Scholarships not being used, group says
By Charlotte Anketell
Post-secondary students in Canada pay a pretty penny for their education, but many scholarships are unclaimed, sources told Humber News on Thursday.
Rob Henderson, whose company Student Awards Inc. helps link students to available money, says scholarships just aren’t very well marketed.
“Finding them is difficult, unless they’ve done some sort of outreach, but a lot of scholarships programs don’t necessarily have marketing budgets tied to them,” said Henderson.
On Tuesday, CBCNews said there are 77,744 awards worth over $100 million listed each year in Canada and that an estimated $3 million of that is unclaimed.
Artenis Shero, 20, a civil engineering technician student at Humber College’s North campus said he received a scholarship out of high school to put towards his post secondary education.
Shero said the money was a huge help in starting his first year at Humber.
“It paid for my books, my supplies and getting myself started in freshman year,” said Shero.
Shero tells Humber News that finding a scholarship is often very difficult.
Henderson agreed, saying students often hear about scholarships but can’t locate them.
“I don’t think it’s a lack of effort. I think it’s a lack of accessibility and means of finding the right scholarship,” he said.
Henderson says there are two myths with scholarships that need to be broken down.
“One is that scholarships only happen when you enter from high school to post secondary. That’s not true, there is actually scholarships for all years, all ages, all walks of life, said Henderson. “Of the $82 million in scholarships on our website, over half of them aren’t grade based.”
Some advice Henderson offers a student applying for scholarships is to simply use all the resources provided.
“Scholarships aren’t just for A plus students, they aren’t just for people in need of financial aid, they are not just for athletes. There really is money out there for anyone. It’s just a matter of matching people into it,” Henderson said.
He also advised students to check with their parents’ employers to find out if the company has an employee incentive scholarship program.
“Keep looking. Another myth is that scholarship and financial giveaways only happen at the start of the school year. It’s a 12 month of the year process; the search doesn’t stop in September,” Henderson says.
“The best way to market to youth is to actually help them, through scholarships and financial resources,” Henderson says.