Pupil vs Student
Pupil and Student are two words in the English language that are usually considered interchangeable, but they are not so. There is indeed some difference between the two when it comes to their connotations.
A pupil is a young person who is under the direct supervision of a teacher and is learning lessons in any given subject. The teacher who directly supervises a pupil can be one from a school. It is interesting to note that the teacher can also be a private tutor.
On the other hand a student is one who is directly enrolled in a school, a college or a university to learn a particular subject under the course of study for a particular period of time. This is the main difference between a pupil and a student.
The difference mentioned above shows that all students are pupils when they come under the supervision of a teacher in the school. Hence it can be said that the word ‘pupil’ is the subset of the word ‘student’.
As a matter of fact a pupil may be under the direct supervision of a teacher because of youth. Sometimes he comes under the close supervision of a teacher due to specialization in a particular branch of study.
On the other hand the word ‘student’ is sometimes used in the figurative sense too by indicating someone who has devoted attention and more time to a particular problem, an art or a sport as in the expression ‘a good student of the game’. On the contrary the word ‘pupil’ is not used in the figurative sense.