$3 million in awards available to students

Deadline to apply for GBC Awards is Sept. 30

A photo of Kateryna Barylko in front of a computer screen applying for the GBC Awards Program at the St. James Campus

Kateryna Barylko applying for the GBC Awards Program at the St. James campus. Photo: Emeka Ibeh/The Dialog

When applying for a scholarship it’s not a bad idea to compare it to college and university applications. Why? Mainly because any college or university application you may have completed in the past was taken pretty seriously and a potential scholarship award should be considered the same.

Students should view researching for scholarships as the easiest part-time job they’ll ever find because that hour or two it takes to search and apply could be the best financial decision a student can make for their future.

According to Peter Oltenau, the acting manager for the financial assistance program, the application for a GBC Awards account can take anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour to complete. So, it would be a great return if you are offered a bursary of $500.

“Be persistent! Last year we had over 7,000 students begin to apply but in the end less than half the students who began the process actually completed it. This resulted in most students not being qualified for any funds because they did not stay with it,” said Oltenau.

Without financial aid the cost of school can be suffocating for students, not only financially but socially and this why students should take advantage of the George Brown College (GBC) Awards program. It will allow students to apply for scholarships, bursaries and awards without having to stress over paying it back since they are non-repayable, which gives students the breathing room they desperately need during chaotic semesters.

The awards are mostly based on financial need, college-community involvement, and academic performance, which are things students should keep in mind when applying.

There aren’t any big tricks when applying for bursaries, however, reading each instruction carefully and applying for each relevant award you come across is important.

Oltenau added that the most common mistake students make is not completing the budget that is available through the website. “They must download and complete the budget that we supply and then upload that same budget back to their GBC Awards account.”

It is worth noting that there are a variety of scholarships offering program-specific awards, which allow for even more opportunities to be considered. By applying for GBC Awards you may be able to share in over $3 million that the college provided to over 3,000 students during the last academic year.

The deadline for the fall applications is Sept. 30 and you must be a registered full-time student. If you apply after that date and by the end of January of the following year, your application will only be considered for the winter and spring awards.

Colin Fitzsimons, manager of awards and scholarships & financial advice at George Brown College, gives some tips for students on applying for scholarships and bursaries.

How to register for GBC Awards:
  1. If you are not already registered, Create a username, a password and then proceed to log-in. You can create any username, it doesn’t have to be your student number.
  2. Once you are logged in, you will be brought to an application wizard tool that will help you set up your application and determine your best scholarship options.
  3. Fill out the personal information questionnaire and you will then be brought to another opening questionnaire page, which asks questions about your background as well as about volunteer and extracurricular activities.
  4. The following page on the application process will be about academics, clarifying your program name and year of study.
  5. Once you finish the academics page you will then be brought to the most important part of the application, the free-form essay page. This is where students have the chance to sell themselves.
  6. Following the essay students can attach any additional documents they wish to submit.
  7. Once all the steps have been completed, the application wizard will provide you with a list of all the recommended scholarships that are available to you.

$3 million in awards available to students