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How to get a Scholarship in Canada

Apr 7, 2022

If you are intending on going to study in Canada, you may want to apply for a scholarship, this will help you in reducing the educational cost and other expenses you are to pay. International students can take advantage of scholarships to finance their studies in Canada.

Scholarships are non-repayable financial awards. They are mainly given to students with exceptional academic achievements, however, some scholarships are also recognized for volunteer and work experience. Most scholarships warrant you to apply for them while some are awarded automatically.

Scholarships in Canada have really impacted the lives of numerous graduate and undergraduate students, more especially international students.

The ideology of scholarship is one of the ideologies that has been welcomed by everyone. And considering the financial intensity of education which had left most students with fewer options. But depend on scholarships to further their education.

Every scholarship has its own requirements, eligibility criteria, and benefits, and without being met the applicants should forget about the scholarship.

Note that most times nationality plays an important role in securing a scholarship, where it is easy for a citizen of a certain country to secure a scholarship offered by the government of that country.

Scholarships in Canada 

A lot of people have asked if it is possible to easily obtain a scholarship in Canada without being a citizen of the country. This article contains useful information on how to secure a scholarship in Canada as a citizen or as an international student. The tips mentioned below will guide on how to obtain a scholarship in Canada.

Before reading the tips, it is very necessary to understand why you need a scholarship and how it will help you reach your goals. Scholarships help students a lot. Additionally, scholarships also motivate students to study.

International students value scholarships a lot because the educational costs of studying abroad are very much expensive. The educational costs of studying in Canada are expensive and that’s one reason international students and citizens should pursue a Canadian scholarship. Scholarship applicants should also remember the rule of first applicants in their scholarship hunt. Applicants should not have to wait until the scholarship deadline before applying, this will reduce the chances of being offered a scholarship opportunity.

As stated above, eligibility criteria vary from application to application, one scholarship may check your academic records, another might ask for a personal essay or references.

Some scholarships are awarded based on academic merit or sporting achievements or even creative pursuits so take note of your skills and match them to what’s out there. Pay attention, and take notes on these.

How to Get a Scholarship in Canada

Below are the tips on how to secure a scholarship in Canada. These tips also apply to scholarships in other parts of the world.

1. Plan Ahead

One of the major reasons why students don’t get Canadian scholarships is the late application. The majority of students start searching for scholarships opportunities during their university study, or at the point where they are in dire need of financial aid. The importance of hunting and searching for scholarships early cannot be overemphasized.

If you want to increase your chances of securing a Canadian scholarship, you have to start applying for scholarships, even while in high school, and also ensure that you don’t wait for a scholarship deadline before applying.

Based on Citizenship and Immigration Canada regulations, you must demonstrate you have enough finance to meet your financial needs while studying in Canada before beginning your studies. So, if you’re going to pursue a scholarship to help finance your education, start researching opportunities early.

2. Research on Numerous Opportunities

Another tip on how to obtain a scholarship in Canada easily is by first making research on numerous opportunities before applying. Researching extra information about the scholarship opportunities will enable you to know the method of application.

Research about scholarships awarded by the Canadian government, provincial governments, private foundations, and not-for-profit organizations.

3. Read and Understand the Eligibility Criteria

Carefully reading and understanding the eligibility criteria is another tip on how to successfully get a scholarship in Canada.

The importance of understanding the scholarship requirements is as important as the scholarship itself. This particular tip doesn’t just apply to Canadian scholarships but all scholarships in the world. Every Canadian scholarship has its own unique eligibility criteria that if not duly met would disqualify one the opportunity of winning that particular award.

There is no point in applying for scholarships that you are not actually eligible for, you are only wasting your precious time and effort.

Ensure that you read the eligibility requirements very carefully. If you do not understand the requirements or the eligibility criteria, ask the scholarship administrator, there is always a contact email you can direct your question to.

4. Do not Forsake the Smaller Awards 

It is very much obvious that everybody will love to win $10,000 more than winning $2,000. There are numerous scholarships in Canada that are quite easy to secure and the application process is not very stressful.

Also, everyone will definitely want the $10,000 award and not the $2,000 and that is where the problem lies.

Note that any award with a high-value prize is going to be extremely competitive, and this will in turn will likely reduce your chances of winning. This is where it becomes important to go for the smaller awards.

If you apply for numerous small awards, you’ll have a higher chance of winning a few of them. So, as you apply for the bigger awards, also apply for the smaller ones.

Apply for 5 smaller awards and win $2,000, or apply for one $10,000 award and win nothing. The path to success is pretty clear.

5. Reference Letter

A reference letter is written specifically for the award you are applying for. A reference letter is different from a generic reference letter or “to whom it may concern” type letter. Those types of letters are for smaller awards, but anything over $2,500 or so with multiple application elements should have a well detailed reference letter. This demonstrates that you have taken the time to connect with your reference and it shows the referee thinks highly enough of you to take the time to write the letter.

6. Look at the “Cheats” For Each Award

Before applying for a scholarship in Canada, it is very necessary you take a careful look at the terms and conditions. The Terms and Conditions or Rules (whatever the legal stuff is with each award is called) have insights into what the judges will be looking for because Canadian judges are very strict.

Most times they even use a marking grid for example 10% on marks, 40% on volunteer work, 50% on essay and often there are specific statements about what they are looking for.

Let your application be arranged to suit those specific items. The judge will enjoy reading an application that fits into their marking grid.

So it is quite advisable to take a couple of hours each week to apply for some awards: free money! A $500 award is about 50 hours of minimum wage work.

Note that any award in Canada will make your resume look good. It will guarantee you more awards (success breeds success) and it will help your resume stand out.

7. Passion and Personality 

The mark of passion for scholarships cannot be overruled and there is no difference in Canadian scholarship.

There are numerous applicants that apply for an award, the application that shows the applicants personality and passion for the topic really stand out.

8. Do the Research 

Do not apply for any scholarship award in Canada that asks for application fees. There are billions of dollars worth of available scholarship funds in Canada that do not require fees waiting to be claimed.

Additionally, do not sign up with any scholarship sites or search engines that require you to pay before you access their databases.

You can begin by using free reliable scholarship search websites. The most notable scholarship search engines use reliable algorithms to match you with scholarship opportunities you may be uniquely qualified for based on income, background, gender, region, extracurricular activities, and academic interests.

9. Be Creative

There are numerous scholarships in Canada, ensure you search for scholarships awarded in your area of interest, for instance,  social justice, the environment, speech, and debate, or music and theatre.

Some scholarships are offered to students who have participated in an area of endeavour, while some are also offered to students with specific professional aspirations.

10. Believe in Yourself that you will get the Scholarship

This is the most important aspect on how to secure a relationship. It is not possible to get what you don’t believe in. It is advisable to apply for every scholarship with a strong belief that you would get the scholarship. It motivates you to go the extra mile and also it increases the possibility of you being granted  the scholarship.

Are there scholarship opportunities in Canada?

There are lots of scholarship opportunities in Canada for both undergraduate and graduate students. The scholarships are both for citizens and international students. Below are some of the major scholarship opportunities in Canada:

  • Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) – for mid-career professionals
  • Canada-CARICOM Faculty Leadership Program
  • Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program
  • Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program
  • Study in Canada Scholarships
  • Canada-Brazil Awards – Joint Research Projects
  • United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Bursary at Yorkville University
  • KDS International Scholarship Competition
  • AAR Aircraft Service Award for International Students at Fanshawe College, Canada