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What Is a Stipend?

A stipend is money given to an individual in lieu of a normal wage or a salary. While it is a form of compensation, a stipend is different from a salary in that the person receiving the stipend is not actually being paid for the work rendered in a normal sense. This is because of the fact that people who are given stipends normally perform tasks that are not paid monetarily. More so, the stipend as a way of showing appreciation for the service rendered by the person.

In general, a stipend is lower in amount as compared to a wage or a salary. However, a stipend usually comes with other benefits that are not monetary. For example, clergymen may receive stipends from their church. At the same time, they are given full board and lodging, plus other perks. The money that they receive may only be a fraction of what an “employed” person may receive as salary, but the other benefits that clergymen receive make up for it.

Stipends are also given to individuals such as students, apprentices, athletes, and the like. In these situations, the stipend given is meant as an allowance to deal with the living expenses of the person. The stipend is fixed and is not dependent on the degree of work that the person does within the month.

Another difference between stipends and wages is the frequency that they are given. Usually, wages are given on a bi-monthly basis or on a monthly basis. Stipends may be given following the same frequency, although very rarely. More often than not, at the most, stipends are given once a month. It is not unusual for stipends to be given out less frequently - once per semester or even once a year.

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