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Why you shouldn't hire me to find scholarships for you

Finding scholarships for university can sometimes be difficult. Occasionally, people ask me to find scholarships for them.

For example:

When I tell them I charge for this service, and then I tell them how much I would need to charge them to do it (see below), they are flabbergasted.

But here’s the thing:

If it were so easy to do, they could do it themselves,

and they wouldn’t need help.

So why are they surprised when I tell them I charge for this service—and heftily I might add (again, see below for the reason why).

I started my business because as a university Admissions Officer, I saw first-hand the opportunities students were missing with scholarships. I talked with so many students who could have funded their university—either partially or even fully!—with scholarships if they had only known how (and when) to find them, and how best to apply for them. It broke my heart and I wanted to do all I can to help more students win scholarships.

As much as I want to help students find scholarships, I am running a business and my expert advice, and my time, comes at a price.

I’ll use a “real life” example, in costs, to explain this further.

Here’s why you shouldn't pay me to find scholarships for you:

a) I charge approximately $200 per hour.

This cost is based on knowledge I’ve built from 20 years of experience working in universities and with clients, and more than 100 hours of self-study and staying informed on the topic. I've been in the room when scholarship committees were discussing applicants, and I've interviewed scholarship readers, and I know what they look for. It’s also based on the value I bring to my clients, helping them to win money, and to save money (as well as time, and stress). And, of course, it costs money to operate a business, such as the cost of business services and tools. For example, it costs me about $40 per month to pay for my website so I can post this blog you're reading right now.

So, for the purpose of this example, let’s say I charge $100 per hour.

b) It's not a one time thing.

While the majority of scholarships are offered between December and May, scholarships are offered 12 months out of the year, so students/parents should be looking every month of the Grade 12 year.

To hire me to find scholarships for you, say, for an hour at one time during the year would be like hiring a real estate agent to find your dream home only one day out of the year. It doesn't take into account the homes that are on the market at other times of the year.

For the purpose of this example, let’s say I’m hired to search from December to May (6 months).

c) It takes time.

Even with the extensive knowledge I have of where, when, and how to find scholarships, it still takes time to look in all of the places where they are – to scan various websites, call organizations, do Google searches, etc. Search engines are great, but they only go so far -- there are a lot of other scholarships available that are not listed on search engines. Plus it takes time to read the requirements to ensure you qualify.

In my guide, How to Find and Win Scholarships, I suggest parents and students each schedule scholarship searches for 30 minutes, once every 2 weeks between September and November. I suggest they each search for 30 minutes every week between December and May.

For the purpose of this example, let’s say I’m hired to search 30 minutes every week from December to May.

d) Next, I need to know all about you.

Then, if I’m looking on behalf of someone, I have to know all of the details of who they are – their interests, their universities choices, their program choices, their grades, their cultural background, their religion, their history of activities and experiences, etc. That requires an in depth interview, or time for me to create a form (then email it to you, wait for you to fill it out, then review it).

For the purpose of this example, let’s say I do a one hour, in depth interview to collect all of the information I’ll need to do an appropriate search.

Here's the math, based on examples from above:

So let’s say someone wants to hire me to find some scholarships for them. I’d say, “Great! Here’s what it will cost you.”

Interview to gather information – 1 hour x $100.00 $100.00

Searching time - 30 minutes X 4 weeks x 6 months = 12 hours x $100.00 $1200.00

The cost of me searching for scholarships for you is $1300.00.

If anyone would like to hire me at that price, please let me know!

What you should do instead

In addition to the cost it would take to hire someone to do it for you, of course the main reason you should learn how to find scholarships is so you can do for yourself from now on.

Scholarships are offered throughout post-secondary as well, so what you learn now can be used over and over again for many years to come. It's the "teach a man to fish" concept.

So, for a much less expensive option, you can do it yourself using my step-by-step guide How to Find and Win Scholarships.

The information in this guide is for Canadian students and parents searching for university entrance scholarships to Canadian universities.

What makes this information different is that I tell you not just where to look for scholarships, but also how and when to look for them. Most of the information you find for free online only tells you where to look. Knowing where to look is just the first step; knowing how and when to look is just as important.

This guide provides you with practical steps to find scholarships in a strategic and organized way. It offers tips on finding scholarships offered by both universities, and organizations other than universities, such as community groups, employers, foundations, etc.

It’s all the stuff I would do for $1300, but it’s only $44.95!

You get all my knowledge in 50 pages of instructions so you know exactly where, when, and how to find scholarships. Plus, you'll get lots of information on how to write your best applications, a couple of templates and some sample essays too.

Here’s what it looks like:

It’s a comprehensive and the only guide of its kind in Canada.

You can get it now on my website:

Best wishes for finding scholarships!

About the author

Janet MacDonald is a Scholarship Coach with mycampusGPS Education Consulting. She is a former Canadian university admissions officer. For seven years, she was the coordinator of a scholarship program at a major Canadian university. Janet has helped her student clients win hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships.

You can find her online at, and on LinkedIn.

Learn more about Janet MacDonald by visiting the About Page.

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