How To Win Scholarships During a Gap Year

For students thinking ahead to what they want to do after high school, thoughts of taking a year off will likely come up. You may be wondering if it is possible to win scholarships during a gap year. Luckily, the answer is yes! However, there are some key differences to keep in mind if you want to win scholarships during a gap year. 

When to Apply

There are scholarships available at every stage of your post-secondary journey—whether you just finished high school, are taking a gap year, or returning as a mature student. However, your Scholarship Opportunity Window is greatest in your senior year. Grade 12 students are eligible for 5-10x more scholarships than post-secondary students. 

So if you plan to take a gap year, be sure to apply in Grade 12 instead of waiting until you start university. 

Applying in Grade 12 can also help if part of your reason for taking a gap year is financial. Winning scholarships can change your financial reality. This may make taking a year off after high school to work and earn money for university unnecessary! Alternatively, if you also win a large scholarship that can’t be deferred for a year, this may even make you reconsider taking a gap year. 

Gap Year Scholarship Research

If you want to win scholarships during a gap year, you’ll need to look for extra criteria when researching scholarships

First, you’ll want to know if the scholarship allows recipients to take a gap year. Specifically, look for if the scholarship can be deferred for a year. Some scholarships allow this, while others require you to use the scholarship immediately. There are even some scholarships exclusively available for gap year students, like this one!

Because of this limitation, most of the scholarships available for gap year students will be offered by your specific university or college. Some of these scholarships may not be available for you to apply for until you’re enrolled in the university. However, you can prepare your applications ahead of time during your gap year so that you’re ready once you start university.

Winning scholarships can be a game-changer and shift your financial reality. So some Grade 12 students find it beneficial to apply to a scholarship even if it doesn’t allow them to take a gap year. Winning a large enough scholarship may make the choice to go to school immediately a more attractive option.

If you want to win scholarships during a gap year, GrantMe can help. We provide personalized scholarship matches, essay editing, and mentorship from past winners to maximize your scholarship success. Learn more and start your scholarship journey.

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