October 15, 2020

Why students should take the time to research and apply for scholarships

By Madison Hobbs, 2020 graduate of Eston Composite School

In my grade 12 year, I was eager to apply for university and more importantly, apply for scholarships to help pay for my university. Last October, I was accepted into the four- year Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology program at the University of Saskatchewan and am currently in my first semester.

No matter the path you decide to choose after you graduate from high school, money is always a factor. Whether it is rent, groceries, tuition, gas or textbooks, you will encounter never ending expenses once you go off on your own. Graduating and entering the work force or attending post-secondary education are all very exciting milestones in life. Even more exciting, there are people, businesses, and foundations that are there to support you during this time of your life and reward you for all of your efforts leading up to this time.

Things like homework, working and any type of extra-curricular activities, take up a lot of time out of school hours, which can make it seem as if you have no time to apply for scholarships. Therefore, it is helpful to prioritize working on applications here and there, especially on weekends or even school holidays. Getting started is the hardest part. At first, I found scholarships by referring to the Student Career newsletter published by the Career Development teachers every month, looking for information posted around my school and searching through scholarship websites, like ScholarTree. Then, I made a list of ones I figured I could be eligible to receive, as well as listed them based on their application deadline. From there, I went around asking for reference letters from coaches, teachers and people I have worked for in the community. I also compiled a list of all of my extra-curricular involvement, including athletics, certifications, volunteer hours, work experience and awards. After that, because many scholarships ask similar questions, the more I applied for, the easier it got.

Getting a letter back saying that you didn’t receive a scholarship can be upsetting but don’t let it stop you. Of the roughly 30 scholarships I applied for, I only received less than 1/3 of them. However, I still received just shy of $12,000. I spent hours writing essays, answering questions, and making videos. If I compared this to the hours of work it would have taken me to save up that amount of money, applying for scholarships was extremely worth it. Not only do scholarships provide a sense of relief but they also provide a sense of accomplishment. So, start applying for scholarships as soon as you can because it will allow you to have time to apply for as many as possible and be rewarded for all of your accomplishments!