Tips in applying for scholarships
It is important for students and parents to remember that the vast majority of scholarships at Canadian universities are based on grades and do not require a separate application. The competition for those few scholarships that consider both grades and extracurricular activities is extremely intense, requiring top marks and outstanding leadership in non-academic commitments. Such applications require a considerable investment of time, as they must be completed carefully if they are to impress a scholarship committee. Rushed applications are never successful!
Most scholarship applications require transcripts. In order to ensure that transcripts are available to you before the application deadline, you must always email Ms. Berndsen requesting a transcript well in advance (generally 1 week). If you fail to do so, you risk that your application will not be complete in time to meet the deadline. For the most popular scholarships, we publish a transcript request deadline in the newsletter.
Remember that if the scholarship requires a letter of reference, you must first speak with the teacher, adviser, or coach. Once he or she has agreed to write on your behalf, you should download the Scholarship Referee Request Form (available on PowerSchool), fill it out and give it to the teacher to help him or her write a better letter. Please try to give referees at least a month’s notice whenever possible. A good letter of reference takes time to write! It is courteous to write your referee a note of thanks (see the Naviance website for an exemplar) and to keep him or her updated on your status.
Your university counsellor is pleased to assist you in brainstorming ideas for application essays and in editing the final version. Don’t hesitate to ask!
In previous newsletters, I mentioned great online resources for researching scholarships such as https://yconic.com/. Our library also has another valuable resource in its reference section: Brian Harris’s Scholarship: A Handbook of Scholarships, Awards & Financial Assistance for High School Students Entering First Year of a Canadian University. Check it out!