How to Get a Hockey Scholarship in Canada

Imagine the deafening roar of the crowd as you break away from the defense and go head-to-head with the goalie in overtime. The sweat drips down your face, your heart pounds with excitement. You deke, backhand the puck top shelf and score the game-winning goal.

Young hockey players in Canada dream about moments like this. It’s motivation to put in the countless hours of practice. But, could your hockey dream eventually land you a scholarship to university? In short, it can. But you’ll need a strategy both on and off the ice.

Let this be your roadmap for making that dream come true. Here’s everything you need to know to get a hockey scholarship in Canada and lace up your skates on the university rink.

Factors That Can Land You a Hockey Scholarship

There are a range of hockey scholarships that you could be entitled to in Canada. Some only cover partial tuition, but if you put in the prep work you could get a full-ride scholarship. 

Most scholarship opportunities for hockey players come down to:

  • Your abilities: Coaches get excited over proven talent. If you play well and have accolades to show for it, you’re more likely to land that scholarship.
  • Academic performance: Skills can get you far, but you should also focus on academics. Getting good grades rounds out your application, which makes it easier to get a scholarship.
  • Financial need: Universities also factor in the fact that finances can be a barrier to higher education. If your family can’t afford to send you to university easily, you could get funding for your schooling.

Preparing for a Hockey Scholarship

The competition for sports scholarships in Canada is extremely fierce, so not everyone will get one. But if you put focus into your game while keeping your grades up, you’ll have an easier shot.

Here’s what you need to do to prepare.

Get Started Now

There’s no time like the present. Whether you’re a freshman or senior, now is the best time to get started. Educate yourself on scholarship opportunities, work to get the best grades you can, start prepping your applications and keep practicing your craft.

It’s also a good idea to start looking into Canadian universities and their hockey programs. Then you can reach out and connect with coaches at the schools you’re interested in.

Chase Your Dreams, But Be Realistic

There’s always more than one option. You may have a dream school in mind, but the sad reality is that it might not work out. Not to worry, though, because there are other options – and some of them might even be a better fit for you.

It’s best to have a list of schools in mind and mentally prepare for each outcome.

Focus on Academics

Don’t neglect your schooling. You may be the leading scorer on the ice, but universities are looking for students who also excel in the classroom. Study hard, ask for assistance if you need it, and get those grades up. Then universities will see you as more of an asset.

Want to learn which scholarships you might qualify for? Take GrantMe’s eligibility quiz and see how our top education consultants can help you get in and get funded. 

Preparing Your Application

Now that you’ve followed the game plan and put in your focus both on the ice and in the classroom, it’s time to make sure your application gets you funding.

Here’s what you need to do.

Choose the Right Options

How realistic are the options you’ve chosen? Ask yourself this before applying. 

Applications take time and effort, but they’re vital in landing scholarships. So be sure to look into each school’s teams and academic requirements.

If you can, go out to watch the hockey teams play and get a feel for their strategies. Would you be a good fit?

Also, look at the academics of a school. Pick universities with solid programs and majors you’re interested in. If you’re still undecided, make sure your top picks have classes that interest you.

It also helps to look into each university’s scholarship options and history to determine what you may be eligible to receive and how difficult it might be to do so.

Creating a Good Application

Now that you’ve narrowed in on your options, it’s time to prep your application. Three things to focus on are linguistics, references, and your highlight reel.

Universities want to see properly formatted applications that are clear of linguistic errors. So, look at examples of successful applications online. Then once you get the formatting down, get a second opinion on it and edit if needed. Keep revising until you’re 100% confident with it.

The references you use on your application shouldn’t just be someone’s dad. They should be people in your life who have seen and can attest to your skills, smarts, and work ethic. Ask coaches, teachers, and professionals who know you best if they can be references.

Then there’s the highlight reel. When making your highlight reel, choose your best plays but try to throw in some personality. Future coaches like when they can get to know you from your highlight reel. Just don’t make it too short or too long, 3-4 minutes is the sweet spot.

GrantMe is passionate about helping students get funding for their dream programs. Try our eligibility quiz to see what scholarship opportunities are available to you.

Tell Your Story

You want your application to tell your story. Athletic applications have athletic resumes and typically include personal essays.

An athletic resume should be to the point. Share your stats, what positions you’ve played, what teams you’ve played for, and any accolades. Also, reference any workshops you’ve done. It can also be helpful to share a bit about your playing style, which schools use to see if you’re a good fit.

Your personal essay should highlight your accomplishments and tell your story. Share a bit about your love for the sport and the challenges you’ve overcome over the course of your hockey career. This is your chance to show universities how passionate you are and why you deserve to be a part of the team.

Other Ways to Stand Out

Schools see a lot of applications, so it’s smart to try and stand out in other ways.

Reach out to coaches via email to express interest and share a bit about yourself. Research if your top university picks have events, and try connecting with coaches in person.

Remember that an athletic scholarship isn’t your only option. You can also look into alternative scholarships, financial aid and student loans to afford schooling.

Go For Your Goal

The overtime game winner, the roaring crowd…it doesn’t need to be a dream.

Just like the sport itself, getting a hockey scholarship in Canada takes heart, hustle, and intelligence. But it’s absolutely within reach if you’re willing to go for it.

So, lace up those skates and hit the books. Show the coaches what you’ve got on the ice, and let your good grades speak for themselves.

Your spot on the starting lineup is closer than you think.
Ready to see how far your passion for hockey can take you? Take GrantMe’s eligibility quiz and see what scholarship opportunities you qualify for.

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