Top 5 Scholarship and Bursary Questions for Parents

Despite the common misconception, colleges and universities aren’t out there to make you broke and leave you with a ton of debt. The truth is that most schools are willing to work with their students and their families to find viable solutions for any financial concerns or problems. Whether it’s a grant, scholarship, or other bursary and payment options, they are worth considering as they can help cover the costs of your child’s education and future. The more information you can gather, the better. To get you started, here are 10 scholarship and bursary questions every parent should ask:

1. Do Government Student Loans Cover all Expenses Associated with College or University Studies?

This is an excellent question, and the answer you receive will be dependent on the area in which your child is attending school. However, generally speaking, government student loans, such as OSAP (Ontario Student Assistant Program) are designed to help with the costs. In other words, they are not designed to completely cover them, and are only a supplement to the expected costs.

2. What Other Types of Financial Aid are Available?

There certainly isn’t a shortage of available financial aid options. However, it can take some time to find them. Some are highly advertised and easy to come across, but you must also consider that the more popular they are, the more applicants there will be. Financial aids often have a limit to the amount they can contribute, and as such, the number of applicants they can provide financial assistance to. It is highly recommended to invest some time into researching all available scholarships, grants and other bursary options available. The more your child can find and apply for, the better.

There are also some financial aid programs that provide more than just monetary value. For example, some offer bursary assistance as well as a work study program, which helps students cover the costs of post secondary education. These work programs are often on campus and favourable to the student’s school schedule and study requirements.

3. When is the Application Deadline?

Each financial aid option will have its own deadline, so, this is an incredibly important question to seek the answer to for each and every financial aid program your child is considering. Write the name of the financial aid and application deadline on a calendar to ensure all requirements are met and submitted prior to the due date. Although, the earlier the application is submitted won’t affect whether or not someone is declined. It’s more important to submit a full, high quality and completed application.

4. If I Make $(XX,XXX), Will my Child Qualify for Financial Aid?

It’s a common misconception that the higher the household income is, the less chances a prospective student has of obtaining financial aid. However, the eligibility of financial aid isn’t solely based on the parents’ gross income, and there are many additional factors that come into play. Many financial aid programs will also consider the number of dependents in the house and if the student will be living at home, on campus or off campus, etc. Furthermore, each financial aid may have different qualifications, so it’s important to seek the answer to this question based on the specific financial assistance your child is seeking.

Additionally, many government student loans don’t consider a family’s personal loan.

5. What is Required for Scholarships and Other Bursary Options?

Each bursary option will have its own set of requirements. Some simply require a submission fee, whereas others also require an essay. Some require you to have completed so many hours of community work, whereas others will require that the student is studying in a specific field. Some are specific to orientation, whereas others are a free-for-all. It depends on the individual scholarship being sought. Needless to say, it’s highly important to read the requirements of each.

As parents, you want to be able to investment fully into your child’s future and education. However, this can be quite expensive and isn’t always a viable option for every family out there. Fortunately, financial aid is an option, and there are many scholarships, grants, student loans, and programs available that can help cover the costs of furthering your child’s education.

Top 10 Admission Questions to Ask when Applying for College or University

Congratulations! You’re about to move onto an incredible and important step in life – and one that can lead you towards achieving plenty of happiness and success. Since applying for college or university is such a paramount moment, and with so many institutions accepting hundreds or thousands of admissions each year, it can be hard to narrow in on the ones that are best suited for you. So as a prospective student, it’s crucial to ask these top 10 admission questions to make the process of finding the perfect college or university much easier. These 10 questions are split into 3 categories, which pertain to admission requirements, finances, and academics.

Admission Requirements

In Canada, you are required to have a Secondary School Diploma or equivalent in order to attend a college or university. While the college and university application process is quite streamlined across the board, many schools also have their own set of admission requirements that must be met before they’ll even consider your application.  For example, some require an additional essay to be written with your application, portfolio submissions, or even S.A.T. testing if you’re applying to a school in the United States. Determining whether there are additional admission requirements outside of the standard for each particular school allows you to properly organize and prepare yourself before clicking the application submit button. Doing so will also give you plenty of time to produce the highest quality of application. Ask an admission rep some of the following questions about admission requirements:

  • What is the deadline for admissions?
  • Are there any admission requirements outside of the standard?
    • If so, what additional materials or actions are needed to complete the application?
  • What criteria are you looking for from prospective students or what criteria do you look for in applications?


