Canada is recognized as an educational hub for students from around the world which attracts many prospective international students, but sincerely, the cost of studying is not really friendly unless you come from a rich side.

This is why many students search for how to apply for scholarships in Canada to offset their expenses, while many eventually get successful in their application, others do not.

There are many reasons most students don’t get scholarships after their applications have been sent and one of which is not knowing how to apply for the scholarships, and in this guide, we shall not only explain how to apply for these awards but also list some Scholarships in Canada for you to apply as well.

Interested? then let’s get down to business.

Why Study in Canada?

Canada as a country is bilingual, speaking English and French. If you intend to broaden your horizons as either an ESL or FSL student, Canada is the place! The Canadian beautiful environment is filled with diversity, from rugged mountains to vast underground malls connected to subway stations.

The Canadian people are known to be a very friendly bunch. Moreover, along with a plethora of incentives to study in Canada as an international, the country is constantly on the brink of social systems and technology, making it very accommodating to the open-minded nature of students studying abroad.

Canada has about 96 universities scattered across its urban and regional areas, most of these Canadian Universities offer scholarships, some of which are fully funded making it one of the best study abroad countries, so read through the contents to learn how to apply for scholarships in Canada.

Scholarships in Canada

Scholarships or financial benefits in Canada help to reduce the cost for students, it can be tuition, lecture materials, accommodation, living cost, etc. Whatever form the scholarships might take, it is awarded based upon various criteria, such as;

  • Academic merit
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Athletic skills, and
  • Financial need.

There are now many scholarships that are based on the student’s previous academic performance, or diversity such as the BIPOC Canadian scholarships, even some weird Canadian scholarships that require special skills, and of course scholarships based on financial needs.

The scholarship criteria usually reflect the values and goals of the donor or founder of the award.

While scholarship recipients are not required to repay scholarships, the awards may require that the recipient continue to meet certain requirements during their period of support, such as maintaining a minimum grade point average or engaging in a certain activity.

But getting and retaining the award still comes down to knowing how to apply for scholarships in Canada, some of these instructions in this article are based on a psychological perspective and some are undeniable processes that would leave the scholarship board with no other option but to offer you the scholarship.

Before following the guide, it is very important that you personally understand why you need the scholarship, and how it would help your career.

How to Apply for Scholarships In Canada| 10 Proven Steps

Follow this list of instructions below as you begin your pursuit for scholarships in Canada.

  • Prepare ahead of time
  • Research About Additional Opportunities
  • Understand The Eligibility Requirements
  • Consider the smaller awards too
  • Have a good Reference/ Attestation Letter
  • Study the T&C of each award
  • Passion And Personality
  • Do The Research
  • Apply for as many as possible
  • Get Creative

Prepare ahead of time

I have a friend back then in high school who immediately got a scholarship to further his education, and what baffled us all was how fast he got the scholarship because this was the time we were about to apply.

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So inquisitively, I met him and asked him how he did it; the young man told me that he has been applying for the scholarship program months ago before the deadline.

One of the reasons why students don’t get Canadian scholarships or other scholarships from other parts of the world is the late application problem and the fact that most students start looking for scholarship opportunities during their tertiary institution study, or at the point where they are in dire need of financial aid.

The importance of seeking and looking for scholarships early cannot be overemphasized.

It is a proven fact that students who get scholarships most of the time are students who started applying even while in high school.

If you want to increase your chances of gaining a scholarship in Canada, start applying for scholarships, even while in high school, and also make sure you don’t wait for a scholarship deadline before applying. Start as early as possible.

Research About Additional Opportunities

Another tip on how to apply for scholarships in Canada is by carrying out research on the scholarship opportunities before applying.

So, learn about scholarships administered by the Canadian government, provincial governments, private foundations, and not-for-profit organizations.

NOTE: In accordance with Citizenship and Immigration Canada regulations, you must prove you have enough money to meet your financial needs while studying in Canada before beginning your studies.

This is what a scholarship program can help you with, and if you’re going to pursue a scholarship to help finance your education, start researching opportunities early.

