Get Your Canadian Degree with Unofficial Transcripts and Scholarships
Canada is a top study abroad destination, known for its high-quality universities, cultural diversity, and warm welcome for international students.
Roughly 642,000 international students were enrolled in Canadian schools in 2021 – a number that grows every year. Unlike some countries, Canada happily accepts unofficial transcripts during the application process. This policy makes applying more accessible for students worldwide. Canada also offers various competitive scholarships to help finance studies and encourage top talent to enroll.
From prestigious research funding to programs for marginalized groups – options exist for all types of students with all types of goals.This guide covers everything you need to know, including:
- Requirements for unofficial transcripts
- Tips for submitting transcripts correctly
- Types of scholarships available
- Major scholarship programs and providers
- Eligibility factors and application tips
- Guidance on studying a second program with funding
- Additional financial aid options
Plus, real-world examples and advice from students who have been through the process successfully.
Unofficial Transcripts Accepted for Canadian Applications
An unofficial transcript summarizes your academic history and grades without being formally verified by your university. It usually consists of a computer printout from your university’s records system.Canada happily accepts unofficial copies during the application process to make things easier for international students.
Once accepted, you’ll still need to submit official transcripts later to formally enroll. But being able to apply early with unofficial copies helps streamline things. For example, let’s say you’re halfway through a bachelor’s degree in your home country. You can usually print out your current transcript without waiting until graduation.
This lets you send an unofficial copy right away when applying to Canadian schools.Once accepted, the school will provide instructions for submitting your official transcript later. Typically you must send the final version 2-3 months before matriculating into your program. The official transcript verifies that you completed your previous degree as expected.
Unofficial Transcript Requirements
While each Canadian university sets its own policies, most have the same general requirements:
- Transcripts must list all courses and grades achieved to date. They should include an explanation of the grading system used.
- Applicants must explain why they cannot provide official transcripts at the time of application. Reasons like still being enrolled in a program are usually acceptable.
- Official final transcripts must be submitted prior to enrollment according to each university’s timeline. Typically 1-3 months before matriculation.
- Submitted transcripts must either be in English or include an official English translation.
- Digital transcripts may be accepted but physical copies are generally preferred.
Again, check your chosen university’s admission page for details. But if you meet the above requirements, unofficial transcripts should not be an obstacle to applying.
Submitting Unofficial Transcripts Correctly
Follow these tips to make sure your unofficial transcripts are accepted:
Print Legible Copies
Whether scanned or physical, transcripts should be crisp and clear. Smudged records may not be accepted. Review copies carefully before sending.
Explain Status Upfront
Note in your application materials why transcripts are unofficial. Are you still enrolled? Did you just graduate? Context helps reviewers understand.
Follow Submission Instructions
Translate if Needed
If transcripts are not in English, include official translations from your university or an accredited service. Never submit your own translations.
Don’t Forget Official Copies Later
Once accepted, remember to submit official final transcripts according to the university’s deadline. Build this timing into your enrollment plans.
Scholarships Available for International Students
Canada offers over $200 million CAD in scholarships specifically for international students each year. From small awards of $500 to fully-funded packages covering tuition and living costs, ample funding is available.
Scholarships serve multiple purposes, including:
Attracting Global Talent: Funding draws top-tier students to Canada’s universities, enriching local campus communities.
Enabling Opportunity: For students with limited financial means, scholarships make achieving a Canadian degree possible.
Rewarding Merit: Funding goes to students with outstanding academic and extracurricular records.
Driving Diversity: Scholarships aim to attract underrepresented groups like women in STEM.Canada wants to educate global citizens who pursue knowledge across borders. Scholarships make achieving a Canadian education realistic for top students worldwide.
Major External Scholarship Programs
Hundreds of scholarship programs exist across Canada. Large external providers offer funding opportunities for international students from various backgrounds:
- Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships – Prestigious awards supporting PhD students pursuing research at Canadian universities – vanier.gc.ca
- Canada Global Excellence Scholarships – Merit-based funding for top international undergraduates at Canadian schools – educanada.ca
- Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships – For PhD candidates studying pressing humanities/social science issues – trudeaufoundation.ca
- Scholarships Canada – Database of various external awards with dedicated section for international students – scholarshipscanada.com
In addition to these large programs, many subject-specific scholarships exist. Hundreds of annual awards for fields like engineering, medicine, sciences, arts, and more. Use scholarship databases to find opportunities tailored to your program area.
