How to find scholarships in Canada.

Thinking of how to pay for your study in Canada? This is for you. You will see information on:

– Possible sources of funding

– Internal, External scholarships, and Research grants

– How/where to search for scholarships

– How to position yourself for funding consideration

The truth is, studying in Canada will cost you money, and you will even pay more as an international student compared to being a local student.

So, as you begin your admission application it is not out of place to start thinking ahead about where the funds for the study will come from.

As a foreign student, you also need convincing proof of financial support to successfully get your visa. The proof of funds required for a Canadian study visa is at least the cost of the first-year tuition (which will depend on your school/program) and $10,000 CAD (for living expenses).

More information on the total amount of money you need for yourself and/or your family to come to Canada as a student is available on the IRCC Website here.

So, in total, what it would cost you to study in Canada is the total of the tuition and the living expenses as outlined above.

I have, therefore, identified these four (4) possible sources of funding, and will provide more information about each in this post.

– Personal funds

– University (internal) scholarships

– External scholarships (from organizations/government)

– Research Grants (from supervisors)

1) Personal funds

This is financial support from yourself, your parents, siblings, or other relatives.

If your expected funds are from a third-party (sponsor), it is advisable to prove that the third-parties have enough funds to support you and still cater to their own financial commitments.

Showing proof of excess funds and assets is recommended for you if this applies to you. This is important as it helps you to show that the funds are readily available.

In addition to this, your sponsor can also provide additional documentation like a sworn affidavit, financial investments, properties, or other economic assets.

You can also show proof that the individual financially supporting you has a history of doing so for you in the past.

2) University (internal) Scholarships

Many Canadian universities have entrance scholarships for new students. Often, you do not need to apply separately for this.

Considerations are often made with the admission application. It is, however, important to know what the university/program offers.

If scholarship consideration is a big part of your study in Canada plan, knowing what is available in the school you are interested in will help you to prioritize which university/program to apply to.

To know available funding in the university, run a Google search with “university name and available student funding.” If graduate funding is your target use the “university name + graduate funding” in your search.

A Google search of “University of Saskatchewan Graduate Funding” will give you this webpage.

This was how I found the full Master’s scholarship I got from the University of Saskatchewan. What is left is to follow the procedure of the particular scholarship, package your application well, submit strong documentation, and put the best foot forward in your application.

3) External Scholarships (from organizations/Government)

Aside from universities, there are lots of organizations/government scholarships. You can search using websites such as:

– Scholarship Canada

– Yconic

– Univ Can

– University Study

Many external scholarships are available after you have an admission offer.

If you have an offer already, please make friends with the office staff in your department/program, they are your go-to for information about these scholarships, and they can provide you with a useful guide.

The beautiful thing about these secretaries (from my experience) is that they are available and accessible, and they are always willing to help.

They are there to help you, and to give you the necessary information on available scholarships. If you are not in Canada yet, send them emails, they are more responsive by emails.

4) Research Grants (from supervisors)

This is where strategic positioning is needed. A lot of faculty members have research grants for studies. If you are, for instance, required to find a supervisor before applying, start by sending cold emails to them and also let them know the flexibility of your proposed research.

Even with a full Master’s scholarship, my supervisor also gave me additional funding for aligning my research with part of a study he had a grant for. In fact, if I had insisted on doing what I proposed alone, it would have been difficult to complete my Master’s program within 2 years. Wisdom is profitable, so be strategic!

Additional Proactive Steps to Take to Secure a Scholarship in Canada

  • Look for prospective research supervisors and let them know you are interested in working with them, in their labs, or on a research project they’ve received a grant for.
  • Check the career sections of universities in Canada to apply for advertised research positions.
  • Focus your research on the signature areas of research in the universities you are interested (you can do a Google search of this for each university).
  • Reach out to Graduate Coordinators or Graduate secretaries for available opportunities to work as a teaching or research assistant, or for information on other scholarships you are eligible to apply for.
  • Check the finance section on the website of your university of interest for other available financial support.
  • Apply to any of the U15 Canadian Universities
  • Spread your applications around and apply to as many as possible universities in Canada

I hope this is of help and it takes you one step closer to fulfilling your goal of studying in Canada.

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