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Scholarships, Bursaries, Awards and Loans  

Do you want a bundle of cash or a tiny piggy bank going towards your education? The difference between the two could be as simple as how you plan and perform your search for scholarships, bursaries and awards. This section will provide you with the map you'll need to guide you in your search for awards: where to look, how to apply, and even what colour pen to use! So what are you waiting for? Save your piggy bank and get started below.


Searching High and Low
Start brainstorming sources which may offer grants, scholarships or awards. Non-repayable funding is available from post-secondary institutions, community and service clubs, business/industry, professional associations, government, unions, and many other organizations. Hidden sources of unadvertised scholarship/bursary money include:

  • After school or volunteer activities, particularly groups of which your family or parent(s) are members
  • Your employer or parent's employer, labour unions
  • The education institution you're planning to attend, professional associations
  • Any other activities, clubs or community groups you're apart of

Talk with your counsellor about any new information on sources of money. Don't be afraid to do some digging! Make sure to go straight to the source and ask what's available, but don't forget to do some internet research first.

It is important to contact each sponsor for the awards that you are going to apply for. Find out directly from the sponsor, or award contact, if the deadline listed is correct or if any other changes have been made.

Plan Ahead
Request application forms as early as possible in advance of the deadline date. There may be special requirements you need to know and prepare (e.g. essay, and letter of recommendation or a copy of transcripts).

When in Doubt, Apply!
Scholarships are won in competition with other students. This may work in your favour. Do not hold back. Give the judges a chance to decide that you are qualified for an award. Apply for everything for which you are eligible. Make follow-up inquiries after your application.

Fill Out General Application Forms
Most Canadian universities and colleges provide a general financial aid application form.
Calendars of post-secondary institutions usually contain a section(s) devoted to the topic of scholarships and awards. In some cases, separate award publications are produced and can be obtained online or upon request.

Do It Right
Make a photocopy of each form to use as a working copy and application copy.

Use black ink to copy your work on the sponsor’s form (blue and red do not photocopy well).

Do not use whiteout or any correction fluid anywhere in your application. If you do make a mistake, erase your errors carefully and completely. Never cross out or write over an entry.

Give full answers to every question on the form but do not use slang, abbreviations or jargon. Never write in the margins or outside the answer boxes. If you do run out of space attach a separate letter to clarify or add to the information requested.

Mark response boxes with an X: no check marks, no words.

Make a photocopy of each completed form for future reference. You may need to refer to these documents again.

Send your application in the manner indicated. If mailing an application, use registered mail and keep your dated receipt. You may be asked to prove your mailing date.

Whenever you apply for an award, ask about other possible scholarship sources and additional source of funding. Follow-up every lead. When applicable include a business-sized, self-addressed, stamped envelope with each request. If you are successfully granted an award, make sure to send a thank-you note to the sponsor.

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