Beyond external providers, most Canadian universities offer scholarships to attract top international applicants:
- Entrance Awards – One-time merit-based scholarships awarded when first enrolling at university. Typically for first-year undergraduates.
- Academic Excellence Awards – Ongoing scholarships awarded each year/semester for maintaining high grades. Available at undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Needs-Based Funding – Bursaries, grants and other awards for students facing financial hardship. Must demonstrate need.
- Athletic Scholarships – Funding to recruit top varsity athletes in sports like hockey, football, basketball and more.
When researching schools, check what awards are available for international students. Many universities have dedicated international award pages on their websites.
While every scholarship has unique requirements, some key considerations apply to most:
Nearly all funding requires strong past academic performance. Reviewers want to see high school and undergraduate transcripts with excellent grades. Letters of recommendation from professors also carry weight.The more competitive the scholarship, the higher your expectations for past academic achievement. Even small awards have minimum GPA requirements, so always submit transcripts and academic references.
Scholarship providers look for well-rounded applicants active outside the classroom too. Share experiences like:
- Leadership positions in student government
- Involvement with community organizations
- Participation in varsity or intramural sports
- Creative pursuits like writing for the school paper
Anything demonstrating passion and engagement beyond academics is helpful. Tailor extracurricular details to the award’s focus.
Need-based funding requires submitting detailed financial aid profiles and tax documentation. Be ready to share personal data to demonstrate need and family circumstances.Always apply for needs-based awards if finances are a barrier to studying in Canada. Competition is usually less fierce compared to merit-based scholarships.
Concise Supporting Materials
Scholarship reviewers read hundreds of applications. Make supporting documents like personal statements and essays clear and concise. Focus on academics first then share relevant extracurricular details.
Follow all formatting requirements and make sure supplementary materials highlight your strengths as an applicant. This takes time but helps applications stand out.
Studying a Second Program with Scholarship Funding
Pursuing consecutive degrees is popular in Canada thanks to past scholarship recipients being eligible for further awards. For example:
An international student wins funding for her bachelor’s degree in Canada. She maintains high grades and applies successfully for a master’s scholarship next. Following her master’s she wins a doctoral award to keep studying.
This incremental funding model enables pursuing consecutive degrees affordably. Each application cycle students can compete for the next level of awards. Some tips:
Use early undergraduate awards as a stepping stone to larger master’s and doctoral scholarships later. Getting started with a small entrance award can ultimately enable a full graduate program.
Keep grades high throughout every program. This ensures you remain competitive for next-level awards upon graduating. Review committees want to see sustained excellence.
Connecting with professors and university communities increases awareness of future funding opportunities. Maintain contacts who can write new reference letters or sponsor further applications.Pursuing a second degree in Canada is very realistic with scholarships. The key is planning ahead and making the most of early funding opportunities.
Additional Financial Aid Options
If scholarships do not fully cover costs, utilize other affordable financing options too:
Canada allows international students to work part-time during studies and full-time during scheduled breaks. Campus jobs and co-ops offer flexible ways to offset expenses.
Many Canadian banks offer loans tailored to international students at favorable rates. Financing can supplement scholarships and income from part-time work.
Professor-sponsored programs providing tuition assistance in exchange for helping with academic research projects. Great way to offset costs and gain experience.
The bottom line? With unofficial transcripts and abundant scholarships, outstanding international students can absolutely achieve an affordable, prestigious Canadian education.
Canada offers a world-class university system focused on enabling opportunity for global talent, regardless of background or borders. Leverage this incredible environment by researching schools and funding strategically.If finances previously deterred you, reconsider. Submit those unofficial transcripts and get your applications started. Be bold and persistent with scholarship opportunities.
You may be surprised what doors open up!The future is brighter when we educate minds that think beyond borders. Canada believes this wholeheartedly – and would love to develop your talents affordably.So if you have the academics and passion? Let’s get you to Canada!
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