Self Development

What are the scholarships (grants) in Canada?

Who is eligible for a scholarship in Canada?

Studying at a university is a serious investment of energy and resources that will bring you or your child a return in the form of a successful career and an interesting and well-paid job. The proper calculation will help you take the necessary steps toward implementing the main goals. All Canadian universities offer one way or another to alleviate the financial burden for bachelor’s, master’s, and future PhDs.

Of course, most scholarships or grants are for local students, residence permit holders, or Canadian passports. Canada, however, is doing a lot to attract talented people from abroad at any stage of education – from yesterday’s schoolchildren to venerable doctors of science who are looking for funding for innovative research projects.

This article will focus only on scholarships and financial aid available in Canada to international students, primarily from Russia and other CIS countries.

Anticipating the question, let’s say right away that everyone has a chance to get a scholarship in Canada; you need to follow several rules when applying and carefully consider all available opportunities.

What is the difference between a scholarship and a grant?

The difference is small. It is generally accepted that scholarships are awarded to a greater extent on the results of academic success (“merit-based”); a grant (rather related to the financial situation (“need-based”) of the applicant. If you need more money to study your chosen specialty in Canada, you can apply for help entering a university or continuing your education in Canada.

In both cases, the amount of assistance can range from a modest 500 Canadian dollars per year to the full cost of education and even living in Canada. For example, first-year students are awarded 4,500 scholarships worth 20 million Canadian dollars each year at the University of Toronto.

Colleges and universities are smaller, and the opportunities could be better too.

Scholarship in Canada

This is a question that always worries a student or a graduate student. In short, your scholarship can be very modest (CAD 500 – 2,000 per year), but it is quite simple to get it, and often it depends on the market conditions and the number of applicants – colleges and universities always have the opportunity to attract students if they are not enough. Sometimes a scholarship can cover a quarter to half of CAD 7,500 – 10,000 per year. Not all scholarships are renewable; that is, they are awarded annually.

What are the scholarships (grants) in Canada?

And finally, getting full coverage (100%) of your tuition and even accommodation is possible in rare cases. Doctoral students who have a strong academic background and are researching areas of interest to Canadian society or the country’s economy are most likely to do so.

What do scholarships in Canada cover?

Mainly – partially (rarely – completely) the cost of education (see the article “How much do Canadian universities cost?”). The cost of living may be included in the scholarship for PhDs or athletes ready to defend the university’s honor in high-level competitions. Of course, there are few such scholarships, and they are awarded to a few out of thousands of students. Extended coverage can even include airfare.

Can I get two scholarships at once?

Yes. Can. You need to carefully review the documents of the college/university and apply if required by the rules. For example, Douglas College (Vancouver, British Columbia) pays students two scholarships at the same time – a regional scholarship (Regional Award, which means several countries, for example, the CIS, students from which can qualify for payment), according to two criteria: for high academic performance and excellent language skills.

The second scholarship for new entrants (Education Entrance Award) is awarded for high academic performance and other achievements, such as academic success, prizes at Olympiads, an active social position, and volunteer experience. All this needs to be described in motivational letters/essays. The commission evaluates the works; the best will receive a scholarship.

In this way, universities encourage and attract more prepared students with fewer problems with their studies.

Conditions for receiving a scholarship

  • Newly entering or continuing education student. Students arriving with a transfer from other universities, on an exchange, who come for a short time (“visiting students”) are asked not to worry.
  • High academic performance (“merit-based”) or excellent and good grades in the diploma/certificate for previous years of study. This is the most serious requirement, allowing you to choose the best. The minimum level of average marks starts from the mark “B +” or “A-,” which is equal to 75% – 80% and reaches “A +” (equivalent to 90 – 96%). Sometimes the requirement is expressed in the applicant’s rating (for example, in the school’s graduating classes, they must consistently be in the top 1 – 2% of the best students in the class). Here you need to make a reservation that the calculation of the average score in Canada may differ between different schools, universities, and provinces. For example, at the University of British Columbia (UBC), an 80% grade is A-, while at other universities and colleges, it may well be B+.
  • Excellent command of English. If you have an IELTS certificate with a score of 7.0 or higher, you can safely apply for a scholarship;
  • Participation in public life – both the educational institution and the city where you live;
  • Leadership qualities that you show in everyday life, in school or at work;
  • Successful interview with the university administration. At McGill University, for scholarships over CAD 5,000, such an interview may be required if you are a finalist in this competition;
  • For those who don’t have enough money for tuition (“need-based”), certificates disclosing your family’s income so that you can determine how much you can pay yourself and how much of the tuition the university will help pay. In any case, the “three” will not be able to prove that he deserves financial incentives.

