RELIGIOUS AND THEOLOGICAL STUDIES SCHOLARSHIP GUIDE
Most universities and colleges in Canada--whether specifically Christian or not--offer student scholarships and bursaries for bursaries for international students applying to religious and theological studies programs. Scholarships typically range in value from $250 - $5,000, may be renewable and are based on outstanding academic achievement, or a combination of outstanding academic achievement and leadership qualities. Bursaries, however, are based on financial need. Work-study programs (involving part-time work on campus for full-time students) may be another source of money for school.
Each of the above financial aid categories can come from internal or external sources. These awards may be offered internally by the university or college, or they may be external, i.e. from high schools, local businesses and national chains, or charitable foundations.
Universities and colleges offering religious and theological studies often receive gifts and donations from benefactors, which allow the schools to offer internal scholarships, bursaries and sometimes even individual bridging loans. Entrance scholarships--for high school students or students from other post-secondary institutions--may be designated as either specifically for new students, transfer students, international students or students from specific cultural groups. Other awards may be available for specific programs or interests (such as athletics, leadership) or based on Christian life and service (for example church service merit awards or church matching grants). In some cases, no application is required as all applicants, including international students, are automatically considered when they apply to a given institution; others must be applied for and have requirements such as a student essay and specific application deadlines. Online application forms may be available on a school's website. Each university and college generally develops their own guidelines for eligibility and award amounts, so international students should consult the guidelines for each scholarship, bursary or loan in order to understand the eligibility criteria. These awards are not cash handouts: rather, they are applied to your account towards the cost of tuition and/or residence, textbooks and other supplies. The Canadian Government also provides both merit-based scholarships and need-based bursaries to individuals and students, and international students may be eligible for some of these awards.
Researching Scholarships, Bursaries and Loans:
Start your search by talking to your high school career counsellor to learn what kinds of scholarships and bursaries may be available from your home country. Often high schools will offer awards to the best students or those most involved in club activities, such as various church or choir groups.
Most universities and colleges offer entrance awards either directly or through benefactors and foundations that support them. International students should contact an admissions advisor at the school or program department itself or look on the institution's website to identify the awards that are offered. Some scholarships and bursaries are program-specific and are limited to applicants to particular majors, diplomas or certificates within the field of religious and theological studies.
Many local businesses and national chains offer some kind of funding, either in the form of scholarships or bursaries, and international students may be eligible for some of these awards as well.
And don't forget community groups in your home-town, country or in Canada that are involved in the business of supporting students and religious study (for example, Girl Guides, Catholic Women's League ).
Finally, there are a variety of charitable organizations, both in canada and internationallyl, that provide literally millions of dollars of awards to post-secondary students.
For more general information on international student scholarships and financial aid, check out the articles on international student scholarships under each school type.
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