Humanities and Liberal Arts Scholarship Guide

Need money for school? Most universities, colleges and schools offer an array of student scholarships and bursaries for studies in humanities and liberal arts. Awards typically range in value from $250 - $5,000, but may go as high as $16,000 over the course of the four-year degree. These awards are often renewable and are based on portfolio assessment, outstanding academic achievement, or a combination of these with leadership qualities. As well, students in humanities and liberal arts programs may be eligible for bursaries, which typically are based on financial need. Government student loans and grants and commercial bank loans may also be available, and work-study programs (involving part-time work for full-time students on campus) are another source of money for school.

Student Scholarships and Student Bursaries
Entrance scholarships--for high school students or students from other post-secondary institutions--are typically awarded to outstanding new students. These scholarships may cover tuition and residence costs. In some cases, no application is required as students are automatically considered when they apply to a given institution. Bursaries are also available and are more typically based on a combination of academic achievement and financial need and/or achievement in other areas such as leadership and community service. These awards may be offered by high schools, university and college departments, professional organizations, local businesses and national chains, and charitable foundations, and they may be available on a non-renewable or renewable basis. Universities, community colleges and career colleges with internal scholarships and bursaries may encourage early application in order to qualify for these awards and financial assistance.

· Start your search by talking to your high school career counsellor to learn what kinds of scholarships and bursaries are available for your particular humanities or liberal arts interest. Often high schools will offer awards to the best students or those most involved in club activities, such as clubs dealing with peace studies, environmentalism, languages, political issues, etc.

· Most universities, colleges, schools and program departments offer entrance awards either directly or through benefactors and foundations that support them. You can 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 humanities and liberal arts, and some may require that you be nominated by someone at your high school.

· Many local businesses and national chains--and don't forget your parents' employers!--will offer some kind of funding, either in the form of scholarships or bursaries. These businesses offer awards as a way of showing their support for the local community, so don't overlook this opportunity.

· And don't forget community groups in your home-town, county or region that are involved in the business of supporting students (e.g., the Chamber of Commerce, Business Development Association, Masons, Scouts Canada, etc.).

· Many professional organizations and research institutes will provide scholarships as a way of promoting their profession and ensuring the development of future professionals and thinkers. These could include the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and more.

· And finally, there are a variety of charitable organizations, from local to national, that provide literally millions of dollars of awards to post-secondary students.

Student Loans and Grants
Student loans and grants are other types of financial aid available to both students and parents. Often payments do not begin until the student finishes the program, and the interest rate is commonly lower than for other types of loans. For students with no established credit record, it is usually easier to get student loans than other kinds of loans. You can obtain information on the Canada Student Loans Program from your high school career counsellor or the university's or college's student services or financial aid department. As well, each province has a program that offers financial assistance to students. Additionally, university financial aid, which can include tuition grants, materials grants, work study or emergency assistance, might also be available.

Check out CampusStarter's database of Canadian Humanities and Liberal Arts Schools and Programs