You should apply for scholarships — even those you think you’re ineligible for

Breanna Khameraj
January 19, 2023
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

When students start regularly applying for financial aid or awards, it's important to remember being denied is the worst thing that can truly happen

It is now the time of year when many many awards and bursaries have opened up not only on AwardSpring, but outside of the university as well.

With this annual cycle open to all McMaster students, it can seem daunting or pointless to apply to all the scholarships available on your dashboard on AwardSpring.  

You may be wondering, why apply to all of these opportunities if you only really qualify for a few at the moment?  

But did you know that yearly over 10 million dollars of scholarship money goes unclaimed in Canada solely because students aren’t applying to them?  

Students should apply for all scholarships that appear within their dashboard tiles because although they may not seem eligible at the moment, their eligibility for these aids and awards can change as the semester continues.   

Students should apply for all scholarships that appear within their dashboard tiles because although they may not seem eligible at the moment, their eligibility for these aids and awards can change as the semester continues

For example, for many scholarships and bursaries, students must obtain a 9.5 seasonal GPA to qualify. However, if your fall semester GPA is below 9.5, that does not necessarily mean you cannot obtain an overall seasonal GPA of 9.5 after the winter semester. 

Waiting on your GPA to change at the end of the winter semester can often cause students to forget to apply for these aids and awards in the first place due to the fast pace environment of university.  

We get caught up with exams, assignments, and projects leading us to forget about the outstanding items we have waiting on awardspring until it is too late.  

We are sent reminders via about applying to these scholarships; however, sometimes, this is not enough to motivate us to apply to these opportunities after a semester-long of academics.  

Did you know that yearly over 10 million dollars of scholarship money goes unclaimed in Canada solely because students aren’t applying to them?  

If we do remember to complete the application forms, they often can be rushed due to the fast-approaching deadlines at the end of the semester. 

Following this cycle causes us to hinder our opportunities due to the passive nature of waiting. Yet, applying for all opportunities at the beginning of the semester, regardless if we qualify at that moment, provides students with a chance to receive financial aid. This is because they are not excluding themselves from the start when the applications are released.  

Thus, if a student’s seasonal GPA were to increase to 9.5 at the end of the winter semester, they have already applied for the aid or award with a well-thought-out application.  

This acts as a safeguard because applying for these opportunities well in advance, although not qualified at the moment, is placed first. This increases the chances of being qualified for the scholarship because you have already applied for it, decreasing stress closer to the due date. 

Although it can seem overwhelming and unreliable to apply for scholarships you may not qualify for, the benefits are unveiled in the long run.  

Applying for as many aids and awards as possible increases your chances of obtaining some financial aid through these methods.  

There is no harm in applying for everything presented to you; the worst possible outcome is being denied the scholarship or bursary you applied for. 

Author

  • Breanna Khameraj

    Breanna is in her second year of Honours Life Sciences. She is ecstatic to combine her love for science and writing by bringing a scientific perspective to the opinions section. Outside of the Silhouette, Breanna enjoys watching anime, taste-testing her sister's baked treats, and reading novels.

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