Report on Scholarships in Canada 2024

From ScholarshipsCanada.com March 2024
Pie Chart

We took a look into our ScholarshipsCanada.com database, which lists over 115,000 awards amassing more than $331 million in financial aid for students (a 32% increase from 2022). So, we’ve compiled a list of the most important scholarship eligibility factors to give you a better understanding of the ScholarshipsCanada database.

The average scholarship value was $2,869 (up $201 from 2022), while the median scholarship value was $2,800 (up $943 from 2022).

The data provided below is based on the number of scholarships, not the value.

Here are some highlights:

  • With more than 115,000 scholarships in 2024, the database has grown by 24% since 2022
  • 50% of scholarships do not require a specific field of study — down from 54% in 2022
  • There are more scholarships available for students in first year: up 8 percentage points from 2022
  • February, March, and April are now the most popular months for scholarship deadlines (compared to January and October in 2022)
  • Scholarships have increased for students in Health and Medical and Computer Studies and Math, among some others
  • Scholarships that require financial need are up 8 percentage points from 2022
  • Scholarships designated for females are up, and academic average is less important

Scholarships by Field of Study

In 2024, 50% of scholarships do not require a specific field of study — down 4 percentage points from 54% in 2022. The remainder break down across 16 categories. Of note, Health and Medical, Computer Studies and Math, Communications, Research Sciences, Trades and Apprenticeships, and Natural Resources and Environment awards are all up over 2022.

  • Medical and Health 25.0% 25.0%
  • Humanities and Languages 13.5% 13.5%
  • Business Administration 10.0% 10.0%
  • Engineering 8.9% 8.9%
  • Computer Studies and Math 7.7% 7.7%
  • Community Services 7.1% 7.1%
  • Natural Resources and Environment 6.7% 6.7%
  • Trades and Apprenticeships 5.2% 5.2%
  • Arts – Creative 5.0% 5.0%
  • Law 4.3% 4.3%
  • Communications 2.4% 2.4%
  • Research Sciences 2.2% 2.2%
  • Arts – Performing 1.0% 1.0%
  • Hospitality Industry 0.6% 0.6%
  • Business Marketing and Sales 0.3% 0.3%
  • Recreation 0.2% 0.2%

Scholarships by Level of Study

Results are almost identical to 2022. Most scholarships are geared towards students pursuing a Bachelor degree, with the least amount of awards available for students pursuing a post-diploma or high school diploma.

  • Bachelor 55.9% 55.9%
  • Diploma 14.8% 14.8%
  • Certificate 8.0% 8.0%
  • Master 7.4% 7.4%
  • Doctorate 6.6% 6.6%
  • Associate 6.6% 6.6%
  • Post-diploma 3.6% 3.6%
  • High School Diploma 0.6% 0.6%

Scholarships by Gender

Similar to the 2022 results, in 2024, the vast majority of awards are applicable to any gender. Of note, scholarships designated for females have increased from 2.3% to 3.3% in 2024.

  • Any 96.4% 96.4%
  • Female 3.3% 3.3%
  • Male 0.6% 0.6%

Scholarships by Provider

82% of scholarships are provided by a university or college. Of the remaining 18%, governments are the top provider.

  • Government 34.5% 34.5%
  • Company 26.1% 26.1%
  • Foundation 21.1% 21.1%
  • Association 15.0% 15.0%
  • Union 4.3% 4.3%

Scholarships by Academic Average

Contrary to popular belief, most scholarships don’t require an academic average. In 2024, the number of scholarships that don’t require an academic average has increased to 87.1% from 78.6% in 2022.

  • No average required 87.1% 87.1%
  • 80% and above 5.5% 5.5%
  • Below 80% 7.4% 7.4%

Scholarships by Heritage

While there is a growing amount of scholarships for visible minorities, the vast majority of scholarships (96%) still do not specify a heritage. Here are the top 6 of 28 heritage designations.

