Know More About Canadian Scholarships and How to Apply

Canada is a country known for its high academic standards and at the same time, an affordable lifestyle. It is for this reason that many international students aspire for a Canadian institution degree. In turn, Canada accommodates many international students by providing a scholarship platform. Some of these scholarships are automatically given to candidates, while many others would need applications.

As long as a candidate has high volunteer and work experience, high academic qualifications, and proof of good English proficiency, then he or she could consider applying for a Canadian scholarship.

However, note that there is more to applying for a Canadian Scholarship than the requirements listed above. This article is all about providing a guideline on how to apply for a Canadian scholarship and every other thing related to getting it.

(1) How Can One Apply for a Canadian Scholarship?

Applying for a Canadian scholarship isn’t much of a big deal. In some cases, one would have to apply through an institution, in other cases, a scholarship provider/program would be responsible for granting the scholarship. There are Canadian scholarships for the specific field of studies/courses. It is left for the candidate to make research on the scholarship platforms/institutions available for a specific course or discipline.

Does one need to secure admission before applying?

Many seek an answer to this question. Is it necessary to gain admission into an institution before applying for a scholarship?

Well, in most cases, admission into an institution is needed before one can apply for a scholarship. However, this is not the only option. There are some situations whereby admission into a university and application for a scholarship is done simultaneously and as previously hinted, admission into a university could also automatically fill in as an application for a scholarship. The method of application depends on the scholarship provider or institution. Each scholarship platform has its unique criteria that have to be fulfilled before the scholarship is considered.

However, this is not to say that the Canadian scholarship platform does not have the basic requirements needed before a scholarship is considered. Below is a list of those requirements;

A minimum CGPA of 3.0

Reference from past institution(s). In most cases, two referees from the past institution are needed for the application.

  • An application letter from the candidate.
  • Transcript
  • A narration of academic, leadership, and volunteer experience.
  • Student study permit under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada).
  • Copy of research proposal (if applying for a master’s or doctorate).
  • Must apply as a full-time student.


(2) Countries/Candidates Qualified for the Canadian Scholarship Program.

Candidates of any nationality are qualified for the Canadian scholarship program. However, there have been controversies on the issue of taking the IELTS, TOEFL, and any other English proficiency test before a candidate is qualified for the scholarship.

Note that while an English proficiency test is one of the requirements needed before getting a scholarship, it is not in all cases. Some candidates from specific countries are not required to take the test. The aim of the test (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or any other English proficiency test) is to figure out whether the candidate is good in the English language.

Candidates from English-speaking countries are not necessarily required to take the English proficiency test. Apart from this, there are some selected universities in Canada that do not need IELTS or any other English test whether from an English-speaking country or not.

However, in case it might be required for a candidate to take an English proficiency test, note that there are other alternatives to it. One alternative is to provide proof that you have studied in an English-speaking school If one is not able to provide the English proficiency result. Another alternative is that the candidate can choose to go for the English language course provided by the Canadian Institution. Either way, it depends on the institution the application would take place.


(3) When Can One Start The Application Process?

Applying for a Canadian scholarship should start as early as possible. Although there are intervals set by various institutions and scholarship providers, however, for most institutions, an interval of 6 to 12 months is been set before the academic year starts.

Yet, one can’t depend on this 6 to 12 months interval. For a greater chance, it would be best if one starts making moves for a scholarship while still in school (either in high school if one is applying for an undergraduate course or tertiary institution if one is applying for a master’s degree).

The process of getting the transcript, reference letter, study permit, and any other thing needed might require more than six to twelve months. However, this is just speculation, it all depends on how fast one can get all the requirements and apply for the Canadian scholarship before the academic year begins.


(4) Composing a Scholarship Application Essay.

Each Scholarship provider or institution is responsible for providing a format on how an application should be composed. However, some basic guidelines should be adopted when writing a scholarship application. Below are things one should take note of when writing an application;

  • A brief background of the candidate ( academic and social history of not more than three sentences).
  • Key qualifications/ work, volunteer, and leadership experiences.
  • Reasons for studying; the candidate should focus more on how the academic degree would positively impact his or her career as well as lifelong goals.
  • Talk briefly about the purpose of the Scholarship (financial reasons, an opportunity to explore another country’s lifestyle e.t.c)
  • Avoid Bandwagon; “What makes the candidate so special from the rest?”. The candidate should open up more on why he or she merits the scholarship and not why the candidate” needs” the scholarship.
  • Support the application with samples; that is, portfolios of work history, leadership, and volunteer experiences (if available).