Part 1: Finding Scholarships


First, a note to my subscribers: Last week you received an email with an attachment. The email gave you two options: To download the attachment or read in browser. That was an error on my part: there should only be one option and that is to download the attachment! The attachment is for subscribers (YOU) only!  🙂

Now . . . on to finding scholarships:

Searching for scholarships takes time. And perseverance. And you have to know where to look. Your guidance counselor may be able to give you some ideas about where to start, or they may even lead you to The Scholarship Report (if your school subscribes to it!). Looking for scholarships on large databases is a start, but it can take a lot of time to sift and sort through all of the various scholarships, bursaries, and contests to finally settle on a few. So, where else can you look? Here are some ideas to help you get started!


  • Students: Grocery stores and fast food restaurants regularly hire students due to their flexibility and willingness to work shifts on evenings and weekends. But did you know that many grocery store chains and restaurant franchises offer scholarships, e.g., Sobeys and Burger King? Generally, before applying for a scholarship, you must have been employed for a specific period of time, e.g., four-six months. Also, you will more than likely need to have a recommendation from your employer or manager. Receiving a scholarship from your workplace looks great on a resumé. It shows not only that you are deserving of a scholarship, but also that you are a great employee! Be sure to ask your manager about scholarship opportunities.
  • Parents: Many large companies and corporations offer scholarships to employees and their dependents as part of their employee benefits package. They believe in investing in education and one of the ways they do so is by sponsoring scholarships. Make sure to check out your employee handbook!


Do your parents belong to a trade union? Many unions offer national and / or regional scholarships to their members to help pay for postsecondary education., e.g. the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada. Local branches / chapters of the union may offer their own scholarships / bursaries as well, e.g., UFCW Canada Local 1006A. Be sure to check all the possibilities!

Civic organizations and service leagues:

The local and provincial chapters of many national clubs and civic organizations serve their community by offering scholarships and bursaries. The Optimist International organization sponsors scholarship contests that start at the local level. The Royal Canadian Legion offers bursaries at the provincial level (Ontario, for example) AND local level as well. Contact the local branches / chapters in your area for more information.

Banks and Credit Unions:

You may be aware of the national scholarships sponsored by banks that have large award amounts – the TD Scholarships for Community Leadership is just one example. But did you know that credit unions are a good place to look for student awards? In fact, many credit unions give substantial awards for postsecondary education.


Search online using key words – “scholarship, “bursary,” “student award,” etc. Narrow the search nationally, provincially, and locally. Many scholarships are specific to high school students – be sure to note that in your search as well. Be creative in your search. You’re bound to come up with something!

OK, so this is a good place to start! In Part 2, we will narrow the focus of the search for scholarships so that you can look for something that is unique to YOU, and which ultimately may give you a greater possibility of winning one!