Paying for post-secondary education can be expensive. Government loans such as OSAP (The Ontario Student Assistance Program) are helpful but will leave you with debt. There are other ways to pay for school.
If you get high grades or demonstrate financial need, you may qualify for scholarships, grants and bursaries. These are money gifts from your school, government organizations, private donors and individuals that you do not have to pay back
What is the difference between a scholarships, grants and bursaries?
Scholarships Money awarded mostly for your academic performance (high grades) but sometimes could be based on other achievements like athletic or artistic skill, community involvement or even financial need.
Types of scholarships:
- Entrance Scholarships (or Admission Scholarships): are awarded when you enroll in a school for the first time on the basis of academic requirements like high grades.
- Renewable Scholarships: can be renewed every year if you maintain high grades.
- National Scholarships: awarded to students across the country for achieving excellent grades, and demonstrating innovative thinking and creativity in the learning process.
- In-course Scholarships: are awarded after being at the same school for at least a year (for example you completed all courses of first year, haven't moved schools and maintain high grades, you could be eligible).
- External Scholarships: awards from organizations that are outside of your school (make sure the organization you choose approves your school before you apply.)
Grants Money awards based on high grades or financial need from an outside organization that is not your school (private company, parents' work, an individual). You can also get a grant for research projects.
Bursaries Money awards based on your financial needs that sometimes uses the same rules as OSAP.
NOTE: Bursaries can also be organized in the same way as scholarships. If you are applying to graduate school, look for grants in the graduate studies section.
Look in the “Financial Aid” sections of school websites to find about out about all the different types of money awards.
See our list of universities, colleges and external sources that offer scholarships, grants or bursaries.