It's Not Just About Grades - Non-Academic Awards

by Sophia Leonard


Image courtesy of Jirka Mateousek on Flickr

Many students assume tuition awards only go to those with top marks. That couldn't be more wrong! Over 86% of awards on don't even consider your grades. So if they're not looking at your grades, what ARE they looking at?

Leadership skills
Many awards are looking for community and school leaders. This doesn't mean being class president necessarily; think about how you show leadership or initiative anywhere in your life. It could be the part-time job at which you really excel, or playing on a team and being a supportive teammate.

Special circumstances
Many awards are given to students who have experienced special circumstances or challenges. These may be medical, financial, family-related, or something else. Take time to reflect on your life and consider if there is something you've gone up against that an award provider might wish to recognize. If you're not sure, making a profile on will prompt you to identify different circumstances and match you to appropriate scholarships.

Heritage, religious, and group affiliations
Many different cultural organizations, religious groups, and other associations provide awards to students. To find these awards, do some research on organizations that represent your heritage (ancestry, language, country of birth, etc), religious or spiritual groups, and any other organizations that you or your family has an affiliation with (Free Masons, Rotary Club, etc.). Additionally, some corporations may offer scholarships or bursaries for different students, so don't forget to check for those too!

Modified on April 15, 2014