& Financial Aid in Canada
financial assistance is available for international students coming from abroad. However, some schools
may offer scholarships (based on academic merit) specifically for foreign students. It is
best to ask the student advisor at your school to see what is available. However, keep in
mind that many people apply for these awards, and scholarships do not cover the entire
cost of study.
Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan enables Commonwealth students of high
intellectual promise to pursue studies in Commonwealth countries. Awards comprise of
travel, a living allowance, and all compulsory tuition fees.
Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute
Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute offers a number of fellowships at various levels from
graduate to post-doctorate and from research and training fellowships to lectureships.
Ontario Graduate Scholarship Programme
Ontario Graduate Scholarship Programme scholarships are available to graduate students in
a wide variety of disciplines. Students must have been accepted to a Ontario university,
and obtained a valid student authorization. Social Science and Humanities Research Council
is Canada's funding agency for university based research and graduate training in social
sciences and humanities which embrace a wide range of disciplines and fields of
National Science and Engineering Research Council is a national instrument for making
strategic investments in Canada's capability in science and technology. NSERC supports
both basic university research through research grants and project research via
partnerships of universities and industry.
National Research Council of Canada
National Research Council of Canada Research Associateships are offered to masters degree
holders in engineering, and Ph.D. holders in natural science or engineering disciplines.
Quebec Provincial Government Scholarships
Quebec Provincial Government Scholarships are available to those studying in
Quebec.Teaching/ Research Assistantships are assessed in the general application.Financial
assistance is frequently available to students studying at the masters level and above,
the amount of funding is likely to increase with the level of study. Full funding, tuition
and expenses, is more common at higher levels of studies, however, each application is
assessed individually on the basis of merit.
Students at the graduate level may qualify for teaching and research assistantships based
on their academic abilities. Applications for this type of assistance are made through the
university's financial aid office.
Types of Assistance
Merit based assistance is awarded in many forms, from tuition waivers, various types of
assistantships, to fellowships. The most common are listed here :
Tuition Waiver :
This means that the student does not have to pay the tuition fees at the university.
However, general fees (for the use of university facilities like the library, computers,
and sports and health services) usually have to be borne by the student. A tuition waiver
is frequently awarded in conjunction with a scholarship or teaching/research
Scholarship / Fellowship
: This is usually an outright grant based on the students academic ability
and performance. Hence, Only a truly outstanding student may be considered for this type
of award, before enrolling at the university. A full scholarship would pay for a
students entire living expenses at that university, whereas a partial scholarship
would require additional funds from the student.
Most students who receive assistance do so in the form of an assistantship, i.e. is
usually a cash stipend, sufficient for their living expenses, and/or tuition waiver, in
return for which they have to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week which normally
consists of teaching and research activities. These are usually for graduate courses.
Teaching assistantships are more likely to be in universities, which have large
undergraduate classes whereas research assistantships tend to be more common in those
fields and universities in which considerable research is going on. Information brochures
of most universities give this information. Often, teaching and research abilities must be
proved before assistantship is granted. Hence, many universities grant this only after the
first semester. You may also be required to take TSE (Test of Spoken English) to qualify
for a teaching assistantship.
|Who Should Apply?
Students will have a greater chance of getting financial aid if they :
Show evidence of a high level of
Achieve high Standardized
Examination scores (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL etc.)
Demonstrate financial need but
have private funding to cover some of the cost. Financial need is not crucial for some
Enroll in a field or have
teaching experience in a subject offered at the undergraduate level (to increase
opportunities for a teaching assistantship)
Specialize in a field or have a
research interest which parallels that of the department and faculty or private funding
source (which increases opportunities for research assistantships and grants)
Have outstanding letter of
recommendation and an impressive statement of purpose.
Send a sample of professional
writing, published or otherwise.
IMPORTANCE OF NETWORKING IN FINANCIAL AID
Many graduate departments at universities offer teaching assistantships or research
assistantships to their graduate students (students pursuing a master's or doctoral degree
particularly in engineering). Assistantships usually involve a tuition award and some sort
of salary in return for teaching or research duties. Every school has a limited number of
openings for assistantships based on the amount of funding allocated. As a result,
such scholarships are merit-based, meaning they are competitive, based on your
academic performance to date.
Individual departments at the university generally control funds. It always helps to
write directly to the department to inquire about available funding. Students who
are research oriented or have published papers in a particular field should contact
professors interested in that field. By contacting professors in advance and
building a relationship, you can greatly enhance your chance of getting aid.
Unfortunately, there are many deserving students who do not get aid along with the
admission. If you are one of them and plan on joining anyway, we strongly recommend
you arrive a few days prior to the registration time. This will give you an
opportunity to personally talk with the professors and sell your skills. Professors
usually have funding available for various projects and you may be able to find something
that matches your skill set. We also strongly recommend that you dont restrict
yourself to your particular department. There are several opportunities in other
departments particularly for students with strong computer skills. You have to be
aggressive and persistent in your approach. Although there is no guarantee that you
will get financial aid, it is well worth the try. Always remember, if you dont
ask, you dont get.