Guaranteed entrance scholarships are an excellent way to for students to find funding for school as they leave their post secondary institution and apply for college. These programs are exceptionally common in Canada and are often available at the provincial level through individual colleges or universities. The basic idea behind guaranteed entrance scholarships is that students who are preparing to graduate successfully from Grade 12 and enroll in a university will have access immediately to funding when they start school. They are largely competitive scholarships designed to award those students who are not only scoring well in school but have shown an increasing grasp of academic subjects over time.
As a merit based award, those students who are performing well in school have a much better chance at receiving an award through a guaranteed entrance scholarship than those who are performing at or below average, so anybody who is interested in financial aid after finishing Grade 12 would do well to plan ahead. In most cases Grades 11 and 12 are used as a metric in determining academic progress, though those students who do not start early enough to submit their Grade 11 scores may still apply for an award by submitting their Grade 12 scores. While good grades are certainly of great importance for a guaranteed entrance scholarship, as a competitive system they may also take into account financial need and involvement in the community.
The University of Saskatchewan in Canada is one of many institutions which offer guaranteed entrance scholarships. It makes use of fairly standard criteria used broadly by a number of colleges, so the following eligibility information is going to be useful for more institutions than just the University of Saskatchewan. The most important criteria for application to UoS’s guaranteed entrance scholarship is to be coming from a Canadian school and having graduated from Grade 12, preparing to come to the university to further their education.
There is a very small window of time for students who have already graduated Grade 12 to apply to the program, and they must have less than 18 transferable credits from any institution they may be coming from. Marks from your Grades 11 and 12 years must be submitted for consideration by February 15. Those students who miss this deadline are in luck as a second round of submissions looking at the two semesters in Grade 12 is available from February 15 to May 1, 2011. Students’ marks from these years will be averaged individually per semester and their best semester average will then be used to determine the amount of financial aid to be awarded. For instance, students whose averages are 95% or greater will receive $3,000 while those getting an average of 93% to 94.9% will receive $2,000. The minimum average for this guaranteed scholarship is 85%, so students should plan ahead and be sure to study well in order to maximize their chances at decent awards.
The University of Saskatchewan is only one of many colleges offering a guaranteed entrance scholarship, but are themselves a great school with many interesting programs. Since students applying for this Canadian scholarship are more than likely coming from a post secondary institution, interested students should take the time to review UoS’s “direct entry” programs. These programs accept students directly from high school with no previous college work and are firmly entrenched in several very important fields. Amongst them are the business, nursing, biotechnology and education. They are designed to introduce students to specific concepts or fields, and drive their learning of those fields by courses that are not as general as open study programs.
Further, applying to one of these guaranteed scholarship programs clearly indicates to guaranteed entrance scholarship application selection committees a level of commitment and interest of potential students, telling them that somebody may be a better bet in the long run than another. While entering one of these programs is not necessary in achieving a guaranteed entrance scholarship, it would not be unwise to consider them nonetheless while looking at your college options.