  • Indigenous 75.6% 75.6%
  • Black 10.8% 10.8%
  • Any visible minority 6.2% 6.2%
  • French 1.6% 1.6%
  • Muslim/Islamic 1.6% 1.6%
  • Asian 1.1% 1.1%

Scholarships by Deadline Month

Of the scholarships with a listed deadline, the late winter / spring months (February to April) have become the most popular — compared to 2022. 

  • January 10.1% 10.1%
  • February 15.9% 15.9%
  • March 16.2% 16.2%
  • April 16.4% 16.4%
  • May 7.2% 7.2%
  • June 4.2% 4.2%
  • July 2.5% 2.5%
  • August 1.1% 1.1%
  • September 3.8% 3.8%
  • October 15.6% 15.6%
  • November 4.2% 4.2%
  • December 2.8% 2.8%

Scholarships by Year of Study

The majority of scholarships are available to students in any year of study, with second place going to students entering or in first year. Scholarships for students entering or in first year is up to 29% from 21.4% in 2022.

  • All years 46.3% 46.3%
  • Entering or in first year 29.0% 29.0%
  • Entering or in second year 14.1% 14.1%
  • Entering or in third year 5.0% 5.0%
  • Entering or in final year 2.3% 2.3%
  • Upon graduation 1.2% 1.2%

Top 15 Scholarships by Personal Circumstances

While the vast majority of scholarships (96%) don’t ask about personal circumstances, general disability, parent, and mature student are the most common categories.

Personal Circumstance
General Disability
Parent
Mature Student
Single Parent
Personal Challenges
Refugee
Foster Child
2SLGBTQ+
Developmental/Learning Disability
Physical Disability
Vision Impaired
Deaf or Hard-of-hearing
Mobility Impairments
Mental Health Issues
Loss of Parent or Guardian
Cerebral Palsy
Cancer
Autism Spectrum
Hydrocephalus

Top 15 Activities

Activities can be an important part of a scholarship application, with 24% of awards requiring involvement in a particular activity (this is 2 percentage points higher from 2022). The order is virtually the same, with academic excellence number one, and community service coming in a close second place.

Activities
Academic Excellence
School or Community Service
Leadership
Extracurricular Activities
Athletics
Exchange Program
Work/Research Experience
Volunteer
Hockey
Football
Basketball
Arts
Religious Activities
Soccer
Entrepreneurship

Scholarships by Automatic Consideration

Unsurprisingly, most awards require an application, but 19% of awards do not (down 9 percentage points from 2022). 

  • Application required 81.0% 81.0%
  • Automatic consideration 19.0% 19.0%

Renewable Scholarships

Most awards in the database are not renewable, meaning they are a one-time source of funds. Renewable scholarships continue to provide funding in upcoming years so long as a student continues to qualify. While renewable scholarships are a small percentage to the total, they did increase from 5.0% in 2022 to 6.3% in 2024. Great news for time-restricted students!

  • Not renewable 93.7% 93.7%
  • Renewable 6.3% 6.3%

Scholarships by Financial Need

Just over half of awards in the database aren’t concerned with a student’s financial need, while the remaining are. Scholarships that require financial need are up 8 percentage points from 2022. Financial need is often gauged by a student’s eligibility for provincial student aid, or through a student-submitted household budget. 

  • No financial need 57.5% 57.5%
  • In financial need 42.5% 42.5%

Full-time or Part-time Scholarships

In 2024, more scholarships are open to both full-time or part-time students, up 6 percentage points from 2022.

  • Full-time 44.5% 44.5%
  • Full-time or part-time 54.3% 54.3%
  • Part-time 1.2% 1.2%

Conclusion

Going forward, we expect to continue seeing more scholarships and bursaries for tradespeople and apprentices, and more support for students of colour. We expect to see awards focused on criteria other than grades, with community service and volunteering as key pillars for eligibility.

With the growth in awards for first-year students, we hope to see more support for upper-years, as well as graduate students. Ideally, this would include a wider range of renewable awards. We may also see continued movement towards funding shorter-term programs, including flexible, part-time programs, and funding to support students’ rising cost of living.

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