Frequently Asked Questions: Scholarship Awarding
Who administers awards on ScholarshipsCanada.com?
You may think only schools administer awards, but there are many organizations and institutions that facilitate scholarships. These include, among others, governments, trade unions, non-profits, corporations, and even individuals. Typically you'll apply directly to these groups, not your school. The scholarship administrator is the person who knows the most about the award, and is able to answer questions about eligibility and applications. On ScholarshipsCanada.com, this info is included at the bottom of every listing.
How do I know if I've been awarded a scholarship?
Usually, you'll be contacted by the scholarship administrator via phone or email. Unfortunately, applying for awards is like applying for jobs: you don't always hear if your application was received, processed, or rejected, so if you're dying to know, your best bet is to contact the scholarship admin directly. It never hurts to ask! But first, check to see if the award listing includes a disbursement date. If it does, try to be patient, at least until then. Going through scholarship applications takes time.
Do I have to wait for the deadline before contacting the admin to find out if I received an award?
Absolutely. If the scholarship is still open to applicants, it's unlikely you've won it just yet! Some awards get a lot of submissions, and it can take a while to choose a winner. Respect the process, even if you're getting antsy.
How long should I wait before contacting the scholarship administrator?
This can be tough. In some cases, an award listing will include a timeline or schedule detailing when winners are announced and money distributed. In others, all you'll have to go on is the application deadline. If that date has passed, and you have no other information, then be proactive and contact the admin directly to inquire about next steps.
How do I follow up with a scholarship admin?
However you like, really. The most common is email, though a phone call my suffice for quick clarifications. If you're writing a letter or email, check out this article for more advice on communicating with scholarship administrators.
How are scholarships awarded? How do I get the money?
Scholarships are often awarded as a cheque or money order. If the scholarship is administered through your school, though, you'll probably get it as a credit against your tuition or books — in which case, your school's financial aid department can help you with the specifics.
Some scholarship administrators host gala events to celebrate the winners. Attending is a great way to learn more about the organization, and of course, network with peers and professionals.
Is there a limit on the number of scholarships I can apply for or win?
No! You can apply for as many as you like — the more the better. You may encounter some restrictions against winning multiple awards from the same admin, but it still doesn't hurt to apply. Most of the time, there's no limit at all on the awards you can win. If you've won an award in the past, and you're not sure if you're able to apply for it again, you should contact the admin directly for details.
If I'm awarded more than one scholarship, can I use them all?
Of course! You absolutely should use any award you can get your hands on. You might be surprised at how the amounts add up.
How long do scholarships last?
Some scholarships are renewable — that is, they extend beyond the initial award amount. As if getting free money wasn't enough! Careful, though: most are conditional on your maintenance of a strong academic average, or an unbroken streak of full-time studies. Some renew automatically, while others require you to do a bit of legwork first. How long each award lasts will vary, too, so confirm with the admin what the expectations are when you win.
Can scholarships go towards non-tuition things, like a meal plan?
This will depend on the scholarship admin. Many awards come in the form of a tuition credit, so you're out of luck there. If your award comes in the form of a cheque, cash, or money order, though, you're free to use it for other academic expenses, like school supplies or your meal plan.
Do scholarships cover living expenses?
Scholarship amounts vary. You'll probably require more than one scholarship to cover your expenses while living away from home. If your award is a tuition credit, you won't be able to use it to pay for off-campus housing, so take note of how the award is disbursed before you make firm plans.
Are scholarships given before I get accepted into a school?
The bulk of scholarships listed on ScholarshipsCanada.com and elsewhere require you to be actively pursuing post-secondary or post-grad studies, or already enrolled. So, you may not be eligible for many awards if you've not yet been accepted. Certainly, if the award is a tuition credit, you won't be able to accept it without being a student at that school.
If I apply for an entrance scholarship and don't get it, will I be automatically considered for minor entrance awards?
Many entrance scholarships are marked for "automatic consideration." This means when you apply to a school, you'll be assessed for the award automatically. Some schools have a general application form for all available awards. By completing it, you'll be considered for any scholarships you qualify for. If you have questions about the process, or a specific award, your best bet is to contact the scholarship admin directly.
What are my chances of winning a scholarship?
This varies greatly by award, but the two biggest factors are; a) how many people applied, and b) how much effort you put into your application. Even in ideal circumstances, though, you may not be successful. That's no strike against you. Keep working hard and applying to awards, and you're sure to find a great scholarship.
How do I get enough scholarship money to pay for my whole education?
Putting in prodigious efforts to find and apply for all your eligible scholarships is a good step to funding your education, but even then, it may not be enough. Scholarships, grants and bursaries are a great way to help pay for school, but you should explore all the options available. Look into student loans, part-time employment, government grants, lines of credit, and check with your parents or guardians — maybe they've set up an RESP for you to draw upon.
I have another question about awarding scholarships that isn't addressed here.
By all means, reach out with your questions and we'll do our best to answer. We may even include your inquiry on this page!