If you're applying to become a full-time student and are entering your first year, you're in luck — most universities will automatically consider you for what are called entrance scholarships. Many of these scholarships are guaranteed as long as you meet the academic requirements. Your high school average will often determine your eligibility as well as the amount you'll receive. There's no work required, and no strings attached!
For example, the University of Waterloo offers a variety of entrance scholarships, ranging from $500 to $25,000.
Other university-provided scholarships
In the sea of scholarships available to you, where do you begin? Luckily, most universities provide a list of awards on their websites, so you can filter through them and figure out which ones you're eligible for.
These scholarships can be merit-based — for example, based on outstanding academic or extracurricular achievement. Some of these will also require an application or nomination, and others you'll be automatically considered for — just like entrance scholarships. Visit the financial aid website for the universities you're interested in for details.
Other sources of scholarships
Some excellent places to find more scholarships (for any student!) include ScholarshipsCanada and Yconic. They'll match you with scholarships based on the profile you fill out.
Two large awards to consider are the Loran and Schulich Leader scholarships. Loran scholars not only receive $10,000 per year, but also have the chance to participate in annual retreats and scholar gatherings, as well as gain personal mentorship. Schulich Leader nominees can receive an $80,000 or $100, 000 scholarship. They're also widely recognized and receive more summer job and internship opportunities.
Make sure you check their eligibility requirements first. The deadline for Loran applications is mid- to late October, and the deadline for Schulich nominations is late January.
You may also find that employers also offer scholarships, so take a look into your part-time job or your parent's job! Burger King, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Dell are all examples of corporations who provide financial support for their employees.
Tips for applying
Other than making sure you're eligible, there are a few more things to check off when looking for awards.
First of all, do all the research you can! Look into all the types of awards and which ones require what. Keep track of these and mark down important deadlines too — you'll want to start early so there's time to ensure you've covered all the necessary requirements. You'll also want to make sure your application is polished and edited.
On the subject of editing, it may be helpful to have someone else review your application, especially if it involves a writing component. For example, you might be asked to write about a recent challenge you overcame and how you accomplished this. Ask for some feedback from others, and make sure your writing is clear and concise.
For more tips on paying for your education, visit our ultimate guide on financing your university education.
In light of COVID-19...
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that for May through August 2020, students will be eligible to receive up to $1,250 a month. The benefits are available to students who are unemployed, are volunteering, or are making less than $1000 a month. Additional funding will be provided for students with disabilities or who are caring for a dependent. Take a look to see if you're eligible!
Funding your education has never been easier with the amount of support out there — you just need to know where to look.
Learn more about the University of Waterloo