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If you haven't already done so, it's time to start talking about how you and your family plan to finance your post-secondary education. As a family, discuss the contributions that can be made, perhaps from a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), or other sources, as well as your role and responsibility in saving for your own education.

There are a number of sources available to help finance your post-secondary education.
These include:

  • parent savings
  • federal and provincial government student loans
  • bank loans
  • student summer or part-time jobs.

Post-Secondary can be expensive, but you don't have to be a millionaire to afford a great education after high school. All you need is some financial planning.

There are also huge numbers of scholarships, bursaries and other prizes available to students with less-than-stellar grades or athletic abilities, but with other great qualities. Applying for scholarships is often time consuming and requires attention to detail but it is worth it in the long run. It is the individual student's responsibility to research and fulfill the application requirements. YOU must give Referees at least two weeks lead time if you expect their best effort in supporting your application. YOU are the manager of your own Scholarship Applications – get organized in a timely manner.


Where to look:

  • Scholarships and Grad Awards section - see below
  • Financial Aid Websites section - see below
  • Financial Aid Offices
    Speak with the financial aid offices at the schools where you plan to apply. Think about what interests and talents you have and what field you may want to enter after graduation. Mention any special circumstances about your family's financial situation. Ask for recommendations of scholarships offered by the college/university or by community organizations.
  • Extra-Curricular Clubs outside school
    One fringe benefit of participating in activities might be a scholarship sponsored by the organization. Make a list of all your activities so that in the fall, you can ask the club's officers or advisers about scholarship funds. Bands, newspapers, academic clubs, athletic and service organizations often award scholarships to outstanding members.
  • Community Organizations/Charities/Sports Teams
    Don't limit yourself to only organizations you belong to. Community groups often sponsor scholarships that are open to all students in the community. For example, local Rotary and Lions Clubs often offer scholarships for outstanding students in the community, whether or not their parents are members. They view scholarship programs as a way of serving their communities. Open a phone book and call the five largest organizations in your area. Chances are that at least one will offer a scholarship.
  • Your Employer
    Many businesses that employ young people offer scholarships as a way to reward students like you who both study and work. Ask your manager if your employer has a scholarship fund and how you can apply.
  • Your Parents' Employers
    Companies often award scholarships to the children of their employees. Your parents should speak with someone in their human resources department about scholarships and other educational programs offered by the company.
  • Your Parents' Unions
    Some unions sponsor scholarships for the children of their members. Your parents should speak with their union officers about scholarships and other educational programs sponsored by the union.
  • Your Parents' Organizations
    Are your parents involved in civic or other local organizations? These organizations may offer scholarships for members' children.
  • Religious Organization or Cultural Centers
    Religious organizations may provide scholarships for members. If you or your parents are members of a religious organization, check with the leaders to see if a scholarship is offered.
  • Local Government
    Some cities and counties provide scholarships specifically designated for local students. Often, local city council members have scholarship funds. Call their offices and ask if they offer a scholarship.
  • Local Businesses
    Local business owners who want to see students in their community succeed often set up scholarship funds as a way to thank their customers and customers' children. Contact your local chamber of commerce to see if there are local businesses that offer scholarships for students in the community.
  • Local Newspapers
    Some local newspapers make announcements about local students who win scholarships. Keep a record of the scholarships printed, or go to your library and look at back issues of the newspaper. Check the spring issues (from March to now), and you'll probably find announcements of scholarship recipients. Contact the sponsoring organizations to see if you're eligible to enter the next competition.
  • Internet
    One of the benefits of online scholarship directories is that they can be updated at any time. Online scholarship directories can give you up-to-date information on new scholarships.

What is the difference between a bursary, a scholarship, a loan, a grant and an academic award?

These terms are often used interchangeably even though they are very different.

  • A bursary is a non-repayable fund, issued based on individual financial need and satisfactory academic status. Students are required to apply for bursaries.
  • A scholarship consists of non-repayable funds, which are distributed based on previous academic achievement. Sometimes you apply for scholarships and sometimes they are awarded.
  • A loan is a repayable fund distributed based on financial need. Loans are interest bearing and depending on the type of loan (government or bank), interest payments may be required during the academic study period. You must apply for a loan.
  • A grant is a non-repayable (government) fund, distributed based on financial need. Students apply for grants.
  • An academic award recognizes the academic and community achievements of students during their course of study with the college. Academic awards are monetary and/or gifts. Students are selected for these awards based on specific criteria.

Financial Aid Websites

Click here for the Financial Aid Office for your University or College. 

You can find out more about financial options such as scholarships and loans at any of the following links:

Find the information and interactive planning tools you need to explore career possibilities, identify learning opportunities, and create the financial plans to achieve your goals.

30% off Ontario Tuition Ontario Tuition Grant Information
Ontario Student Assistance Program - OSAPOSAP is a need-based, financial assistance program funded by both the federal and provincial governments. Complete program details and OSAP application forms are available on their website. Note: Students can start applying in May when the site opens. Check the school's financial aid office and when in doubt apply anyway! For further information, contact the Financial Assistance Office or refer to the above OSAP website.

