Scholarships are financial aids designed to help students pay for college that they don’t have to pay back. Scholarships can be awarded by colleges and universities, and also by companies and other organizations in the private sector.
The federal, provincial and territorial government, individual schools, and some business and charitable foundations also give out scholarships, grants and bursaries.
There are various types of financial aids that a Canadian student can avail of. Some of the most common ones are listed below –
- Scholarships – Scholarships recognize only outstanding academic achievements. The Canadian Government as well as schools offer many scholarships. The students who are selected usually get notified by the authorities during their mid-term due to a large number of applications.
- Open Scholarships – Students, who have achieved very high academic results, are eligible for the undergraduate open scholarship. Students are awarded this scholarship on a term by term basis. No application is required. Students who meet the criteria are considered automatically. The value of the scholarship is set by the University.
- Awards – Awards are also financial help given to the students in recognition of distinguished intellectual, cultural, social or athletics achievements or contributions to the community.
- Service Awards – Service awards recognize unpaid services to the community at large, leadership and volunteer work.
- Bursaries – This is a supplemental source of funding for students with demonstrated financial need. Bursaries are available for undergraduate and graduate students.
- Work study – The work study program offers paid, part-time on campus opportunities for graduates and undergraduates who are enrolled in full-time courses. Students earn a supplemental income while adding to their resume, and get a step ahead in their future career path. This program is administered for both undergraduate and graduate students by the Financial Aid and Awards department. The work-study placement accommodates the class schedule and also provides an opportunity to secure references from supervisors.
- Loans – Students can apply for government assistance, including student’s loans and grants. Financial institutions can also grant loans for full-time as well part-time students.
- Tax-shield benefits – The Canadian government offers an investment plan for parents known as RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) to plan ahead for their children’s post-secondary education. The contributors are charged their tax rate on the invested amount for Heritage RESP, which ensures a tax-free principal amount for their children at the time of withdrawal. The only applicable tax is on the interest earned on the invested amount. The tax rate for the interest is that of the withdrawer’s, ie, the children. As their tax rates at the time of their education are extremely low, they can avail the benefits of the entire RESP fund by paying virtually no tax on the same.
- Canadian aboriginal students are entitled for all grants and awards by most of the universities. They are also eligible for sponsorship by third party.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
Different Universities have different scholarship programs. The students have to choose the institution and the type of financial grant. Then, they have to apply through the online portal and fill in all details as asked for in the application.
A handy check-list for scholarship applications is given below –
- The eligible criteria for scholarship may differ from one university to another but you have to enroll yourself as a full-time student for the course.
- Check the application period and final deadline. Each graduate unit will have their own internal submission deadline to which the applicant must adhere.
- Review the list of scholarships and grants. Scholarships are not transferred from one university to other.
- Apply online on the university sites. Most university sites will have an easily accessible Scholarship/Awards section.
- Complete and submit the application as per the requirement. Certification and transcript of highest qualification attained will generally be asked for as an attachment.
- Submit supporting documentation as required by the university by the application deadline. Students must submit application to the institution to which they are seeking admission.
- Some universities may ask for health certificates.
- In case of any inquiries, you may contact the Award Officer at concerned Award Office of the university where you intend to apply.