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To find scholarships, think of your affiliations

One of the best ways to find scholarships is for both students and parents to think of your affiliations, or connections.

In other words, what am I connected to, and would any of my connections offer a scholarship?

Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • Your job – many employers offer scholarships. Some might be for direct employees and others might be for extended family members, so check for employers of the student, parent, grandparent, uncles, aunts, etc. Employer scholarships are one of your best bets because they have a restricted, and therefore smaller, applicant pool.

  • Your union affiliation

  • Your bank or credit union

  • Your insurance company

  • Your volunteer or service connections

  • Your heritage – some cultural organizations offer scholarships

  • Your church

  • Your gender or identity, for example there are scholarships for females only and for LGBTQ+ students

  • A medical condition, for example there are scholarships for students with diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome

  • A disability, for example there are scholarships for hearing impaired students and students with ADHD

  • Your professional associations

  • A professional association of the major you’re applying to, e.g., nurse’s association, engineering association

  • Your school and school district – I’m surprised by how many students don’t check regularly with their high school and their school district for scholarships. Some schools and school districts have substantial awards.

Many of these affiliation/connection scholarships are great bets because they tend to have smaller applicant pools.

So, think of your affiliations and start to make some inquiries.

You can also do Google searches using formulas such as:

Affiliation + scholarship + town or city

Affiliation + scholarship + Canada

And, because scholarships are offered at different points in the year, remember to check regularly. I suggest you schedule 30 minutes every two weeks to search for scholarships in grade 12.

Want to learn more about how I can help you win scholarships? Please visit my services page.

Good luck!

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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