Show Me The Scholarships!
One of the major factors in deciding whether or not to go to post-secondary school is the money. College and university are expensive and while student debt may be inevitable for some, anything that could help lessen that load is much appreciated. That’s why many students turn to applying for scholarships, bursaries and grants. While you’re not guaranteed to be awarded any of the scholarships that you apply to, applying doesn’t hurt. Not to mention, scholarships give you money that you don’t have to pay back.
Where To Find Scholarships?
The main place where you’ll be able to find out about scholarships is online. There’s tons of websites dedicated to information about various scholarships around Canada and different countries depending on where you plan on going to study. ScholarshipsCanada.com, for example is a great resource. It allows you to create a profile, highlighting some of your key characteristics, and then matches you up to some scholarships that you may be eligible for. There are plenty more websites like that: Studentawards.com, OntarioScholarships.ca, just to name a few (oh, and JPD!)
If you look at college and university websites, they’ll likely have a financial aid page where you can browse through all of the scholarships and bursaries that their institution offers. Chances are, a good a portion of those scholarships don’t need an application and you’ll be automatically considered for them if you apply to their school and get accepted. Not to mention by going to open houses or campus tours for these schools, you’ll probably learn a lot more about what sort of financial aid they have to offer and you’ll probably get a more in depth look at how exactly everything works.
How To Get Scholarships?
It’s common to think that in order to win a scholarship, you have to be the top of the class and involved in everything at your school. It’s normal to think there’s no point in applying for scholarships if you’re an average student or if you only volunteer enough to meet the volunteer hour requirements for graduation. However, there are plenty of stories of how students with B averages manage to win thousands of dollars in scholarships. The key is applying. If you don’t apply, then there’s for sure no chance of getting that scholarship. According to Chris Wilkins, founder of ScholarshipsCanada.com, it’s a myth that you need to be an honours student, a low-income student or the embodiment of community involvement to get a scholarship and be successful.
While it’s true that maybe your chances of landing a scholarship will be increased by high grades and lots of community involvement, that’s not the only way to win a scholarship. There are scholarships for all different kinds of students, provided by a wide range of sources. Some scholarships are for purely international students, or Indigenous students, or first generation immigrant students. Not all scholarships are awarded based on grades or community service.
Some scholarships want you to write an essay, or get a reference from a teacher, while other scholarships are similar to raffles or challenges. For example, StudentLifeNetwork provides a scholarship called Canada’s Luckiest Student which is a $50,000 scholarship that’s awarded to a lucky student who is randomly picked from a draw. StudentLifeNetwork also has 99Scholarships, which is a big collection of 99 scholarships, with applications that vary from writing a small personal statement about being a vegetarian to writing about the tireless search for scholarships. In fact, its slogan is “Money for your passions, not your grades.”
All in all, with how technology is currently, it’s not too difficult to find out about what scholarships are out there. The answer is a simple Google search away. The key to getting these scholarships is to apply. Often, the scholarships that are worth comparatively small amounts of money, like a couple hundred dollars, are the scholarships that not a lot of people apply to. So the chances of winning those types of scholarships are higher. No matter how great or average your grades are, no matter how involved you are, no matter who you are, if you don’t apply, you are guaranteed to not land a scholarship.