In addition to beginning work on university applications, many Grade 12 students are also currently deep in the throes of researching scholarship opportunities. This research can feel like a part time job as the number of scholarship programs is extensive!
Scholarships are financial awards given to students based on a wide variety of criteria which may include merit, need, or other specific criteria such as cultural background, athletic excellence etc. Scholarship money does not have to be repaid. There are additional types of financial supports available including bursaries, which are based on financial need and do not need to be repaid, and financial aid and loans which generally do need to be repaid.
Scholarships provide much needed financial support to attend Canadian, US, and overseas institutions. These awards also provide well-deserved recognition to students for the many hours dedicated to academic and extracurricular activities. Most scholarship criteria combine involvement in the areas of Athletics, Leadership, Service, and/or the Arts with superior academic achievement – and those students who demonstrate breadth and depth of commitment can be handsomely rewarded.
Scholarships are available at the local, provincial, and national level. Each institution also has its own Program of Awards, some of which students are automatically considered for upon application (entrance awards) and others which require a separate application. Scholarships can range from a single award of $250 through to renewable awards valued up to $100,000 over 4 years of study. Deadlines vary by scholarship program – so begin your research early! A great place to start your search is within your own family as many employers often offer bursaries and scholarships to children of employees.
Several websites serve as a great starting point for scholarship research:
Ms. Knight is the go-to person in University Counselling for scholarship information. This does not mean that she will complete your applications for you! It does mean, however, that she is pleased to meet with you to help you navigate the scholarship research process to discern which awards might be best suited to your personal, academic, and extracurricular profile. Ms. Knight will also include upcoming scholarship information and deadlines in the weekly announcements – so check your email regularly!