5 tips to make your scholarship application shine
Every year, Desjardins and its partners award thousands of scholarships that help many students pay for tuition, rent, groceries, transportation and lots of other postsecondary expenses. Applications are open from March 1 to 31. Here are a few tips to help you prepare and give you the best chance of getting a scholarship.
Scholarships for young people
Most scholarships are for those 30 and under who are entering a vocational program, pre-university college or technical training, or a university program. Some programs accept all age groups. So there’s something to be said for applying, no matter how old you are.
Learn more about scholarships
1. Think beyond your report card
Having excellent grades will definitely help you get into a quota program, but it doesn’t really influence scholarship jury decisions:
Many caisses also award their own scholarships based on themes such as sports, volunteer work or entrepreneurship. And many business partners join forces with Desjardins to encourage the next generation in their fields. For example, an accounting firm would reward the best application in an administration program.
So, regardless of your grades, go ahead and apply—you never know!
2. Be yourself
You only have to fill out your application once on the Desjardins scholarship application platform and it will be automatically forwarded to all the programs you’re eligible for. So there’s no need to try to guess what juries will like or to change your approach based on specific objectives.
3. Know the 4 selection criteria
Eligibility criteria vary from scholarship to scholarship. Here are the ones Desjardins Foundation juries look for:
What’s your financial situation? Are your parents providing any financial support? Do you have a job?
Community involvement OR Staying in school
The first category of scholarships recognizes community involvement, such as participating in student life or volunteering. The second category is for students who are pursuing their education despite obstacles, like overcoming a learning disability, a difficult family situation or health problems.
Passions and interests
What are your interests outside of school? Is there a sport, activity or hobby you couldn’t live without?
Overall assessment of the application
This is the “carte blanche” part. Maybe you’re good with words or have a definite career plan that will catch the jury’s attention.
4. Provide detailed answers
Juries are tired of generic formulations like “To Whom It May Concern.” A simple way to make your application stand out is to include more details about what makes you special.
5. Watch your English
No one expects you to deliver an epic, tear-inducing literary masterpiece, but you should take the time to proofread your application. Correct your mistakes. Write clear, simple sentences. That way, it’s easier for the reviewers to understand what you’re saying. You can save your application and come back to it many times to make changes, if you need to.
Applications are open from March 1 to March 31 each year. The best way to make sure you don’t miss the window is to create a profile on the Desjardins scholarship application platform which you can do any time. That way, you’ll get au automated email notification when the time comes!