Students who are looking for funding for a college or university education would do well to leave no stone unturned in their search for funding. Unlike taking out student loans, scholarships do not have to be paid back. This feature makes them a preferred method of paying for school for those who qualify. One source of this free money that many students often overlook is professional associations. They may have some funding available to help students pay for school.
Post-Secondary Scholarships from Professional Associations
A number of professional associations offer scholarships to their members or their members’ children as a benefit. The quickest and most efficient way to find out about available funding is to visit the association’s website.
The Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA) has a scholarship fund which is available to the children of employees of its Direct Members who are pursuing either post-secondary educational programs or apprenticeship opportunities.
Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association Scholarship
To qualify for this scholarship, all applicants must:
- Plan to attend a full-time educational program at an accredited college, university, business or trade school, or enroll in a recognized apprentice program
- Have achieved a minimum of 65 percent in their previous educational program
In addition, the applicant’s parent or guardian must be currently employed by a Direct Member of the OARA with a direct hire date of at least one year before April 30 of the application year. Children of owners or those owning stock in the business are not eligible to apply for the scholarship.
Tips for Students Applying for Scholarships
The following tips will help you to increase your chances of winning a scholarship from a professional association or any other organization offering money for school.
- Read the eligibility rules carefully before you apply. If you don’t meet all of them, your application will not be considered. There is no sense spending time pursuing a scholarship if you have no chance of receiving the money.
- If you do qualify for the scholarship, take note of the deadline for applying for assistance. Some applications can be submitted electronically, while others must be postmarked as of a specific date.
- Follow the instructions to the letter. If you are asked to write a 500-word essay on a particular topic, don’t submit one that is only 350 words or 1,000 words. Make sure that you include all the materials asked for in the instructions.
Post-secondary scholarships are only one source of funding for your education. While they will help defray the cost, you should continue to look into other sources of funding, such as student loans, grants, and your own resources to finance it.