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How can I improve my chance of getting university bursaries?

Is it too late to apply for bursary, scholarship, and other available funding? I wanted to go somewhere better but it looks as if it’s Alberta or no university for me. I don’t qualify for any Indigenous stuff and probably won’t qualify for any “top student” stuff either. I have no job, no money, and no help from parents. I need all the university bursaries and student financial assistance I can get. Is it possible to do a bursary application online?

Mindee Nelson

in Student Loans

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Ralph Lopez on July 26, 2018

Timeliness always helps an application for a university bursary. The University of Alberta school year starts in September; applications for bursaries open in September of that year. You can find the 2018-2019 calendar here https://calendar.ualberta.ca/ .

Loans are the primary form of student financial aid. (In countries where people have tried to change this, as with the federal tuition grant program in the United States, what’s happened is that tuition rates have increased and students still rely on loans.) If you missed a deadline to apply for one, you’ll need to explain that in your application for a bursary. If you got a loan but it doesn’t cover your tuition and living expenses, you’ll need to explain that too.

Choosing the right program also helps. This list will help you identify bursaries for which you might be qualified: https://www.registrar.ualberta.ca/ro.cfm?id=925 .

Respect for your school, the degree program you’ve chosen, the job for which you’re preparing, etc., also help when applying for bursaries. If you’ve always lived there you may not realize what an interesting place Edmonton is. If you wanted to go to Toronto but disqualified yourself by slacking in high school, you now have a chance to improve your academic record.

It’s nice not to sound conceited or “entitled” (“I expect to be at the head of every class”) but it’s also possible to sound excessively discouraged. Could you upgrade “won’t qualify for any ‘top student’ stuff” to “will improve my study habits”? “Have no job” to “need work experience to list on job applications”? Can you summarize in a sentence which degree program you’ve chosen and what you hope to do with your degree? This article discusses the balance that successful letters of the application need to find: http://blog.scholarshipowl.com/apply-for-scholarships/write-bursary-application-letter/ .

Bursary applications online seem to be quite fashionable in South Africa. The University of Alberta doesn’t display a standard form, although once you’re logged in to their “Bear Tracks” website as a student you may find a way to make your letter of application paperless. (It may come as bad news to South Africans that although they can fill in the blanks at the top of the application form, they still have to type in the text of a traditional letter.)

Scholarships may not be available this year. Don’t rule them out. If you focus and study consistently, you may qualify for one when you come back to school next year.

Caroline Campbell2 years ago

University bursaries are job contracts, so why don’t these students just go out and find jobs? Why are people asked to donate money to bursary funds, or (in the States) even taxed to make “federal college work-study” funding available to anyone who gets into college? (In the States the public colleges and universities say they’re open to any resident of the state who knows how to read. Actually, in the case of athletes, they seem flexible about the ability to read—they offer a remedial reading.) How difficult can it be to persuade somebody that students can be trusted to bus tables? If they take a year between high school and college, students don’t qualify for bursaries. This is as it should be if the students use that year to qualify for real jobs. Maybe a year of stocking shelves will motivate them to study more seriously and qualify for scholarships. 


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