Bank of Montreal


Information on student lines of credit.
Campus is a comprehensive resource and information guide for current/prospective university and college students.
Campus StarterFor students seeking to further their education and career choices after high school. View virtual tours, search Canadian universities and colleges, compare undergraduate programs, admission requirements, scholarship details, academic life, and check out the latest campus news.
Canada Education Savings GrantThe Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) provides grants to Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) contributors until the beneficiaries reach the age of 17.
CanLearn InteractiveFind the information and interactive planning tools you need to explore career possibilities, identify learning opportunities, and create the financial plans to achieve your goals. Budgeting and planning for Post-secondary education Scholarship Search
CIBCInformation on student lines of credit. 
CollegeboardThis website was created to help you locate scholarships, internships, grants, and loans that match your education level, talents, and background. (American Schools)
Finaid - The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid This award-winning site has grown into the most comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools -- on or off the web.
Ministry of Education List of Scholarships/Loans and GrantsThis web site lists all programs/bursaries/loans/grants/benefits/scholarships administered by OSAP. Programs and procedures change from year to year, so please ensure you select your academic year first.
National Student Loans Service CentreFind the information and tools you need to apply for, manage and repay your student loan. Also find contact information for provincial and territorial Student Assistance offices.
Ontario Colleges.caThis site is intended as a reference for applicants on application procedures and important dates, college area of study guide, scholarship information and admission requirements.
Ontario School Counsellor's Association A website designed for Guidance Cousellors but contains information on scholarships.
RBC - Royal Bank of CanadaInformation on student lines of credit.
Scholarships.comThis website provides a searchable database containing scholarship information for Canadian students. (American site)
Scholarships is a searchable database of several thousand scholarships, prizes, and bursaries for students entering their first year of post-secondary studies in Canada. It includes both school-administered and private awards.
School FinderSearch this collection of scholarships, bursaries, and information to learn about your financing options, and how to apply for scholarships and loans. They also have a long list of College and University Open Houses. 
ScotiabankInformation on student lines of credit.
Search4 Career CollegesSearch4 Career Colleges offers a comprehensive directory of colleges, universities and online schools. They also offer a scholarship search tool. (American)
Student AwardsFind information on scholarships, bursaries, fellowships and other financial awards that are available for students. Other features include email notification of new awards, a pre-written letter for award administrators and valuable financial tips. Register with them to help find money for school.


Student Scholarships

Students register on this site to receive email notifications of what scholarships would be best suited to them.
The Royal Canadian Legion BursaryThe Legion does not have a national level bursary or scholarship program as all awards are administered by our local branches and Provincial Commands. For complete information on the bursaries and scholarships available in your province or community, please contact the Legion branch nearest you.
Toronto Dominion BankInformation on student lines of credit. 
University MattersHas budgeting spreadsheet for students to download
YouthLink - Government of CanadaA resource booklet for people between 15 and 30. Find information about Canadian and international work opportunities, entrepreneurship, career planning, education programs and scholarships, and more.

 Scholarships and Grad Awards:

Scholarship/Award/BursaryEligibility  AmountDue Date
RBC Royal Bank ScholarshipsCollege & University
Must be a RBC Royal Bank client from the application date through to the winner announcement date with a minimum 70% average. 
 Several amountsFall
Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation Loran AwardUniversity
The Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation grants Loran Awards to talented young Canadians on the basis of character, service and leadership potential. Based on grades and additional criteria.
Several amountsFall
Schulich Leader Scholarship

University – 1 per school

  1. Outstanding community, business or entrepreneurial leadership
  2. Academic excellence
  3. Financial need student chosen & additional criteria required.
60,000Check Website

TD Canada Trust Scholarship

College & University
Must have demonstrated leadership in improving their community.
 See websiteCheck Website 
Mensa Canada ScholarshipCollege & University
Applicants are invited to write a short essay in which detail their career plan, list their accomplishments to date, and describe what they plan to do order to achieve their future career goals. 
1000Check Website
The Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers College & University
Must have donated a large amount of time to a charity, a not-for-profit organization or a person and be a role model and inspire other young people to volunteer.
A medal, a framed certificate and a lapel pin.Check Website
Terry Fox Humanitarian Award

College & University

Involvement in voluntary humanitarian work.

Maintain a satisfactory academic standing and continued involvement in voluntary humanitarian and community work.

See WebsiteCheck Website
Allan Simpson Educational Fund Awards

College & University
Applicants must be full orphans (both parents deceased). Preference will be given to applicants whose parent(s) were member(s) in good standing in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at the time of their death.
See WebsiteCheck Website

Horatio Alger Scholarship

For students with critical financial need who have overcome adversity – must be going to college or UniversitySee WebsiteCheck Website
Fountainhead EssayStudents in grade 11 or 12
Essay required.
50 up to 10,000 



Post- Secondary Financial Assistance Information


There are many useful websites with information.


Scholarships and bursaries are awards of financial aid intended to help students further their education. Scholarships and bursaries are awarded based on various criteria, which usually reflect the values of the donor or founder of the award.

Several opportunities exist for a student to be awarded a scholarship in Ontario.

For more information:

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