How Do Scholarships Work?

It’s that time of the year again when high school and university students scramble to apply for as many scholarships as possible to offset the soaring cost of post-secondary tuition. This is funding from the institution or an organization which is to aid an individual in meeting their academic goals. However, far too many students are not taking advantage of the numerous scholarships available across the country to Canadian students. This is largely due to a preconceived notion that only those with a 4.0 GPA (80%+) qualify, but this is far from the truth.

How to Apply for Scholarships

There are several scholarships online to apply for – anything from a small sum of $500 all the way up to full-ride scholarships for four years + student housing – on sites like Requirements vary, as some ask for an essay and portfolio to be submitted, while others may only require demonstration of financial aid and/or a member of a specified group (e.g. ethnicity). There are also scholarships administered by post-secondary institutions for students who have been accepted. These are often based on academic performance and automatically awarded a preset amount which is either one-year only or redeemable each year as long as a minimum grade is satisfied. Keep in mind, the funds are not to be used on clothes and video games, they are strictly to go towards academic purposes such as tuition, books and housing.

Notable Scholarships:

Schulich Leader Scholarship

Amount: $25,000

Eligibility: Entering first year of study

Description: For grade 12 students enrolling in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) programs at a Canadian university. 50 scholarships are awarded annually with 25 valued at $100,000 for Engineering and 25 valued at $80,000 for Science, Technology or Mathematics.

Application Information:


RBC Students Leading Change Scholarships

Amount: $10,000

Eligibility: All years of study

Description: The Royal Bank of Canada awards 15 scholarships to Canadian students with over 75% in their last academic year of study and have displayed a passion to lead and inspire in their community.  

Application Information:


Loran Award

Amount: $100,000 over four years

Eligibility: Entering first year of study

Description: Loran Award applicants are put through a comprehensive and thorough scholarship selection process with 32 students selected. 400 candidates are interviewed regionally in 21 cities and the top 84 are selected for national selections in Toronto. Selected candidates are solely critiqued on their character, with academic accomplishments a secondary determinant.

Application Information:


Harriet Fitzgerald Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Eligibility: Female student entering first year at a women’s college in Canada or U.S.

Description: For female students wanting to attend a women’s college. Must be graduate grade 12 or have enrolled at a postsecondary institution but left prior to completing their first semester. A 500-word essay discussing interests and goals is also required.

Application Information:


Horatio Alger Canada Scholarship

Amount: up to $10,000

Eligibility: Entering first year, require financial aid

Description: For grade 12 students entering a Canadian postsecondary institution that is in need of financial aid, displayed involvement in co-curricular and community activities as well as maintain a minimum average of 65%.

Application Information:


Knowledge First Financial Graduate Scholarship Awards

Amount: up to $15,000

Description: For students entering a full-time graduate program in September. The ideal applicant is a well-rounded student with an excellent record of achievement in both academics and extra-curricular activities. Applications will be evaluated based on Grade Point Average as well as involvement in athletics, volunteer work and other types of community engagement.

Application information:



Apart from student loans and scholarships, there are other sources of funding for education like a Registered Education Savings Plan. An RESP is a special savings account parents with young children set up to start saving – with tax-free growth and government grants of up to $7,200 it is the best choice. So, if you are planning ahead on ways to fund your child’s future education, speak to an RESP provider today.


Author’s Bio

​Judy lees
​Judy lees is a super-connector with AYC Web Solutions who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.