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Graduate with diploma

Scholarships Help Support Post-Secondary Dreams

Damian’s family values education, but has little in the way of funds to contribute to his dream of attending university. Earnings from his cashier’s job are going toward Damian’s school fund, but he’s worried he won’t have enough to start school this fall.

Even with the income from part-time and summer jobs, or help from parents, graduates like Damian count on the generosity of scholarship donors to help them achieve their post-secondary dreams.

Yet surprisingly, many HDSB grads don’t apply for this free money.

How do scholarships benefit students?

There are plenty of ways students benefit from scholarships.

Equity. In addition to student loans, financial awards play a critical role in ensuring all students have the opportunity to pursue the education or training they need.

Focus. More than half of Canadian college and university students work one or more jobs over the course of their school years to pay for classes, books and lodging — a juggling act that can greatly affect academic performance.

Recognition. Awards provide valuable acknowledgement of everything from a student’s academic performance to community contributions or even character traits. Recognition from a complete stranger can provide students with critical motivation and encouragement to pursue their chosen path.

Why don’t more kids apply for scholarships?

Scholarships are often misunderstood. Some students believe that scholarships are only based on financial need or strong academics, that they have to be heading to university to qualify, or that the process is too time consuming.

However, eligibility requirements for scholarships from HLF donors vary greatly, recognizing things as diverse as leadership skills, environmental initiative, community involvement, perseverance and even kindness! There are awards for students heading off to college or university, as well as awards that help students entering trades or even going directly into the workforce.

By investing a bit of time to pull together some reference letters, a transcript, a resume, and perhaps pen a short essay about yourself and your goals, students could potentially earn hundreds or even tens of thousands of dollars to help support their post-secondary journey … wherever it may lead!

To register and apply for HLF scholarships online, visit

Sherri Armstrong is the communications manager at the Halton Learning Foundation.