Sheridan students unaware of college’s cash awards


Every student has the opportunity to cash in on a bursary or scholarship at Sheridan College.

Unlike OSAP or a line of credit, bursaries and scholarships are awarded and don’t need to be paid back.

The college offers scholarships based on academic achievement determined by the faculty in the specific area of study, says Betcy Scaria, the student awards officer at Sheridan Trafalgar.

“A bursary is an award that students can apply for,” said Scaria. “The ones that I deal with for the awards office are mainly from external donors.”

This year more than 70 awards are donated by outside sources. The applications for all bursaries are available on Sheridan’s website.

Bursaries are awarded based on the applicant’s submission and according to criteria predetermined by the donor.

Some bursaries are available to anyone, but most have conditions. Some are program or campus specific, and some have gender or background requirements. However, all bursaries consider GPA, financial need and require fulltime status.

Most applications require a cover letter and a form to be completed. The form outlines a student’s financial situation and general information, like a student number and program.

Deadlines and requirements vary depending on the bursary. The applications are on the school’s website for at least four weeks to allow students time to complete all of the requirements and are usually posted at the beginning of each semester.

When it comes time to choose a recipient, a selection committee within Sheridan assesses the applications and those who meet the minimum criteria are put into the “pool of candidates,” Scaria said.

“There are also other scholarships and bursaries that the donor is involved in. So the donor actually comes on campus and is a part of the selection,” she said.

Carrie Andrews is a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club, an international organization that advocates equality for women all over the world.

The Brampton chapter has participated in the bursary program at Sheridan in years past and has again donated a $1,000 bursary this year. The organization isn’t involved in the selection process but the application requirements are specific to the club. The student must be female, enrolled full-time, must demonstrate financial need and submit a cover letter outlining why she is a woman in a non-traditional program.

 “We’re trying to encourage women to pursue their dreams and to go into those roles that were traditionally dominated by men,” said Andrews.

The club only donates bursaries to Sheridan College, because of its variety of programs.

Scaria admits that based on a population of approximately 18,000 full-time students, she would expect thousands of applicants, but that isn’t the case. Depending on the bursary, Scaria has seen anywhere from a handful to 100 students applying.

Eileen Dias and Julie El-Chaer are both students in the Business Marketing program at HMC and neither was aware of the bursary program at Sheridan.

“I don’t think that it’s very well know,” said Dias. “It doesn’t seem to get advertised.”

Dias and El-Chaer feel most students probably think that the only financial support offered from the school is OSAP. Now that they know about the scholarships and bursaries, they said they are likely to apply.

Eileen Dias and Julie El-Chaer both in the Business Marketing program at HMC check the Sheridan website for information about bursaries.

Eileen Dias and Julie El-Chaer both in the Business Marketing program at HMC check the Sheridan website for information about bursaries.

All bursaries are usually paid out, but Scaria said sometimes a student misses a portion of the application and is disqualified. The awards office tries to follow up with the student if that happens, but Scaria recommends turning your application in early to avoid any delays, issues or forfeits.

 “Once your application is submitted you won’t be able to go back make changes,” she said.

If a student needs help finding out which bursaries they can apply for or filling out an application, the awards officer at each campus can help.