A stipend is a fixed source of funds provided to help defray expenses while a person pursues a particular interest such as an internship, assistantship or apprenticeship. It is distinct from a salary or wage in that the amount of the stipend is usually not enough to cover the cost of living. However, non-monetary benefits such as accreditation, food, instruction or housing are typically included.
Unlike a salary or wages, stipends are not necessarily payment for work performed. Rather, a stipend is provided to exempt recipients from undertaking salaried work while they pursue interests for which they would not normally receive a payment. Stipends are commonly associated with university scholarships or fellowships and non-profit or volunteer organizations. For example, some graduate students are paid stipends rather than wages for the instructional services they provide at the institution.
Non-profit organizations sometimes pay stipends to underrepresented groups to help them support themselves long enough to join the workforce. The Catholic Church and the Church of England provide stipends to ministers and clergymen in exchange for clerical duties performed. The word "stipend" comes from the Latin "stipendum," which is a combination of the words "stips," meaning coin, and "pend," meaning to weigh out or pay.