What kinds of financial help can I get for my education?

There are a number of sources of financial assistance for students. These sources include educational institutions, the government, private companies, charities and community organizations.

NOTE: For financial assistance during the COVID-19 crisis please visit the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit(CESB) page from the government of Canada to see if you qualify.

Universities and Colleges

Many universities and colleges have scholarships and bursaries. Scholarships are generally based on academic achievement, but some scholarships also focus on community involvement (such as volunteering) or work in a specific field of study or work. Scholarships usually have very particular criteria that you must meet to qualify, and many students might compete for the same scholarship. Many scholarships are open to international students as well as domestic students. You must apply for some scholarships, but some are awarded automatically.

Bursaries are usually based on both financial need and academic achievement. Normally, bursaries are open to domestic students only.

Most colleges and universities have a financial aid office. An advisor from this office can help direct you to funding options. Usually, you can also find this information on school websites and in academic calendars.

Community Organizations

Some charities, foundations and private companies give out scholarships. Here are some examples:

  • Scholarships Canada and Student Awards - Resources that will help you find scholarships and awards according to university, or your own personal profile. You need to register for these sites, but the search service is free.
  • TD Canada Trust Scholarships - Awarded to Canadian Students based on leadership in the community.
  • RBC Royal Bank Scholarships - Various scholarship programs awarded to Canadian citizens or permanent residents, including a program specific to medical and dental students.


  • Canada Student Loans and Grants - The federal government provides student financial assistance in the form of loans and grants.
  • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) - OSAP is the main source of financial aid for post-secondary education in Ontario. The website includes information on loans and listings of eligible institutions. It also has an online application form and allows students to check the status of their application online. You can use this online calculator to help you see how much you may receive from the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety - The Dick Martin Scholarship recognizes a student in an occupational health and safety-related course or program. It is awarded once a year.


Many students work in order to pay for their studies. You may wish to study part-time so that you can work full-time. International students are restricted in their right to work or volunteer while in Canada. Detailed information for international students is available from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

You can contact a community agency for more information. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

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Last updated: June 19, 2023 4001160