Many students are graduating with a burden of debt from post-secondary studies. By researching how to help them receive scholarship money, your family may be able to sidestep debt. And, of course, posts like budgeting for students and saving money as a student will also help when the time is right.
Sit down with your son or daughter to discuss potential scholarships. An initial discussion even when they begin high school is beneficial. Approach it in an upbeat way – like digging for unclaimed treasure together.
Consider Student Interests
Does your student have unique interests or specialties? Research specific scholarships based on that area of expertise.
For example, two of my tutoring students were awarded $8,000 ($2,000 x 4 years) by the University of Ottawa because they were fluent in French.
If your son or daughter shows an interest in a particular field, help them look for ways to pursue that. This could include related volunteer experience, school clubs and part-time jobs. When the time comes, these opportunities can help them earn scholarship money.
A popular assumption is that the majority of scholarship money is awarded based on academic marks. In reality, many scholarships are not based on academics.
They can be based on field of interest, ethnicity, talents, volunteerism and much more. This is important for a student who might not have the highest marks, but qualifies based on other criteria.
In Canada, 1 out of 10 scholarships are not awarded at all. An unclaimed scholarship is tragic considering the number of students who could benefit from it. Don’t let this happen to your son or daughter. By doing research, you might find scholarships that other people don’t know even exist.
A few websites to begin your search are:
They boast, “There’s a scholarship out there for everyone, and they encourage students of all disciplines and backgrounds to apply.
A website whose goal is to help students “save, plan and pay for post-secondary education.” Guidance counsellors recommend visiting this site regularly to search for any scholarships that might relate.
Ask the experts
Guidance counsellors help high school students with university applications. They won’t necessarily be experts in scholarships, but they will be able to point you in the right direction.
Recent high school graduates may also have scholarship information based upon their experience. And don’t forget to contact the university/college for specific scholarship applications.
Timing May Not Be Everything
Don’t miss out by assuming that scholarships are only awarded in September. Many are awarded throughout the year. But once you discover a scholarship for which you might qualify, do not miss the deadline.
Many scholarships are awarded automatically by the school or the government. But by using these suggestions, you will increase your chances of receiving other scholarships.
What hints do you have for “finding” scholarship money?