and international grants are targeted at two categories of beneficiaries. Firstly, grant awarding organizations usually target helping research scholars. These could be academics, Masters and Ph.D. students who might need grants to complete their coursework or research efforts (or both).
The other category of recipients are professionals in a particular field (not students this time). They could be carrying out research, or attempting to solve a significant problem. Check out the list below for the ones relevant to you. And follow the application process.
List of Popular Educational Grants in Nigeria
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