5 Unconventional Ways to Find Scholarships

Image by Poppy Thomas-Hill, Wikimedia

Image by Poppy Thomas-Hill, Wikimedia

Not every student wants to break open their piggy bank and use their hard-earned pennies to pay for school. Naturally, the ideal situation is to get someone else to pay for you. Lo and behold, these genius inventions called scholarships, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, may not fully fund your entire post-secondary career, but will definitely help. Typically when students look for scholarships, they seek out a guidance counsellor, search their post-secondary school’s website, or scour the Internet. But don’t stop there! Here are a few unconventional ways you can scrounge up a little extra cash to soften the proverbial baseball bat to the head, also known as tuition:

  • Your part-time job: It may not have been mentioned in the job interview, but several companies offer their employees scholarships. Burger King, Walmart, and Home Depot are just a few companies that offer this amazing opportunity. Ask your boss or look up your company online to see what they offer, and how to apply.
  • Your parents’ jobs: Some companies offer scholarships to the children of their employees. Get your parents to ask their bosses or HR department for more information.
  • Unions: As a worker, unions protect your rights. As a student, they save you money. Unions are goldmines for industry-specific scholarships. For example, the Ontario Nurses’ Association offers scholarships to the immediate family of ONA members studying nursing, and the Canadian Dance Teachers Association offers scholarships to dance students who know a CDTA member. Search your parents’ or teachers’ unions – you never know what they have to offer.
  • Your future workplace: Look through the website of a company or organization you want to work for, and those of their competitors as well. If you receive a scholarship, it will get you noticed by the company and will look great for future internship and job prospects.
  • Extracurricular activities: Playing varsity tennis or being president of the art club is not only rewarding in experience, it can also be rewarding to your pockets. A number of scholarships require applicants to have some sort of athletic, artistic or leadership involvement, so if you’re already into extracurriculars, you’re on your way. Talk to your coach or teacher supervisor and they can help refer you to scholarship opportunities. Research any organizations you’re part of outside of school such as Scouts Canada or the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada for more opportunities.

Most of these scholarships are very exclusive, allowing only members of a specific organization to apply, but the internet is full of surprises. You never know what you’ll find!


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