If you are considering the possibility of graduate school, one of the most daunting factors for you to consider could be how you will pay for it. Don’t worry! There are many scholarships available to students pursuing everything from engineering to the arts. Some of the financial aid your school offers is competitive and based on performance, and others are based on applicant needs. While the types of support offered varies by university, I use Laurentian University in Barrie and Sudbury Ontario as an example of some of the types of support offered for this article. For accurate descriptions of the types of support offered, please view your school’s website. Graduate students can apply for graduate teaching assistantships or research assistantships, summer fellowships, scholarships and bursaries (based on merit and need) and OSAP (based on need).
Teaching assistantships or research assistantships are valued at $7,350 for Masters students and $12,075 for PhD students and are opportunities that full time students registered in the first two years of their masters program or in the first 4 years of their graduate degree can take advantage of. These can be in the form of 10 hr/week teaching positions in the University or fellowships (“A temporary position at an academic institution with limited teaching duties and ample time for research” (Wiktionary, 2013)). Summer fellowships are valued at $1000 and gives graduate students the opportunity to work full-time on their research during the summer. Research assistantantships are available in select cases and based on availability of faculty to support graduate students wishing to pursue this option. The criteria for receiving scholarships and bursaries varies by school, so check your school’s graduate studies program website for further details on the scholarships and their respective deadlines. Typically, these supports are available to applicants in their first and second year of their program who are enrolled into full time studies and are Canadian residents. OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) is designed to help students who are in financial need. Interested students may view eligibility criteria and apply through the website at www.osap.com.
If the next step on your career path requires you to pursue graduate education and you’re broke, never fear! There are many options suited for students in different situations. Keep your head up and take a look at your graduate studies website for more information on what is best suited for you!