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Frequently Asked Questions: Scholarship Applications

Who can help me find more scholarship information?
There's lots of help out there - it just a matter of talking to the right people. If you're a high school student, you can speak to your guidance counsellor or contact the financial aid officers at the colleges or universities you're considering. If you're already in university, you can speak to either your school's financial aid officer or your department. Don't be shy - that's what they're there for!

Does the amount of time you apply before the scholarship date affect the way people view them?

No, the important part is to submit your full application before the deadline. Technically, administrators must review all applications for a scholarship. It will depend on the administrator whether or not they look at all applications after the deadline, or at applications as they receive them.

How much effort would you suggest putting into an essay to apply for scholarships?

As much effort as you can. Usually, your first essay takes the longest to put together, but the essay writing process will get easier over time. After you've worked on a few essays, you may wish to work on putting together a template to follow for your future applications.

Do you have to write an essay for every scholarship?

No - every scholarship is different and it depends on the scholarship providers screening process.

Do scholarship administrators pay attention to the grammar you use in your essay?
Yes - always make sure to proofread your application. Using the correct grammar means that the scholarship administrator will have an easier time understanding you and your goals. If you do not take the time to proofread your essay or application, then the scholarship administrator will not take the time to read your application.

Is it okay to re-use essays for scholarships?
Yes, you can use a scholarship template and reuse it for other scholarships. Make sure to proofread your essays to ensure that it's still relevant to that application! You may need to modify some of the details in order to make the essay fit for a different application.

Is there a limit to the number of scholarship or bursaries you can apply for?
No - you can apply to as many scholarships and bursaries as you like.

How do I get a scholarship?
Apply. It's that simple. Many students assume that they won't win, so they don't bother to apply. That's why many scholarships go untouched each year. Once you've identified which awards you qualify for, read over and carefully fill out the applications, gather any additional documentation and send them in early.

Would you say the chances of winning a scholarship is high if you work hard and apply to as many as you can?

Yes, the more scholarships you apply to, the more chances you have of winning one!

How do you contact the scholarship administrator?
Contact details for each scholarship administrators are listed in their profile. Otherwise, the scholarship application usually lists contact details.

Do we apply for scholarships individually or through our school guidance offices?
The best thing to do for scholarship applications is to contact the scholarship administrator. You'll need to check contact information, which may mean getting into contact with your school guidance offices.

When do most scholarships become available?
It varies depending on the scholarship. Make sure to check on an ongoing basis, so that you don’t miss new scholarships or scholarship deadlines!

Who is a reliable person to write a letter of reference? If the application is to a more professional scholarship should we look for specific references?
Someone who knows you, such as  teachers, counsellors, coaches, etc. are a good person to ask for a reference letter. Often, scholarship applications may request reference letters from specific people. Teachers, professors and tutors tend to know you on a more academic level, whereas counsellors may know you more on a careers or personal level. Coaches and volunteer coordinators may know you on a more personal level and can speak of your contributions or work ethic.

Does each scholarship require a reference letter?
Not all scholarships require a reference letter but it's a good idea to have a few reference letters in your scholarship portfolio as you can also use them for job applications in the future!

Where would you include a reference letter in your scholarship application?
A reference letter should be included in your scholarship application if it is requested as part of the scholarship application.

How can you send references with our applications if they’re online? Do we mail them?
Some applications are online, others are through mail. Not all applications require reference letters, you'll need to check the requirements for the scholarships to find out more information.

How do you apply for scholarships that do are for automatic consideration?
Registering/enrolling at your university/college/career college will get you up and running for automatic consideration scholarships. If you have any questions about your eligibility for scholarships that are under automatic consideration, contact the scholarship administrators for more details.

Throughout the application process for scholarships, what’s the common requirement for scholarships in general? Essays? Community hours?
Requirements do vary depending on the scholarships. The best thing to do is to work with the skills you have and to promote them. Some scholarships do require essays, but you can use a template and modify your responses.

Do you start applying for awards in December of Grade 12?
It's a good idea to start looking for scholarships early. Many scholarships have reoccurring deadlines. So even if you miss one, you may be able to apply next year or prepare for next year.

How do I apply for scholarships if I don't know what I want to do or where I want to go?
It's a good idea to see what scholarships are out there. Try looking for some that are within your field of interest. If you sign up for an account and fill out a scholarship search profile, you will be able to add many different fields of interest in your search profile.

Do we apply directly to the organization funding the scholarship through or through our school?
Depending on what the scholarship administrator states in the scholarship requirements, generally speaking, many of the scholarships are applied through the organization or school. Our website will list the application requirements in the scholarship profile.

Are older reference letters acceptable or do reference letters need to be recently obtained to be acceptable?
It's advisable to have recent reference letters (within a few months of your application) as some of your skills and experiences may have changed in a longer time period. The purpose of the reference letter is to provide the scholarship administrator with background information and to vouch for your abilities. Think of reference letters as an extra vote of support for your application.

When should you start applications and how much time do you need to put in to it?
It's up to you to decide how much time you wish to put into your scholarship application.

How do you get to application forms for scholarships?
You will need to sign up or log into your account in order to view the additional notes and application information for each scholarship the website.

Do you apply to only the scholarships for the university you want to go to offers?
Many school specific scholarships are only available to students after they have received and accepted admission into the school of their choice. If there is a particular school you wish to attend, it would be a good idea to make note of the scholarships that are available, but do keep in mind that you will be ineligible until you are a student attending the school. In the interim, there are still non-educational scholarships that do not require you to be a student at a particular school, for which you can apply.

Do you have any tips on finding scholarships that are not well advertised?
Other than searching for scholarships on, be sure to let other people know that you're looking for scholarships. Guidance counsellors, organizations where you volunteer, friends, parents, and relatives may all know of scholarships that are not being advertised online. Some scholarships may require you to be a relative of someone who is either a current or past member of a certain organization -- time to network and reconnect!

How should I work my schedule so I'll complete my scholarships applications?
It's important to leave as much time as possible to plan your scholarship application. A great way is to keep a calendar and note the scholarship deadlines for each scholarship you wish to apply to. Signing up for Scholarship Alerts on is also a great way to keep track of scholarship deadlines. Try to leave yourself reminders one month and two weeks before the application is due. Be sure to leave enough time to mail your application as not all scholarships have online applications.
Modified on January 25, 2012

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