Understand The Eligibility Requirements

Understanding the scholarship eligibility requirements is another way of knowing how to apply for scholarships in Canada, this cannot be overemphasized, it is as important as the scholarship itself; taking time to study and understand the requirements.

This is common to all the scholarships you could think of, Canadian scholarships have some unique requirements that if not duly met would definitely disqualify you.

Don’t fall for the act of wasting your precious time applying to awards that you’re not actually eligible for, because it reduces your chances and that is not how to apply for scholarships in Canada or any country at all.

Carefully read the eligibility requirements. If you’re not sure what one of the requirements means, or if it applies to you, ask the award administrator. It takes only a few minutes to ask questions, versus hours to write an essay for an award you can’t win.

Consider the smaller awards too

Listen, my friend, I am not against going for bigger awards, and in fact, I am the kind of person who seeks the largest share of the cake but why you came to this article is to learn how to apply for scholarships in Canada, and this is why I must tell you what is really necessary.

When you visit a webpage that contains a good list of scholarships in Canada, you will see that the awards range in price value, some big and some small. Obviously winning $10,000 is much more appealing than winning $2,000.

That’s the problem, everyone wants that $10,000 award, and not the $2,000 award.

It is pure common sense to know that any award with a high-value prize is going to be extremely competitive, and as such reducing the chances of winning it, whereas the $2000 will have lesser competition and a high chance of winning.

So I advise that you apply for many easy scholarships in Canada that you are eligible for both high and lesser price.

Have a good Motivation / Reference Letter

There is an old adage that goes; “You are addressed the way you dress”, and that is the case for having a good motivation letter.

When applying for scholarships in Canada, especially those over $2,500, it is advisable to present your documents professionally, not just a random reference letter or “to whom it may concern” type letter.

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Possessing a professional reference letter for the scholarship program is how to apply for scholarships in Canada because it shows you’ve taken the time to connect with your referee and he or she thinks highly enough of you to take the time to write the letter, the education board in charge of the awards wants to see the difference in your presentation.

Study the T&C of each award.

One thing you need to know about the Canadian educational board is that the judges are really strict with their rules and regulations.

And because you are not the only one applying, you need to know how to apply for scholarships in Canada.

It is important you take a careful look at the terms and conditions, the rules and regulations (whatever the legal stuff is with each award is called) have insights into what the judges will be looking for.

Sometimes there’s even a marking grid (e.g. 10% on marks, 40% on volunteer work, 50% on essay) and often there are specific statements about what they are looking for.

How to apply for scholarships in Canada is in understanding what is required of you and tailoring your application exactly to those specific items! The judge will love reading an application that feeds exactly into their marking rubric!!

Remember, any award in Canada looks good on your resume, it can help you win more awards (success breeds success) and it will help your resume stand out down the road!

Passion and personality

When there are hundreds of applicants for an award the ones that show the applicant’s personality and passion for the topic really stand out.

Passion cannot be hidden, when you put your energy into something you are passionate about, you tend to find ways to spice it up.

For some minutes, put yourself in the position of the Judges, they usually read a lot of applications and after a while, they can all get really exhausted.

It’s a relief to read an application or passionate motivation letter that feels like you’re actually connecting with the applicant and you want to keep talking to them, that is how to apply for scholarships in Canada, let your application be relatable.

The importance of passion for scholarships cannot be overruled, and Canadian scholarships are not different.

Do the research

Don’t fall for scams, my dear don’t enter any contest that asks for application fees, that is not how to apply for scholarships in Canada.

There are so many easy Canadian scholarships and other scholarships waiting to be acclaimed that require no application fees, be wary of signing up with any scholarship sites or search engines that require a fee to access their databases.

Instead, start by using free, reliable scholarship search engines such as Best Study Abroad Countries which keeps updating its database with concise education information for you.

Because energy wasted on scam scholarships can stop you from finding and winning the legit ones.

Apply for as many as possible

Statistics show that applying for many scholarships increases your chance of winning one or even more, which means twice as many opportunities to earn free money for college in Canada.

