Finding and Applying to Scholarships

By University of Waterloo Modified on May 14, 2020

A quick run down of available scholarships, where to find them, and how you can apply.

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Entrance scholarships

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.

Checking with your home government to see if they provide study abroad scholarships may be beneficial. Canada's federal government also offers a number of scholarships for international students, and also provides support for exchange programs.

You may also find that employers offer scholarships. If you've had a part-time job, check with your manager or check the company's website. Your parent or guardian's employer may also offer scholarships.

Tips for applying

First of all, do all the research you can! Look into all the types of awards and what the requirements are for each. Keep track of these and mark down important deadlines — you'll want to start early so there's time to ensure you have 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.

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