Introduction to Scholarships

How to fund your post-secondary education can be a daunting prospect.  On these pages, the District School Board of Niagara offers some tips, resources and supports to assist you with this task.   Our Guidance staff will be happy to help you however the onus of work falls on you, the student, to do your research, organize your applications and keep up to date with changing criteria and deadlines.

Students can access funding for post-secondary through scholarships, grants, bursaries, loans and personal savings.  Scholarships, grants and bursaries are one of the many ways that students can fund a post-secondary education in a way that does not have to be repaid provided you stay in your program. Loans such as OSAP loans can fund and support your education but will need to be repaid once your certificate or degree is completed.

Most people feel that scholarships are awarded for those students with the highest marks however there are many which are granted for other reasons.  Community involvement, extra-curriculars, sporting, or art contributions, family background, and part time employment all come into play when looking for scholarships.  Applying for scholarships is a large task and should be started early in your secondary career.  Following some of the guidelines listed below will assist you in finding financial support.

Record of Accomplishment and Involvement:

Begin by developing a record of your academic and personal involvement – keep track of awards, certificates and accomplishments.  Tracking your community involvement opportunities through Hour Republic is one way to ensure that you have a record of your commitments.  Keep an up to date resume that includes your part time employment.

Register with a scholarship website:

Sign up with a website which assists in matching your profile with scholarships.

Research, research, research:

Research scholarships at the school, DSBN, local, provincial and national levels.  Post-secondary institutions offer scholarships as well which you will need to review.  

School specific scholarships:  These are granted at your school’s graduation and are likely donated by a community member or organization.

DSBN specific scholarships: The DSBN community has some generous donors who support DSBN wide scholarships.  Your Guidance office will have information on how to access these – many have one candidate per school.

Local scholarships:  Many Niagara businesses, community partners and organizations offer scholarships which you apply to directly.  Some of these are competitions such as essay or public speaking competitions which offer financial awards.

Provincial and National Awards:  There are numerous provincial and national awards which are offered.

Post-secondary Scholarships:  Most post-secondary institutions offer entry and subject/program specific scholarships.  Check with your post-secondary institution to see how and when to apply for these.   


Applying for numerous scholarships takes time to be done well.  Be certain to consider how long it takes to get letters of reference and to mail packages.  Carefully look at details regarding whether the application needs to be at a destination by a due date or post marked by a certain due date.  


Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information regarding scholarships on this website.  It is the responsibility of the student to do research early in order to note deadline changes, revisions to criteria, and so on. Contacting the sponsor directly for the most up-to-date information is recommended.