Attending college or university can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to leave you with a degree or diploma that is complimented with an abundance of debt. With the plethora of scholarships and grants available, you can significantly decrease the amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket. While asking about scholarships seems like a no-brainer, there are many scholarships and financial aid programs available that aren’t as highly advertised as others – yet they’re just as valuable. Be sure to ask these additional admission questions to ensure you know what the total cost of enrollment is, while also finding all viable financial opportunities available to you. Here are a few questions that can keep you on the right track:

  • What is the yearly tuition and average of additional expenses I should be aware of, such as books, parking, cafeteria passes, etc.?
  • What are some less common scholarship opportunities you wish more students would take advantage of?
  • Does your application system automatically consider me for financial aid programs and scholarships, or is this an entirely separate application?


Academics are an important category of admission questions to ask because, after all, you’re going to college or university for the educational opportunities. Unfortunately, not all schools are created equally, and this is particularly true if you are seeking acceptance at a college or university outside of Canada. Take the time to come up with as many questions as you can that pertain to the academics of the school. The answers you receive could change your opinion on a school, and can even change the direction of your college career. To get you started, here are some important admission questions to ask that will help you determine the value and experience of the academics provided at each specific school:

  • How accessible are academic advisors, and what are the professors’ standard, posted office hours?
  • What is the average Freshman class size?
  • Are there any special facilities that are important for your particular field of study, such as a theatre, art gallery, planetarium, aquarium, etc.?
  • Is there an honours program and if so, how does it work?

Although these are 10 of the most important admission questions to ask when applying for college or university, it’s just as imperative to remember that any question or concern you have should be addressed.  Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you can, because the more information you can have, the better choice you can make for your future.

Choosing Between College and University- Which Place Suits your Learning Style?

As you head onto the next chapter in your life and education, you’re faced with the inevitable debate as to whether you should attend college or university. While the decision simply comes down to whether you want a diploma or a degree, or rather, what career you want to pursue, there are many other deciding factors that will and should come into play.

Colleges offer more career-focused opportunities, such as education and training in trades, apprenticeship, language, skill upgrading, entry-level and vocational positions. University offers more academic and professional programs that are broader in terms of what careers can be pursued after completion. However, both college and university focus on different learning styles, and understanding the differences can help you make the decision as to which one is best for you.

Why Choose a College Education?

There’s a common misconception that a college education is less valuable than a university education. However, the truth is that college is simply different from university. It provides education for more specific fields with a tactical, hands-on learning experience. As such, there are many benefits that follow:

  • Education focuses on specific careers, such as journalism, nursing, skilled trades, etc. as opposed to English, medicine and science
  • Theoretical and hands-on learning
  • Gain actual field knowledge and experience, as opposed to education from a textbook
  • Available apprenticeship programs to get you in the industry
  • Less time is required to obtain a diploma
    • 2-3 year programs
    • 4 year programs
  • Tuition is generally cheaper

Why Choose a University Education?

With all the amazing benefits that come with a college education, you may be wondering why you should consider a university education. As mentioned, it all comes down to what you want to do for a career. Universities offer graduate and professional degrees in a variety of fields, such as psychology, mathematics, history, etc. The programs are less specific than those of a college. Additionally, you have the benefit of majoring and minoring in specialized fields, and can advance your education with a Master’s or PhD. There are many more benefits that follow:

  • Higher degrees can open up more career advancement opportunities
  • Education focuses on independent learning
  • Learn from lectures, textbooks, theses, etc.
  • Learn the value of independence
  • Participate in research in your respective field
  • Specialize in your particular field, and be qualified as an expert
  • Good investment that looks highly reputable on a resume

What About Joint Programs?

