When looking for other scholarships, though, it is a good bet to start close to home. If your parents or other relatives belong to organisations you may be surprised that organisations and clubs offer little known and underused scholarships. You may also find out about local organisations, churches and companies (again, including places your parents work for) that offer scholarships often overlooked by others.
From schools, students receive scholarships on the basis of merit. Unlike financial aid, your child must be proficient or involved in a particular area to receive a scholarship. Many such grants are available to private school students in Canada. There are two central types of providers:
- The schools themselves (most scholarships come from within the school)
- External organizations
If you are looking for a scholarship, start your search early, as most schools or organizations have strict application deadlines. Our list of private school financial aid offers a comprehensive list of sholarships schools themselves offer. External scholarships change yearly, so check back often.
To apply for an academic scholarship, you usually need to include your son or daughter's school record, transcript, report cards, and, in some cases, a sample of work from his or her current school. The majority of students who receive these scholarships need to write an essay that details why they deserve the award. For advice on applying, see our article on creating a successful scholarship application.
The best essays offer the award-giver a really descriptive profile of the potential recipient. Instead of a mere overview of all your achievements or involvement, give the school a glimpse into how your successes relate to your character. One school administrator explains: "Involvement is fantastic, but if all I know is that you have done many things I don't know if you've done them well. You're much better off getting involved in one or two things and getting really involved than joining a million different clubs. Too often students just give a laundry list of their achievements or extracurricular activities and I just sit there wondering what the individual is actually like as a person. My best advice is to be creative and original."
Your son or daughter could take part in numerous scholarship competitions. For example, in 2011, One Prosper International offered scholarships to students who could raise the most money for village farmers in Southern India. The Art Lit Competition asks students to write an essay on one of four selected books.
Besides the scholarship opportunities noted above, with a little research, you'll find a number of opportunities are available to take advantage of: companies, local governments, private individuals, banks, community-based organizations, non-profit organizations, and many others.
In Canada, you will find many more non-academic scholarships. Some of these include scholarships for the following:
Being selective is the best way to secure a non-academic scholarship. For example, join only a few clubs you are interested in and get involved deeply. A meaningful impact in a certain field is better than minimal involvement in many different settings.
Attend information seminars on financial aid, including scholarships and tax breaks
, at any of the Private School Expos
every fall. These one day events are a must for any parent or student considering an alternative education.