Play the numbers by applying for as many applicable scholarships as possible.

Keep in mind that smaller scholarships often have fewer applicants than those with higher monetary rewards, and because people don’t often regard it, it adds up to the yearly unclaimed scholarships in Canada.

This is how to apply for scholarships in Canada so your chances are higher.

But before you spend too much time on any one application, look carefully at all the eligibility requirements so you do not waste time on a scholarship for which you are ineligible.

Get creative

There are tons of scholarships in Canada, but how to apply for scholarships in Canada is to look for those awarded in your areas of interest; for example, the environment, data science, music, theater, etc.

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Some scholarships are open to any student who has participated in an area of endeavor, while others are designed for students with particular professional aspirations.

Therefore, understand the nature of the scholarship, the eligibility requirements, the area of interest, etc, and produce a professional reference letter or scholarship essay stating passionately why this scholarship is for you.

Believe you’ll get the scholarship

This is somehow the most important aspect of this point. It is not possible to get what you don’t believe in. Therefore, apply for every scholarship with the inherent belief that you would get the scholarship. It doesn’t only motivate you to go the extra mile; it also unlocks the possibility of you being awarded the scholarship.

Are there scholarship opportunities in Canada?

Yes, my friend, plenty of them, for both national and international students. Don’t miss any of these Scholarship opportunities.

Some of the scholarship opportunities in Canada include:

  • AAR Aircraft Service Award for International Students at Fanshawe College, Canada
  • Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) – for mid-career professionals
  • Canada-Brazil Awards – Joint Research Projects
  • Canada-CARICOM Faculty Leadership Program
  • Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program
  • Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program
  • KDS International Scholarship Competition
  • Study in Canada Scholarships
  • United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Bursary at Yorkville University

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do I need before I can apply for any of the Scholarships in Canada?

Candidates must be citizens of one of the following eligible countries/territories:

  • Asia: Bangladesh, Nepal, Taiwan
  • Europe: Turkey, Ukraine
  • The Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda

How to apply for scholarships in Canada

  • Intending applicants should be enrolled as full-time students at post-secondary accredited institutions in the eligible countries/territories and pay any tuition fees required by these institutions at the time of application and for the full duration of the exchange.
  • Applicants who hold Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, or who have a pending application for permanent residency in Canada are not eligible.
  • If you are already participating in an exchange scholarship program funded by the Government of Canada, then you are not eligible.
  • If you are already enrolled in a program at a Canadian post-secondary institution are not eligible.

Can international students get full scholarships in Canada?

Of course, they can. One way international students can help finance their studies in Canada is through scholarships, but getting a full scholarship in Canada comes down to understanding how to apply for scholarships in Canada.

Scholarships are non-repayable financial awards and Scholarship funding for international students who wish to study in Canada is limited, highly competitive, and available mostly at the postgraduate level.

What GPA is required for scholarships in Canada?

In order to receive continuing scholarship disbursements, the undergraduate scholarship recipients must maintain a CGPA of 2.67. On the other hand, the graduate scholarship recipients must maintain a CGPA of 3.0.

Is it hard to get a scholarship in Canada?

Is it easy to get scholarships in Canada? Getting scholarships in Canada may not be considered easy but it is possible, and if something is possible, then you need concise information to get it because many people have benefited from it.

Beneficiaries receive up to CA$17,000 (US$13,100) for up to 12 months of their studies, with that said, let’s understand how to apply for scholarships in Canada.


We are happy that you read up until this point, this brings an end to the post on how to apply for scholarships in Canada, remember, you can apply to as many as possible to increase your chances of winning the award and ensure to send in your applications early.

We hope this article provided helped in one way or the other.

Please share with your friends and leave your question or response in the comment box for us to serve you better.

Agbai Obasi
Agbai Obasi

Agbai Obasi is the founder of and related brands; he is currently a master-level student of Information Security Systems Management, managing the security operations of this site; in his spare time, he creates tailored blog contents that speak directly to the needs and interests of students. Visit his website below to stay updated with cybersecurity industry insights, best practices, and more.

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