If you plan to get a secondary or University education in Canada, there are a few ways to increase the likelihood of receiving a scholarship to help fund your studies. It’s best to think ahead while still in high school, as things like good grades and extracurricular activities are crucial. Taking time to put together a thoughtful, thorough application is also critical.
Good Grades and High Test Scores
Good grades throughout high school and (if applicable) community college is proof of your academic excellence and can significantly increase the chances of receiving a scholarship. Ideally, you should aim for a 3.0 GPA minimum, although each scholarship has its standards, and higher is always better. Additionally, high scores on academic benchmark tests like the SAT,2 ACT, or GRE greatly benefit your scholarship chances.
Extracurricular Activities and Community Involvement
Extracurricular activities show you’re well-rounded and help demonstrate traits certain scholarships are looking for. For example, serving as the president of a club proves leadership skills. Community involvement or volunteering in non-school-related activities can also help. Good examples include working in a soup kitchen and helping older or physically challenged neighbors. Ask for letters from the organizations or people you help, so there’s proof of your humanitarian efforts for your scholarship application.
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Recommendation letters can improve your ability to receive a scholarship by having someone in an authoritative position vouch for you. Look for people in high standing in your school, a non-profit organization, a relevant company, or your community. The letter should include how long the person has known you, why they believe you’re a good scholarship candidate, their credentials, and their contact information. If possible, aim for one to three relevant recommendation letters.
Thoughtful, Thorough Application
Take time to write your scholarship application and ensure you’ve included all necessary documents. Some scholarships may require essays, tests, or similar. In addition to these and a completed application form, you’ll want to include recommendation letters, proof of identification, transcripts, proof of English language proficiency, and a purpose statement or letter of motivation. Many scholarships also require medical documents and proof of certain vaccinations, but these requirements vary.