Awards - Video Series
- What is an award?
- Awards, scholarships, bursaries, grants. What’s the difference?
- Where do I find awards?
- Types of awards
What is an Award?
An award is money that you apply for online to help pay for the cost of going to college or university. There are many different kinds of awards. The first kind is a scholarship, which is usually awarded based on a student’s grades. Another type of award is a bursary, which is usually given based on need. So, if you want to go to college or university and don’t have the money to pay for it yourself, bursaries might be right for you. There are also grants, which are quantities of money given by the government, or organizations like APSEA, for example, for specific purposes. Regardless if the award is a scholarship, a bursary, or a grant, an award is a payment made to support a student’s education. It is money that once you apply for and receive it, it is yours and does not need to be paid back. This is a guide on how to find and apply for awards.
Your High School’s Role
When searching for awards, your guidance counselor or high school’s website will often provide a list available for graduating students who are entering college or university. This is just one example of a Nova Scotia high school whose website provides a list of available scholarships, application deadlines, and selection criteria: Prince Andrew High School - Scholarships.
For additional lists of scholarships, visit your school’s website, contact your guidance counselor, or speak with your APSEA Itinerant Teacher.
Categories of Awards
There are several categories of awards students can apply for. Here are just a few examples, followed by a sample or two of the types of awards available in these categories:
- Awards based on achievement (grades, sports-related, etc.):
- Awards for students who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing/Blind or Visually Impaired:
- Awards for students with disabilities:
- Leadership and Community Involvement:
- Students pursuing a diploma or degree in a particular field:
- Students attending a specific college or university. For more information, visit any college or university website and search for “scholarships”
- Cultural diversity awards:
These are just some examples of the types of awards, scholarships, bursaries and grants that are available. For a more complete list, remember to:
- Contact your school guidance counselor
- Visit your high school website, and those of other high schools
- Speak with your APSEA Itinerant Teacher
- Do an online search (using a combination of keywords like awards, scholarships, bursaries, grants, Canadian, deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, disabilities, etc.)
Applying for awards is usually not just a matter of completing the online application form. Before your application will be accepted, you will often have to provide additional documents. Below are some examples of the types of documents you may be asked to provide:
- A copy of your most recent audiogram or eye report
- A transcript or copy of your grades
- A resume
- Letters of reference. A reference is a letter written by someone else that talks about you and gives reasons why you deserve the award you are applying for. A reference can be a teacher, employer, or someone from a group or organization you may have volunteered with. A reference should not be a member of your family or someone you are living with
- A letter from a college or university stating they have accepted you into their program
- A personal essay explaining why you believe you are deserving of the award
- Proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residency with date of birth
It is a good idea to keep copies of these documents in one place. This is called a portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of items and information about you, that shows people your interests, skills, and experiences. A portfolio can be a binder or a file on your computer.
One good example of an application that requires a number of supporting documents can be found at the Canadian Hearing Services website, under Scholarships Program. Simply follow this link, and scroll down to the First-Time Applicant Application Form.