Scholarship Application Survey

Student Insights 2024
Pie Chart

In this student survey, we are exploring student preferences are when it comes to applying for scholarships. We gathered insights from over 2,100 students, parents, counsellors, and young professionals.

Here are some highlights:

  • 78% of respondents indicated a preference for a session-based application where they have the option to log in and out of the scholarship application so it can be completed over more than one session (rather than having to complete the application in one go)
  • 70% of respondents indicated that Scholarships & Bursaries were the top source of funds used to pay for their post-secondary education
  • Writing essays, eligibility criteria, and the uncertainty of winning top the list of “scholarship application fears”
  • 54% of respondents either do not have or are unsure if they have a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Additionally, 60% are not familar with the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) and its benefits
  • 100% of survey respondents live in Canada

The Results

What describes you best?

The majority of respondents were students, followed by parents

  • Student 80.6% 80.6%
  • Parent 13.0% 13.0%
  • Other 6.4% 6.4%

What province are you from?

People from across Canada are represented, but the majority of individuals live in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.

The survey respondents included individuals from every Canadian province and territory.

  • Ontario 46.7% 46.7%
  • Alberta 17.4% 17.4%
  • British Columbia 15.6% 15.6%
  • Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador 9.2% 9.2%
  • Manitoba 4.5% 4.5%
  • Saskatchewan 4.1% 4.1%
  • Quebec 2.0% 2.0%
  • Nunavut, Yukon, and Northwest Territories 0.5% 0.5%

How do you plan to pay/are paying for post-secondary education?

Scholarships & Bursaries, Part-Time Jobs, and Federal/Provincial Student Loans were the top 3 sources of funds used to pay for post-secondary education.

  • Scholarships & Bursaries 69.8% 69.8%
  • Parents 68.1% 68.1%
  • Federal/Provincial Student Loans 48.8% 48.8%
  • Family Savings 43.5% 43.5%
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) 41.5% 41.5%
  • Line of Credit 12.0% 12.0%
  • Other 5.8% 5.8%

How much effort are you willing to put into a scholarship application for a $10,000 award? (Providing transcripts, cover letters, essays, references, resumé, etc.)

53% of students are willing to put in a minimum of 3 hours of effort into a scholarship application, and 28% are willing to put in 3-5+ hours.

  • 1-3 Hours 37.6% 37.6%
  • 5+ Hours 28.1% 28.1%
  • 3-5 Hours 23.6% 23.6%
  • Under 1 Hour 10.7% 10.7%

What aspects of the scholarship application process do you find most intimidating?

Writing essays, the uncertainty of winning, and meeting the eligibility criteria of scholarships are the top 3 most intimidating aspects of a scholarship application process.

By removing obstacles, and promoting clear instructions, scholarship programs can see improved success in the rate of overall application completes.

  • Writing Essays 54.3% 54.3%
  • Uncertainty of Winning 49.9% 49.9%
  • Meeting Eligibility Criteria 49.3% 49.3%
  • Too Many Requirements 47.1% 47.1%
  • Unclear Instructions 41.8% 41.8%
  • Time Commitment 36.8% 36.8%
  • Gathering Documentation 33.8% 33.8%
  • Other 3.1% 3.1%

What is your preference for submitting a scholarship application?

78% prefer to have the accessibility to log in and out of the scholarship application over a period, rather than having a single attempt to submit.

  • I’d appreciate the accessibility to log in and out over a period of time 78.3% 78.3%
  • I only need one session as I prefer to submit all documents at once 21.7% 21.7%

Do you already have a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)?

The majority of respondents (54%) either don’t have an RESP or are aren’t sure if they do.

  • Yes 45.8% 45.8%
  • No 40.5% 40.5%
  • Not Sure 13.7% 13.7%

Are you aware of the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), a $500-$2,000 grant the government of Canada may contribute to your RESP?

Many eligible families may not be aware of government grants available to them for education savings.

  • Yes 24.2% 24.2%
  • No 70.8% 70.8%

Next Steps

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