Federal and Provincial Scholarship Programs in Canada

The Canadian state has much more opportunities to help students. Still, the main funds are directed to help already established specialists and scientists, doctors of sciences, who are ready to move forward with projects of interest to modern science.

Here are the most famous of them:

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS)

The CAD 50,000 scholarship is named after Canada’s first French-speaking Governor General, Georges Vanier, and is awarded to doctoral students at Canadian universities. If you are one of the 150 lucky ones, you will receive this scholarship for three years.

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

The scholarship of CAD 70,000 is awarded for two consecutive years but is taxable under Canadian law. Granted for research work after the completion of doctoral studies.

Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships

You will receive a scholarship of CAD 60,000 for three years if you pass a rigorous selection process and study in a doctoral program at a Canadian university.

The province of Ontario also attracts the best scientists and researchers with scholarships:

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

Two dozen scholarships are available for masters and doctoral students at 19 Canadian universities. The scholarship is CAD 10,000 or CAD 15,000 and is paid over one or two years. Requires an application and excellent academic performance – your grades must be at least “A-” or 80% in the previous two years of study. Two-thirds of the provincial government and one-third of the university finance the scholarship holders.

Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS)

Doctoral-only scholarship of CAD 40,000 annually and for four years from the start of studies. Also, high academic requirements are similar to OGS.

Newly minted students are content with university, faculty, and private fund scholarships, which in exceptional cases can fully cover the scholarship holder’s education, but, as a rule, at best, stay within a quarter-half of its cost.

For example, the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Toronto provides scholarships of up to CAD 25,000 annually to its incoming students for four years of study. Competitive selection is tough, where academic performance is only one of the factors taken into account. Considering that for foreigners, the cost of studying at the University of Toronto (University of Toronto) easily reaches CAD 60,000 and above, such a scholarship will be a good help.

Universities often enter into agreements with Canadian high schools to attract talented graduates. For example, entering the University of Toronto (University of Toronto), a graduate of Braemar College (Braemar College) receives a scholarship of CAD 2,000; in the case of excellent grades, this amount can rise to CAD 5,000. A similar arrangement works with another private school – Columbia International College.

Many private foundations also support students from “their” countries or students in certain specialties. These scholarships may be small, CAD 500 – 1,000, but they also help to reduce tuition costs.

Scholarships for Canadian Colleges and Universities

University of Toronto (University of Toronto)

The entire list of scholarships available to international students will take more than one page. The most significant include the following:

– Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship – 37 scholarships that cover 100% of tuition, textbooks, additional expenses, and residence in residence for four years;

– Engineering International Scholarship – scholarships sometimes reach CAD 25,000; a scholarship is paid for four years, subject to maintaining the high academic performance of the student;

– University of Toronto Scholars Program – the best of high school applicants who showed the highest GPA score upon admission receive CAD 7 500;

– President’s Scholars of Excellence Program – CAD 10,000 received in the first year of study by the best high school graduates. No additional scholarship application is required.

– Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering Admission Scholarship – a scholarship of no more than CAD 5,000 is awarded to students entering the faculty.

McGill University (McGill University)

– a scholarship of CAD 3,000 – is provided only in the first year of study; the main criterion is one – academic grades;

– a scholarship from CAD 3,000 to CAD 12,000 – paid for three or four years of study, subject to high academic performance and an active social position and work of the scholarship holder;

– sports scholarship – the size depends on the talent and sports success of the applicant.

The University of British Columbia, UBC (University of British Columbia)

There are over 8,000 scholarship holders at UBC each year, including first-year students and continuing students. The most significant scholarships:

– International Scholars Program – includes several scholarships that are awarded to the best of incoming international students, taking into account their financial capabilities, respectively; the amount varies from 10 to 90% of the cost of studying and living on campus;

– Continuing students can also count on a range of scholarships offered by various UBC campuses/faculties ranging from CAD 600 to CAD 10,000;

– Athletic Scholarship – UBC is considered to be in a much better position to provide scholarships to athletes than any other university in Canada.

