Let’s face it, the cost of doing a master’s (abroad) in a country like Canada is much, not everyone can afford it, an average skilled professional can barely afford to sponsor a master’s program in Canada.
Tuition fees are as high as $30,000 per year and they keep getting higher.
Aside from tuition fees, you have other fees like flight tickets, accommodation, and living costs to take care of.
To do your masters in Canada and not get hooked into huge loans (if you are a low income earner), you need a source of funding, which is what scholarships do – it helps you fund your academics.
There are many master’s scholarship opportunities in Canada and getting anyone will help you fund your master’s program.
These opportunities are open to both international and domestic students, if you love the idea of getting a scholarship for your master’s program in Canada, this guide will walk you through how to apply for a master’s scholarship in Canada.
Finding a scholarship that fits your needs is one thing, applying for and getting the scholarship is a different thing altogether. Do you want to know how to do it the right way, read on.
Getting a master’s scholarship in Canada.
Let me tell you one secret about applying for apply for master’s scholarship in Canada, before you apply for any scholarship, make sure you understand the kind of student the sponsors are looking for.
They may be looking for the most brilliant student out there, if you are not in this category, there is no need to apply, sometimes, the sponsors are looking for a student from a particular region or a student who is in need – for need-based scholarships.
You must match the description of the sponsors before you apply for the scholarships – indirectly, you need to understand the target of a particular scholarship opportunity before applying.
Below is what you should do.
How to apply for a master scholarship in Canada
To apply for a master’s scholarship in Canada, carry out proper research.
Research available scholarships
Start by researching for available master’s scholarship opportunities in Canada, your focus should be on scholarships that align with your academic interest.
To find scholarship opportunities, go to Google.com, and type in the search bar “masters scholarships in Canada”, this will bring numerous results.
Look at the options one after the other, and pick scholarships that are still accepting applications, you can pick as many as possible.
You can also find scholarship opportunities on scholarship boards, company websites, and university websites.
Check eligibility criteria
Now that you have a bunch of scholarships on your list, you need to check them separately and review the eligibility requirements of all the scholarship opportunities you have picked.
Make a note of their academic requirements, language proficiency (usually English or French) requirements, and any other specific condition attached to each scholarship.
As you can see, it is not enough to select any available master’s scholarships that you find online, it is important to make sure that you meet the requirements of each scholarship that you want to apply for.
Your interest is only on scholarships that are open for application and you have all the requirements. If you do not meet the requirements of any scholarship opportunity, do not pick it.
Choose your target Universities
Now that you have selected the right scholarship opportunity, it’s time to choose the right university – a university that offers your desired program.
If you noticed, some scholarships are offered by a particular institution, There are master’s scholarships in Canada that are only offered by the University of Toronto and so on.
Check if the scholarship opportunity you picked is specific to a particular university.
In addition, you also need to ensure that the university you are picking offers the program you want to study, and make sure that their programs align with your career aspirations.
Check their admission criteria, faculty, and school environment. Make a list of potential universities you’d like to apply to.
For most scholarships, you must get admission to their partner university before you will get the scholarship funds.
So far, you now have a list of scholarship opportunities you are eligible for and a list of universities that offer your intended master’s programs and are in partnership with the scholarship sponsors.
It’s time to submit your scholarship application, to do that, gather all the required documents.
Prepare required documents
Each scholarship opportunity has its unique application procedure, you must follow the guidelines as stated by the organizing body.
To apply, head to the scholarship portal, some scholarships will need you to create an account while some just want you to submit your documents together with other personal details.
Gather all the necessary documents for your scholarship application. The documents differ for each scholarship but you will commonly need the following documents.
- Your academic transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- Statement of Purpose (SOP)
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Language proficiency test scores (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL)
- Passport-sized photographs
- Proof of identity
- Proof of acceptance into a Canadian university (if available)
If you are required to create an account on the scholarship portal, create the account and make sure you keep your account details safe.
Once you are done with your account, download the application form and fill it out properly. Make sure that your documents are up to date before you start filling out the application form.
Take a language test (if applicable)
Not all scholarships require you to provide proof of language proficiency but if it’s required, take the test and make sure you achieve the minimum score specified by the scholarship providers.
It is best you plan and take the test in advance so that if you don’t meet the required score, you can retake it before the master scholarship application deadline.
Apply for admission to Canadian Universities
Before you apply for the master’s scholarship in Canada, submit applications for admission to the Canadian universities on your list.
If you check the requirements for most scholarships, you will notice that they require you to present proof of acceptance from a Canadian institution.
So, you need to get admission in a Canadian institution and obtain your acceptance letter before you will be awarded the scholarship.
Craft a Compelling Statement of Purpose (SOP)
A statement of purpose is very important in applying for any master’s scholarship in Canada, your SOP should outline your academic background, career goals, and why you deserve the scholarship.
It should be very compelling and don’t use the same SOP to apply for two different scholarships.
Do not forget to emphasize how the scholarship aligns with your aspirations.
Get Letters of recommendation from your mentors
This is easy to get but it must come from a recognized person, it can be a professor or your employer, it must be someone who can speak on your academic achievements and potential.
Complete the scholarship application form
With your SOP and letters of recommendation, your documents are complete, it’s time to fill out your scholarship application form.
Fill out the form accurately and completely. While filling it out, Pay close attention to any specific instructions on the application guideline, and make sure you follow the guidelines properly.
Once you are done, double-check your application for errors or misspellings.
Submit your application
If you are sure that your application is error-free, then attach all the required documents and submit your application. Make sure you submit it before the application deadline.
Some scholarships require you to submit your application through the provided portal, while others will require physical submission.
Follow the instructions provided by the organizers.
After submitting your application, regularly check your email, they may send you any updates. If there is any update, maybe they asked for additional information or interviews.
Make sure that you respond promptly to any requests from the scholarship organizer.
You can explore other funding options
While you are waiting for the scholarship results, you can explore other funding options such as research assistant-ships, teaching assistant-ships, or external grants to support your studies.
Aside from following the steps listed here, below are tips that you should also note when applying for a master’s scholarship in Canada.
Tips to win a masters scholarship in Canada
- Start early: Begin your scholarship search early – it will give you enough time to find the right scholarship and apply ahead of time.
- Research thoroughly: Don’t just go for popular scholarships, research thoroughly and you will be surprised to find many other scholarship opportunities that you can apply for.
- Choose the right master’s program: Carefully select the right master’s program, the one that aligns with your career goals.
- Keep a great academic record: A good academic record is proof that you deserve a scholarship, and most scholarships consider your academic record.
- You need a great SOP: Your SOP is a crucial component of your master’s scholarship application. Write an SOP that articulates your academic and career goals. In addition, show how the scholarship will contribute to your aspirations.
- Letter of recommendation is also important: Most scholarship opportunities require you to submit a letter of recommendation. Ensure that your letter is coming from a recognized person such as a professor.
In addition to the above tips, make sure you follow instructions during the scholarship application process. Failure to comply with application guidelines will jeopardize your chances.
There are numerous master’s scholarship opportunities in Canada and getting one isn’t as hard as it seems, you will stand a good chance if you submit a great application.
Good luck with your application.