Finding Money to Pay for University or College Print
Student Services - Bursary Scholarship and Student Aid
Many organizations give money to students who are going on to college or university. Such money goes by many names: scholarship, bursary, award, prize and so on. This type of money does not have to be paid back.


To access this free money, students generally have to meet certain criteria. This may mean certain marks, it may be based on a certain income, extra-curricular activities or many other factors.

For example, the Manitoba Government Employees Union gives away a number of awards. For one award, you must be either an active MGEU member or the spouse or child of a member. You must apply for the money by filling out a form about your finances and then you must write a 500-750 word essay about the Labour Movement. The award in this case is $1000.

Many employers have awards programs for employees and their family members. Check with your employer’s human resource department or on the company website.

Another example: The University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg award Entrance Scholarships to students whose average is above a certain percent. The higher the average, the more money you get, anywhere from $800 to $2,000. In this case, you don’t have to do anything. When you apply for the university admission, they automatically look at your average and if you have the average needed, they give you the money.

Most post-secondary schools have a Financial Awards page on their website.

Searching for money can be like a part time job. It takes time and effort to go to the web sites, determine if you match the criteria and fill out the forms or write the essays. But remember, often this money sits because no one applies for it.

I heard of a student in his grade 12 year who decided that every Saturday morning he would spend 2 hours looking for money to pay for his university tuition. His older brother told me that he faithfully searched the Internet for money, filled out forms, got reference letters, wrote essays and in the summer before university checks started arriving. $200 here, $300 there – it all added up and he paid most of his first year tuition in this way.

See “Websites offering Scholarships…” in this section of the website for places to look for money.

How To

Getting a scholarship or bursary requires time and effort.

  1. Find out who is giving away money. Searching on line is a good bet. Most post-secondary institutions across Canada have financial awards departments and you can find this information on their web sites. Scholarship search engines and on-line resources such as,, and are great starting points.
  1. On our website we have a list of websites that you can go to, to see what kind of award is being given away.
  1. Check the criteria to see if you qualify for the award. Most award givers have a variety of criteria that you must meet in order to be considered for the award. If you meet almost all the criteria, it is sometimes good to apply anyway. Many award givers have lots of money and few applicants.
  1. Do what they say to apply for the award. Often you are asked to write an essay, describe your volunteer work, get reference letters.
  1. Meet the deadlines. If there is a deadline, make sure your application is on time, or better yet, early.

So get busy! And if you are awarded money, let us know – we like to know about our students’ successes.

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 November 2016 04:41 )