McMaster University (McMaster University)

– a scholarship of CAD 3,000 is awarded to newly admitted students if they are in the top 10% of the academic results of the faculty;

– Freshmen – foreigners also receive a limited number of scholarships from CAD 3,000 to CAD 7,500;

– several scholarships for CAD 5,000 are received by students of the Faculty of Business (DeGroote School of Business) for high marks and participation in the public life of the university;

-McMaster Honor Awards – from CAD 750 to CAD 2 500 if the certificate’s academic results range from 88 to 95%.

Simon Fraser University (Simon Fraser University)

– the university offers scholarships ranging from CAD 800 to CAD 10,000 to undergraduate students of various faculties and specialties and athletes with good academic performance. Cumulative GPA (grade point average) must be at least 3.0 or 3.5;

– students who have difficulty paying tuition can apply for a bursary; the amount of assistance may amount to several thousand Canadian dollars;

– in addition to the university, scholarships and financial assistance are provided by commercial structures and organizations, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers;

– Master’s and doctoral students can count on larger scholarships from CAD 2,500 to CAD 32,500, depending on their specialty and research work.

Dalhousie University (Dalhousie University)

– students can count on the Dalhousie University Entrance Award, the amount of which ranges from CAD 500 to CAD 48,000;

– there are also special scholarships for different countries and peoples, the amount of which can reach CAD 100, 000 or even fully cover the cost of studying at the university;

– continuing education students receive a scholarship subject to a certain academic performance (cumulative GPA (average score) for the previous two semesters must be at least 3.7).

Queen’s University (Queens University)

– each applicant without applying is considered for the International Admission Scholarship of CAD 9,000 and Principal’s Scholarship of CAD 7,000, both for one year;

– Arts and International Admission Award – for applicants to the Faculty of Arts and Natural Sciences – 75 scholarships of CAD 15,000 and 25 scholarships of CAD 25,000;

– Engineering International Admission Award – for applicants to the Faculty of Engineering – 20 scholarships of CAD 15,000 and 5 scholarships of CAD 25,000;

– for foreign PhD students, from 2021, the university has introduced the same tuition fees as for local students.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Kwantlen Polytechnic University)

– small scholarships ranging from CAD 1,000 to CAD 3,000 for first-year students, awarded based on the results of a certificate/diploma competition; do not interfere with other scholarships available to students;

– the Merit Scholarship – CAD 5,000;

– The President’s Scholarship – CAD 20,000;

To receive scholarships, you must fill out an online form.

Lakehead University (Lakehead University)

Scholarships for undergraduate students:

– CAD 10,000 – paid every year until the achievement of a bachelor’s degree, subject to a GPA of 90% or higher at the certificate/diploma;

– CAD 7,500 – paid every year until the achievement of a bachelor’s degree, subject to an average mark of the certificate/diploma of 80.0% – 89.9%;

– CAD 6,000 – paid in the first year of study, subject to a GPA of 75.0% – 79.9%.

Master’s and doctoral students can get a position of assistant in the department with a payment of CAD 10,197.68 and CAD 11,120.82, respectively, subject to working 10 hours per week.

University of New Brunswick (University of New Brunswick)

First-year students may be eligible for scholarships ranging from CAD 500 to CAD 52,000, subject to high academic achievement. To receive a scholarship, an application must be submitted by March 1.

Brock University (Brock University)

– CAD 4,000 – paid every year for four years, subject to the academic performance of 93.0% or higher;

– CAD 2,500 – paid every year for four years, subject to the academic performance of 90.0% – 92.9%;

– CAD 1,500 – paid every year for four years, subject to the academic performance of 85.0% – 89.9%;

– CAD 1,000 – paid every year for four years, subject to 80.0% – 84.9% academic performance.

Humber College (Humber College)

– Scholarships ranging from CAD 1,500 to CAD 4,000 for Bachelor students. The amount of the scholarship depends on the performance shown by applicants at school.

– CAD 2,000 scholarships to the top 20 undergraduate and graduate students.

Douglas College (Douglas College)

Applicants need to know about the two main college scholarships:

– from CAD 1,000 to CAD 2,000 – for students from the CIS countries who have shown the best results of certificates or diplomas and knowledge of English (IELTS 7.0), everyone participates in the competition automatically, without applying;

– CAD 2,500 – A scholarship application is required for the best academic performance and other achievements in the previous place of study.

Fanshawe College (Fanshawe College)

There are two types of scholarships available for college applicants: for the best knowledge of the English language and academic achievement. With an officially confirmed level of English of 7.5 IELTS points (not lower than 6.5 in each discipline) or TOEFL 100 iBT – 2,000 CAD and 7.0 IELTS points (not lower than 6.5 in each discipline) or TOEFL 93 iBT – 1,000 CAD.

