Awards & Scholarships
Successful students quickly realize that planning, organization and time management are vital to locating and applying for the numerous awards available. Here are some guidelines to assist you in your search:
- These are non-repayable awards based primarily on academic standing, leadership/community service, athletics, or subject areas.
AAD and its sponsors have provided student-athletes currently enrolled in AAD programming with the opportunity to apply for scholarships since 2005-2006. These scholarships have afforded the successful candidates with financial aid to support their continuing education and athletic endeavours. The money awarded through these scholarships is provided through corporate and private donations. To date, in excess of 60,000 dollars has been awarded to AAD student-athletes. Follow this link to find out more!
- These are non-repayable awards based on financial need. Qualifications for a bursary may include: academic standing, providing a financial plan, ethnic background, single-parent status, parental affiliations, community work, part-time status, and area of study.
- Talk to your high school counsellor to gain more information.
- There is a way to finance your post-secondary studies. Consider your options: scholarships, bursaries, loans and part-time work may all be necessary.
- Just as you set aside time for studying, plan to set aside time to research awards. Many hours of reading, checking web-sites, writing letters or essays will be necessary.
- Get organized. Set up a folder or binder to keep track of the awards you find and apply for, a copy of your transcripts, letters of reference, etc.. Photocopy the awards you apply for to keep for your records. What system works best for you to manage your materials?
- Start early and keep going. You can continue to apply for scholarships throughout your entire academic career. Don’t become too frustrated if you don’t find immediate success – there are thousands of awards available. Be persistent.
- Watch your deadlines.
- What do you know about you? Create a personal profile – like a resume – that identifies your strengths that may transfer into a scholarship. Consider: marks, skills, achievements, cultural background, area of study, parental and community affiliations. Store this information in your folder.
- Pay attention to the school announcements.
- Review the checklist before sending out each award to ensure your documentation is complete and accurate.
- Network. Who else do you know who may lead you to a scholarship? Parents, relatives, employers, businesses, churches, community organizations, newspapers, web-sites, libraries, friends and teachers are some of your greatest resources.
- Post-secondary institutions: Check the websites of the post-secondary institutions you are interested in and look specifically for entrance scholarships (these are for students coming directly from high school). Some schools offer renewable scholarships. This could be the difference in deciding which school to attend.
- The Alberta Heritage Scholarship Fund: Offered by the Government of Alberta to Alberta citizens.
Apply on-line at Student Aid the first week of August the year you start your post secondary studies.
5 Steps to Winning Scholarships
Step 1: Search
There are thousands of scholarships, awards and grants available to help finance your education. Many scholarships are awarded on academic achievement. However, other awards are awarded for athletic involvement, leadership, community service, area of interest and the institution you plan on attending.
- Check out the post-secondary institution you plan to attend for possible scholarships and entrance awards
- Search online using a free search tool like yconic.com (login required)
- Talk to your parents and/or relatives - they may be members of a club or organization or their employer may offer awards to family members
- Talk to your high school guidance counsellor
Step 2: Apply
- Complete the appropriate scholarship application form. Keep a copy.
- Do you meet the requirements as outlined on the application?
- Apply well before the application deadline.
- Mail your application before the deadline (a late application may not be accepted)
- Keep extra letters of recommendation and transcripts on hand. It will save you time when applying for more than one award.
- Follow-up with award sponsor before the deadline to make sure your application was received.
Step 3: Write the Essay
- Write that essay, if an essay is a requirement. It may be the deciding factor.
- Give yourself plenty of time.
- Read the instructions carefully and seek advice from a family member, friend, teacher or counsellor.
- Go for quality, rather than quantity.
- Use clear and concise language and avoid the use of slang.
- Review your essay. Read it aloud. Refine it.
- Proofread! Better still, have someone read and proofread your essay.
- Keep a copy on file - with a few changes you may be able to use it for another scholarship.
Step 4: Get the Money
- Make sure you meet all the conditions to receive the money: full-time enrollment, maintaining residency, institution you are attending, etc.
- If you move, advise the scholarship donor of your new address.
- If you are required to attend an awards ceremony, luncheon, etc. be there, be gracious and dress appropriately.
- Thank the donor, when appropriate.
Step 5: Maintain Your Scholarship Potential
- Keep your marks, athletics, leadership and volunteer work at an outstanding level and continue to look for scholarships as you progress through your studies.
- Be positive. Believe in yourself and in your chances of winning a scholarship. It takes hard work and time, but the rewards are well worth the effort.