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Scholarship Guide. Bur Oak Secondary School. Session Goals. Understand what a scholarship and bursary is Learn about the different types of scholarships Appreciate what the competition looks like Explore how to become a competitive candidate

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scholarship guide

Scholarship Guide

Bur Oak Secondary School

session goals
Session Goals
  • Understand what a scholarship and bursary is
  • Learn about the different types of scholarships
  • Appreciate what the competition looks like
  • Explore how to become a competitive candidate
  • Understand the process for finding and applying to scholarships

What are they?

  • A monetary award given to a student based on merit (it must be earned)
    • meant solely for education (e.g. tuition, course texts, residence)
  • Awarded based on several criteria; the criteria differs from one scholarship to another
  • A minimal application fee is sometimes required
scholarships tend to value
Scholarships tend to value...
  • Skills
    • Leadership and Initiative
      • Shown through your experiences and/or references
  • Community Involvement
  • Academics
  • Extracurricular Participation
    • sports, councils, teams, clubs
types of scholarships
Types of Scholarships
  • Entrance Scholarships
    • Based on your overall final grade 12 average OR your final average in your top six grade 12 “U” or “M” level courses
    • No application required
  • Merit Scholarships
    • Awarded to the most accomplished student, usually in the areas of academics, music, art, or athletics
    • An application is required
  • Citizenship
    • Based on your extracurricular involvement and overall contribution to the community, both in and out of school (e.g. clubs, teams, organizations)
    • An application is required
  • Special Circumstances
    • Based on unique situations, such as your ability to overcome challenges, speak and study French, invest in the arts, practice a specific faith, etc.

All colleges and universities offer these

  • Students only receive ONE entrance scholarship
merit scholarship athletics
Merit Scholarship: Athletics
  • Athletic financial awards offered by Canadian universities must follow the criteria established by Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS)
  • Scholarship maximum is capped at tuition and compulsory fees
    • Candidates are eligible for awards that will go beyond this (e.g. Academic awards or thoseprovided by Sport Governing Bodies)
  • Contact the coach of the university team you are interested in about tryouts in Grade 12
scholarship citizenship
Scholarship – Citizenship
  • TD Scholarships for Community Leadership
    • “We’re interested in hearing from students who have demonstrated consistent and outstanding dedication to solving a community problem or making their community a better place. For example, you may be cleaning up the environment, promoting social justice, or fighting child poverty.”
  • Awarded up to $10 000 towards tuition EACH year
  • Awarded $7 500 EACH year for living expenses
scholarship citizenship1
Scholarship – Citizenship
  • Loran Scholar
    • “We are committed to the greatest of Canada's natural resources: our youth. We work to identify and support talented students who show promise of leadership and a strong commitment to service in the community. We fund these citizens to study on Canadian campuses, to the benefit of their future and ours.”
  • Tuition WAIVED at 1 of 25 partner universities


  • $9000 stipend (renewable)


  • $8500 to initiate a summer project/internship
special circumstances travel
Special Circumstances – Travel!
  • The Amazing Travel Scholarship
special circumstances government
Special Circumstances – Government
  • MERF Scholarship(for those interested in government)

What are they?

  • a monetary grant (lump sum of money) given to a student who is in need of financial assistance to continue their education 
    • Typically issued to students who demonstrate the greatest financial need (documentation required)
  • Bursaries DO NOT have to be repaid
  • Applications are sometimes required
  • Students who need financial assistance usually apply for OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program)
    • OSAP = money LOANED to students; money must be repaid, in installments, after graduation
  • Students who are ineligible for OSAP are generally strong candidates for bursaries
creating your profile
Creating your Profile

Who are you?

What do you stand for?

the winning strategy
The Winning Strategy
  • Develop your skills
    • Leadership and initiative are learned behaviours
    • Get involved in your school and/or community and watch leaders in action. Emulate the behaviours you respect and find effective
      • Ask leaders questions and for opportunities
    • Join a council, take initiative, and use your role to create change
      • Become a director (this requires one year of council exp.)
  • Start building your résuméNOW
    • Keep it updated. Add honours and awards you win, extra-curricular activities, community volunteer work, and paid work
    • Having a résumé updated and ready allows you to better take advantage of opportunities that come up
the winning strategy1
The Winning Strategy
  • Make a difference and be an agent of change. This requires applying your skills and building your team.
    • Revitalize a club at B.O.S.S. or start a club with a team of people you know are invested
      • What happened to the school newspaper?
      • I have so many friends that love to dance, can I create a club and perform at assembles and school events?
    • Ask the right questions and talk to the right people
      • The Breakfast Club at B.O.S.S. has so much potential. Mr. Hurlington, I have an idea…
      • I love being a part of my church group. Ms. Lam, how can I take on more responsibility?
      • Mr. Kumar, I really enjoyed attending the 30 Hour Famine last year. Is anyone planning one for this year?
to be exceptional you must have fun
To be exceptional, you must have FUN
  • Those who win scholarships seldom win because they want the money, they win because they are passionate about a cause, are active citizens, and deserve it!
    • Concerned about social justice?
      • Start an awareness campaign as part of a council or club – use social media, the announcements, the caf projector, our school website, assemblies, and run lunch time events
    • Passionate about sports?
      • Step up as a team member and push your team’s practice regiment
      • Initiate a sporting campaign at school (talk to Athletic Council) or in the community (talk to the City of Markham) to get people active.
the process
The Process
  • Sign up on scholarship websites to receive regular updates

  • Be aware of the different scholarships available
    • Follow guidance on Twitter – @BOSSguidance
    • Check the guidance website for scholarship links and updates
    • Check the bulletin board outside the guidance office
  • When applying, be aware of scholarship timelines and requirements well in advance
completing an application
Completing an Application
  • Be prepared to complete a personal statement or essay
    • Do not let this stop you!
    • Many scholarships go unawarded because students do not want to write 500 words. This is not a reason to lose hundreds of dollars!
  • Book a guidance appointment to discuss your questions or to clarify components of the application
    • We are here to guide you, but the responsibility to find and learn about scholarships is your own
personal statement or essay
Personal Statement or Essay
  • Assesses your writing and critical thinking skills
  • Is equivalent to an interview
  • Include only relevant details. Do not pad your application with extraneous unrelated details.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS Answer in 500 words or less: What leadership qualities do you possess and how do you strive to inspire others?

Describe what you consider to be your most significant contribution to date and its value to your school or larger community. Why was it important to you and to others ?

Describe a time you challenged yourself by taking on a task/project that was beyond your scope and capability at the time. Why did you do it? What happened?

application tips reference letters
Application Tips – Reference Letters
  • Give the referee all the information they need regarding the scholarship
  • Give the referee a copy of your résumé that lists your accomplishments
  • Give the referee TIME to write the letter; a couple of days is NOT enough time
  • Send thank you notes or emails to people who write letters for you
application tips
Application Tips
  • Tell the truth
  • If necessary, request a letter of recommendation from teachers and/or community members at least 1 month before submission
  • If necessary, notify your Guidance Counsellor at least 3 weeks ahead of the deadline
application tips1
Application Tips
  • Type the final copy of the essay
  • Application forms should me very neat and printed in black ink
  • For your own records, make copies of your application before mailing it out
“Word hard to get the best marks; work harder to make those marks the least interesting thing about you.”- Westmount Guidance Department
big scholarships
Big Scholarships
  • University of Toronto Book Award
  • Loran Awards
  • TD Canada Trust Scholarship
  • Terry Fox Humanitarian Award
  • Toyota Earth Day Scholarship
  • Burger King Scholars Award