Although  college and university educations are quite different from one another, many now offer joint programs that apply both field and theoretical learning. In these cases, the courses you take in college can be part of a 4-year education at university. However, generally, both college and university programs are kept separate as they are quite distinctive to begin with, but it may be worth it to get the best of both worlds.

While there are many benefits to both a college and university education, it ultimately comes down to the career you want to pursue. However, if you struggle with textbook learning structures, college could be the better option for you. And if you want to obtain a minor and major in your field of study, university may be the better option. Consider your career goals, and the type of environment that caters to your learning style, and you will quickly discover which educational path is the best one for you.

15 Questions to Ask on a College or University Campus Tour

Campus tours are awesome. It’s like getting a sneak peak into your future. You get to see what the environment of each college or university is like, how the students interact with one another, what amenities are available on campus, what the living quarters look like, and so much more. So when your parents or teachers suggest attending a campus tour, don’t roll your eyes just yet. Campus tours can give you insight into your future, and get you even more excited about what’s to come. However, not all campus tours and guides are created equal. Ensure you get all the information and perspective you need by asking these 15 questions. If you have more than 15 questions to ask, never hesitate. After all, that particular college or university could very well be your home for the next several years.

Why did you Choose this School?

Your campus tour guide clearly has a passion about the college or university you’re considering, and now is the perfect opportunity to find out why. Additionally, they likely have a vast range of experience and knowledge about the area, amenities and entertainment, as well as the school itself. So ask your campus tour guide why they chose this school over all the others. It can give you some insight as to why that particular college or university may be the better option for you. However, one person’s opinion may not be enough perspective to make such an important decision, so you may also want to ask several other students to gather as many different motivating factors as you can. Some specific questions you can ask to gain even more insight include:

1. Why did you decide to enroll here?
2. Would you change that now that you’re a current student?
3. What’s your best and worst academic experience?
4. What professor has made an impact on you and why?
5. What safety procedures have been put in place on campus?

What is your Favourite Thing About this School?

Now that you know a little bit more information as to why your campus tour guide chose the school you’re considering, it’s time to get a little more specific. Sure, they may have chosen the school because they have a renowned program for their specific field of study, but this might not pertain to you. So ask your tour guide and other students about what makes their school great. Their answers may not have anything to do with the school and education. For example, if the party atmosphere or late and loud nights in the dorms are their favourite thing about the school, this is important to take into consideration. After all, if you’ll be focusing on your studies late into the night, excessive dorm parties may not be for you. Once you have the answers to your questions, you may want to determine how their favourite thing will affect or contribute to your education, and if there are any solutions to the discrepancies you’ve heard. For example:

6. What is the best thing about the school?
7. If you could change one thing about the school, what would it be and why?

What is the College Community Like?

While you’re attending college or university to further your education, there’s no denying that you’re also going for the fun and experience. Asking about the college community can give you some great insight on what to expect if you were to enroll at that particular school. Maybe you’re looking for a smaller, close-kit community or a much larger establishment that allows you to meet many new people on a regular basis. Finding out about the college community and asking the following questions can help you get a feel for what it’s like – and more importantly, if it’s for you.

8. What is the population of the school?
9. What is the size of the campus?
10. Are there any avenues put in place to meet new people, such as clubs, residence halls, etc.?
11. What are the relationships like between professors’ and students?
12. What is available for entertainment, on and off campus?

How’s the Food?

You have to eat, and you have to eat healthily in order to study properly and succeed throughout your postsecondary education. However, simply asking, “how is the food” may not give you all the information you need. After all, your campus tour guide could simply say that it’s good or bad, and carry onto the next question, so be sure to ask more specific questions about the food, such as:

13. If you could change one thing about the cafeteria meal plans, what would it be?
14. If applicable, ask “Are there options for people with special dietary needs, whether vegan, gluten-free, etc.?”
15. Do most students recommend eating off-campus, or in the cafeteria and why?

By asking the right questions, you can find out a lot of information and personal perspective that can’t always be found on the school’s website or brochure. However, keep in mind that the answers you received are based on his or her personal experience. So, take the answers you receive as insightful information but don’t let them be the sole deciding factor on whether or not you wish to enroll.