Another type of scholarship of 2,000 CAD is awarded at the beginning of the second semester, based on the results of studies, to 15 lucky ones.

Ways to Reduce Costs While Studying in Canada

  • Obtaining the status of a resident (PR)
  • Studying at public colleges and universities in Canada entitles you to a work visa for up to three years. After working for six months to one year, you get the right to apply for the status of a resident of the country (PR). For residents of Canada, the cost of studying even at the University of Toronto is many times lower than for foreigners. Thus, you can continue your education for very reasonable money.
  • Work while studying. A student visa entitles you to work half-time (20 hours) during your studies and full-time (40 hours) during holidays. If you pay at the minimum rate (14 CAD) per hour, you will not be able to save for tuition. But you can earn pocket money, which will positively affect your budget and allow you to free up funds to pay for your studies.
  • Only some people are thrilled about staying with a host family, but it is a real way to save money on housing costs. The university residence is a wonderful accommodation, but its cost can be too high.
  • The cost of living in different cities and provinces in Canada will vary. Toronto (Ontario) and Vancouver (British Columbia) are among the most expensive cities in the country; in other provinces (for example, Manitoba), you can count on a more modest budget.

Summing up / What to do next?

  • Plan your admission (preferably one year or even earlier), and explore all possible options for funding your studies in Canada in advance. If you need help finding everything yourself or want to save time, contact an educational consultant who will provide the necessary information.
  • The first thing to do is to carefully read and familiarize yourself with the program of the college/university and the faculty you plan to enter. You are more likely to receive a college/faculty scholarship for an undergraduate/graduate student applying for a specific major than a government scholarship. There are few state scholarships, and the competition will be much higher.
  • You must look for a scholarship (grant) in Canada at all levels – federal, regional, provincial, and specific universities and faculties. Sometimes they are not mutually exclusive; you can receive two scholarships simultaneously.
  • As a rule, you are automatically eligible for small scholarships (from 1,000 to 4,000 Canadian dollars) by applying for admission to a Canadian college or university.
  • Other scholarships require an application. You must fill out a special form indicating the details of the planned study and your financial situation.
  • Pay attention to the deadlines for applying for a scholarship (deadline) – often, it happens once a year, and if you miss the submission date, you will have to wait a long time.
  • Scholarships are available to international students, but sometimes the terms and conditions clearly state the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for scholarships. Make sure your country is on this list.
  • If you are still studying – try to bring the certificate/diploma “to a shine” – in terms of the grades received and the average GPA score. Remember: high academic results significantly increase the chances of receiving scholarships for academic excellence (merit-based).
  • Decent knowledge of the English language is a direct path to obtaining a scholarship. As a rule, the “cut-off” level is an IELTS score of 7.0. Remember that the IELTS certificate is valid only two years from the delivery date. Work on your English methodically and constantly; this approach will give results and save on the cost of studying.
  • The requirements for scholarship recipients in Canada often feature such an applicant’s quality as leadership (leadership). This means that participation in public life (before entering a Canadian university and during the study) is assessed along with academic grades. Don’t be afraid to be social; find a job that interests both you and the community; try to be an organizer (if you don’t try, then you definitely won’t succeed!), And this will also increase your chances of saving on the cost of studying.
  • There are scholarships (grants) that are provided based on an assessment of the applicant’s financial situation. In this case, a statement will be required, a detailed statement of the financial situation supported by income statements. Prepare references in advance and, if necessary, translate them into English.
  • Universities and colleges love outstanding athletes. Suppose you are professionally involved in sports and have achieved serious success at home in Canada. In that case, you can be offered a solid scholarship (up to 100% of the cost of study), which the coaching council of the university will decide. This does not mean that you will be able to enter and study with “deuces” in the statement – the average English language score and knowledge should be at the level.
  • If you are applying for graduate or doctoral studies, prepare a description of the research topic (project) of three to four pages in English.
  • Pay attention to other documents that you provide along with your application for study – resume / CV (short CV), application for a scholarship – it should be as specific as possible and indicate the purpose of the study and possible career prospects. It is better to prepare a package of documents in advance. You need to check everything for errors carefully.
  • Prepare letters of recommendation and certificates from teachers and employers in advance, best while you contact them. Using them means you will not have to look urgently for documents to support your application for admission to a university or scholarship.

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