What is the Timeline for Scholarships

The timeline for scholarships actually starts in Grade 11 when your Scholarship Opportunity Window opens. Although a smaller amount of scholarships are available to students in Grade 11, this is the perfect time for you to gain key leadership and volunteerism experience that will make you a stand-out scholarship candidate. You can also begin practicing your writing and pre-write essays to major scholarships you will apply to next year.

The two-month transition between Grade 11 and Grade 12 is the time for you to get prepared for the year ahead. Planning a schedule for your entire first semester with all the scholarship and university application deadlines marked will help you to keep on top of your responsibilities and avoid getting overwhelmed. You can also start honing in on the essays you pre-wrote during your Grade 11 year to make sure they’re strong. 

The next landmark in the timeline for scholarships is your Grade 12 year. This is the “Golden Zone”. At this point, you may be eligible for up to $1 million in scholarships!

The first three months of your year will be when the bulk of major scholarship applications are due. With the schedule you set out in the summer before, you will be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities. 

From January to April of your Grade 12 year, expect a lot of smaller scholarship applications to be due. Pre-writing strong essays about your involvement will be key in making sure you apply to as many of these scholarships as you can. This time is also sometimes called the “Scholarship Deadzone”. You’ve been working so hard at applying, but you likely will not have heard back from any scholarships yet. 

Push through this period, and you’ll get to the peak acceptance period in the timeline for scholarships. Keep an eye on your email and watch your phone for new notifications that you won a scholarship. With your strong preparation and hard work over the past two years, you might even have to decide which scholarships to accept and which to turn down!

With your hard-earned scholarships, you’ll now finally be in post-secondary. However, the timeline for scholarships continues. 

There are many scholarships available to university students in all years of study. Most of these will become available in the fall and are what we call “internal scholarships”. This means that they are only available to students in your department, faculty, or university. A smaller pool of eligible students means low competition and better chances for you to win scholarships!

Throughout the rest of the year, there will often be lots of smaller scholarships available to you. Hold onto those pre-written essays to apply to as many as possible. 

Keep applying for scholarships throughout each year in university to help you graduate with the least amount of debt.

Thinking about scholarships and post-secondary can be overwhelming. But if you plan ahead and follow this timeline for scholarships, you can achieve your dreams with the least amount of stress.

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