Financing Your Post-Secondary Dreams

staceyby Stacey Ool
Rogers Raising the Grade Program Coordinator

Oh Hello! Welcome.

Reading this post you may be a youth or a guardian of a youth who falls into one of these categories:

  1. You may have chosen a career path and are now thinking about how to make it happen.
  2. You may be in the process of discovering what you enjoy.
  3. Or, like most of the youth I work with, you may experience a rush of panic and anxiety when someone asks you “what do you want to do after high school?”

studentWhatever your situation, I promise you will figure it out and when you do, the next step is to focus on how to fund your dreams. Let’s face it, school can be expensive and a year of post-secondary education can range anywhere from $6,500-$14,500 depending on your living situation, student status and tuition fees.

Maybe your family, friends or community are able to provide you with some assistance. Many students rely on loans and can spend many years following graduation paying back this debt. The best option, in my opinion, is to apply for as many scholarships and bursaries as possible. Scholarships and bursaries can provide you with money that you do not have to pay back. What…free money!?! Not really, but it is as close as you are going to get.

At this point one or all of these myths about scholarships might be running through your head:

  1. Scholarships are only for high achieving students
  2. I am not graduating this year so I cannot collect scholarships
  3. The chances of me being selected are very low
  4. Scholarships are too much work and do not match the money I might receive
  5. There is not enough money to go around

To you, I respond:

  1. Many scholarships are non-merit based and do not factor your grades into account. These can involve taking selfies (yes selfies), being tall, answering money sense questions or taking a quiz
  2. You can collect scholarships long before graduation
  3. You don’t apply, you will not be selected
  4. Most scholarships balance the amount of work required with the dollar amount offered
  5. Over 15 million dollars worth of non-merit based scholarships go unclaimed each year

Ready to apply for scholarships/bursaries? Perfect! Try yconic.ca, a student awards website offering over $170 million in scholarships and financial opportunities. Create a free account and let yconic find the scholarships/bursaries that you are eligible for.  Here are some tips from yconic for applying for scholarships that require submitting an essay.

I will leave you with these words of wisdom from Nelson Mandela – “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” So, put some work in, and make your post-secondary dream a reality.

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