DEFINITION of 'Stipend'

A predetermined amount of money that is provided periodically to help offset expenses. Stipends are often provided to those who are ineligible to receive a regular salary in exchange for the duties they perform, such as interns. A stipend is generally lower than a salary would be, but the recipient is at the same time able to gain experience and knowledge in a specific field.


A stipend allows an individual to pursue work that is normally unpaid by helping defray living expenses. Interns, apprentices, fellows and clergy are common recipients of stipends. Rather than being paid for their services, they are provided with stipends to provide financial support while engaged in the service or task. Often, a stipend is accompanied by other benefits, such as higher education and room and board.