Scholarships, Grants and Awards

These three terms all relate to sources of educational funding for High School Students who want to continue their education but lack funds. Scholarships, grants and awards share one key characteristic. They do not have to be repaid, however, each requires the applicant to meet specified criteria.

Scholarships are money awards you get for your academic performance (high grades) or other achievements. Grants are money awards you get based on high grades or financial need. You can also receive a grant when you carry out academic research projects. Bursaries are money awards you get based on your financial needs. Some bursaries determine your financial need using the same standards as OSAP.

Where can I find scholarships, bursaries and grants?

You can usually find scholarships, grants and bursaries on the school website. They are under the “Financial Aid” section.

In the scholarship section, you may find:

  • Entrance scholarships: are money awards you get when you enrol in a school for the first time. Entrance scholarships are also called “Admission Scholarships”.
  • Renewable scholarships: are money awards that can be renewed every year if you maintain your high grades.
  • National Scholarships: are money awards given to students all over Canada.
  • In-course scholarships: are any money awards you get after your first year of school (for example, if you are in your second or third year of study).
  • External scholarships: are money awards you get from organizations that are not a part of the school. Make sure your school is approved by the organization before you apply.
  • Bursaries can also be organized in the same way as scholarships. If you are applying to graduate school, look for grants in the graduate studies section.

    You can also look for scholarships, grants and bursaries on the internet outside of school websites.

    The sites below provide information from a wide range of sources. Please note that this list is not all-inclusive. It is just a guide for some of the key sites.

    Some sites provide information about funds that are available to all students. Other sites are available only to specific students: for example – aboriginal students or students with specific disabilities.

    When selecting a site for your applications, be sure you are selecting an appropriate site

    Canada Student Grants from the Federal Government

    ‘Grants, bursaries and scholarships help you pay for your post-secondary education by giving you money that does not need to be paid back. They can be offered through governments, schools or private organizations.’

    The following list relates to academic sources such as Universities. For each, there is information about the Scholarships, Grants and Awards that they offer.

    The following site lists Corporate sponsored Scholarships

    MacLean’s Scholarship Finder

    This site provides access to Scholarships and Grants from many Canadian colleges and universities

    Wikipedia Article on Scholarships

    The most common scholarships may be classified as:

    • Merit-based: These awards are based on a student's academic, artistic, athletic or other abilities, and often factor in an applicant's extracurricular activities and community service record. The most common merit-based scholarships, awarded by either private organizations or directly by a student's intended college, recognize academic achievement or high scores on standardized tests. Most such merit-based scholarships are paid directly by the institution the student attends, rather than issued directly to the student.[2]
    • Need-based: In the United States, these awards are based on the student and family's financial record and require applicants to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify if the scholarship is a federal award. Private need-based scholarships also often require the results of a FAFSA, which calculates a student's financial need through a formula that looks at the expected family contribution and cost of attendance at the intended college.[3]
    • Student-specific:These are scholarships for which applicants must initially qualify based upon gender, race, religion, family and medical history, or many other student-specific factors. Minority scholarships are the most common awards in this category.[citation needed] For example, students in Canada may qualify for a number of aboriginal scholarships, whether they study at home or abroad.[citation needed] The Gates Millennium Scholars program is another minority scholarship funded by Bill and Melinda Gates for excellent African American, American Indian, Asian Pacific Islander American and Latino students who enroll in college.[4]
    • Career-specific: These are scholarships a college or university awards to students who plan to pursue a specific field of study. Often, the most generous awards to students who pursue careers in high-need areas such as education or nursing. Many schools in the United States give future nurses full scholarships to enter the field, especially if the student intends to work in a high-need community.
    • College-specific: College-specific scholarships are offered by individual colleges and universities to highly qualified applicants. These scholarships, given on the basis of academic and personal achievement, usually result in either a full-ride to the college, or for a reduced rate of tuition.

    Some scholarships have a "bond" requirement. Recipients may be required to work for a particular employer for a specified period of time or to work in rural or remote areas; otherwise they may be required to repay the value of the support they received from the scholarship. This is particularly the case with education and nursing scholarships for people prepared to work in rural and remote areas Athletic: Awarded to students for showing exceptional skill in a sport provided by the college.

    Local scholarships

    It is typical for persons to find scholarships in their home regions. Information on these can be found by asking local institutions and organizations. Typically, these are less competitive as the eligible population is smaller.

    • Guidance counselors: When starting to explore scholarship opportunities, most high school students check with their guidance counselors. They can be a reliable resource for local scholarships.
    • Non-profits and charitable trusts: Most non-profit organizations have at some point of their history founded scholarships for prospective students. The Good Schools Guide, a guide to schools in the UK, states "Charitable grant-making trusts can help in cases of genuine need," and goes on to outline several instances where this may be the case, including an "unforeseen family disaster" and a "need for special education".
    • Community foundations: Many counties and cities and regions have a local foundation dedicated to giving money in the form of grants and scholarships to people and organizations in the area.
    • Music teachers: Some music teachers offer reduced-cost or free lessons to help low-income children gain access to an arts education. In addition, some local non-profits provide free music classes to youths.
    • Foundations: Certain foundations in the United States offer scholarships for entrepreneurial endeavors.
    • Labor/trade unions: Major unions often offer scholarships for members and their dependent children.[citation needed]
    • Houses of worship: The local house of worship may or may not have any scholarships for their members, but the religious organization or headquarters may have some available. Of course,theology study is highly encouraged.
    • Chamber of commerce: Many chambers of commerce offer (usually small) grants to students in the community, especially those planning on careers in business and public service. Even if they do not offer any themselves, one can usually get a listing of members, and many of them may offer small scholarships to local students.
    • Other volunteer organizations: Many organizations offer scholarships or award grants to students whose background or chosen field overlaps the field of the organization. For example, local chapters of professional societies may help the studies of exceptionally distinguished students of the region. Similarly, charity organizations may offer help, especially if the late parent of the student was a member of the organization (e.g., a Masonic lodge might help the orphan of a lodge brother.) This kind of scholarship is mostly ad hoc.
    • School: Old, well-known schools re often endowed with scholarship funds.
    • University: Old, well-established universities may have funds to finance the studies of extremely talented students of little means. Eligibility often requires that a student belong to some special category or be among a nation's best. However, universities provide information on scholarships and grants, possibly even internship opportunities.
    • Enrichment Centres: In certain countries, enrichment centers have begun to provide scholarships.[5]
    • Disabilities: Students with disabilities may be able to apply for awards intended for people with disabilities. Those scholarships may be intended for disabled students in