Awards, Scholarships, Bursaries, and Grants
How do I fund my education?
There are a several things to consider and worth looking into. It is never too early to start; in fact, the sooner the better so you can start to build your applications rather than waiting to the deadline.
First off, consider the following:
- Your parents’ employers may have scholarships for you – Ask your parents.
- Your High School offers scholarships for students – Talk to your teacher/guidance counselor/graduation coach (Greg Voigt).
- Your employer might offer scholarships for you – Ask your employer.
- Your bank might offer scholarships for its clients – Ask your Bank.
- Your post-secondary institution offers entrance scholarships – either open or faculty/program specific scholarships - Visit the student services or financial aid office.
- On-line scholarships searches – become a frequent (i.e. weekly) searcher and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities.
There are four main categories of student aid: Awards, Scholarships, Bursaries and Loans
- Awards are recognition of student achievements in athletics, academics, volunteerism, etc. Awards can be monetary or a recognition token (certificate or medal). Monetary awards usually do not have strict criteria for how or where the award can be spent.
- Scholarships are financial awards granted to students to advance their studies. There is often a number of requirements for how and where the money can be spent. Scholarships usually have strict merit-based criteria awarded for academic, athletic, and/or leadership criteria. Many scholarships try to downplay the need for high marks by having essay writing and/or volunteering as a requirement. However, you still need the entrance requirements to qualify. There are typically 5 types of scholarships:
- Academic – achievement set by institution, organization or foundation who administer and/or distribute the funds.
- Membership – includes institution and career specific eg. Teachers, foresters; ethnic origin e.g. Italian, Aboriginal; service group such as Knights of Columbus.
- Sports – team member and/or leader is eligible for numerous club or school scholarships; e.g. South Side Athletic Club, Jimmy Condon awards for any post-secondary teams competing within league
- Leadership – means community service i.e volunteering at school, church, community league, service club, non-profit organization, etc.
- Essay Competitions – fewer applicants, more difficult but better chances of selection.
- Bursaries are financial awards given to students to advance their studies. There is often a number of requirements for how and where the money can be spent. They are often less restrictive in how the student can spend the reward as compared to scholarships. Bursaries are more often based on financial need rather than strict merit-based criteria. However, you still need the entrance requirements to qualify.
- Student loans are just that, a loan given to students to advance their studies. Student loans do not accrue interest while the student is attending school. Student loans need to be paid back after a student finishes school.
Student Aid Alberta is also a great place to start when looking for financial support for Post Secondary.
For more information regarding Student Aid, please contact: