What are scholarships and bursaries?

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Who doesn’t want a free ride for ? We all do! Unfortunately, that’s not the way the cookie crumbles.

When it’s all SO expensive, saving for school can feel overwhelming.

We estimate that it can cost anywhere from~ $7,000 - $30,000 for college or university tuition in Canada. This depends on your school and what you want to study. That number is big. We get that. That’s why planning ahead can really help. Especially when it comes to figuring out your financial plan.

How do we get that money? One of the most straight-forward ways to get a fully or partially-funded post-secondary education is through scholarships and bursaries.

What’s the difference between “scholarships” and “bursaries”?

They both fund your education, right? Yes, they do!

But, the criteria are different. Scholarships are typically based on merit (aka your grades or your extracurriculars) while bursaries usually take criteria (such as financial need) into consideration as well. Both scholarships and bursaries can also be awarded and assessed based on certain demographic criteria (eg. race, religion, gender, sexuality, location)

What can I get a scholarship or bursary for?

You can get them for anything. Literally. Academic achievement, athletic skill, extra-curricular involvement, musical talent, volunteering, novel writing… The list goes on. There are plenty of choices out there, and there’s got to be something out there that fits your strengths. For instance, you don’t have to get the perfect grades to apply. Sometimes, grades are not even a part of the consideration criteria.

How do I apply?

The most common application process can include video interviews, short essays, resumes, recommendation letters, or a combination of all.

The application process varies depending on the specific scholarship. For instance, a music scholarship might include a sample performance video while a sport scholarship may require you to list your athletic achievements. Some academic achievements scholarships are automatic consideration, which means that you don’t need to complete a specific application process, the schools will evaluate your eligibility based on your grades. Because there is so much variety, always double check with your school or scholarship provider on the criteria.

What are the chances of me winning?

Although there are many students out there applying for scholarships, many scholarships and bursaries actually end up without any applicants. Also, with so many different scholarships available there is no reason to be discouraged - apply! It might seem like a hassle to spend hours on an application without any guarantee, but it’s worth it for the potential of saving tens of thousands of dollars on tuition and student living costs.

You’ve got what it takes! Good luck!



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