It's Not Just About Grades: Non-Academic Awards

Modified on October 11, 2019

Other ways to find funding if your grades aren't 100%.


By Sophia Leonard

An array of sports gear, just one of the many avenues to securing a non-academic award.

Many students assume tuition awards only go to those with top marks. That couldn't be more wrong! Most of the awards on don't even consider your grades. So if they're not looking at your grades, what are they looking at?

Leadership skills

Many awards are looking for community and school leaders. This doesn't necessarily mean being class president; think about how you show leadership or initiative anywhere in your life. It could be the part-time job you really excel at, or playing on a team and being a supportive teammate.

Special circumstances

Many awards are given to students who have experienced special circumstances or challenges. These may be medical, financial, family related, or something else. Take time to reflect on your life and consider if there's something you've gone up against that an award provider might want to recognize. If you're not sure, setting up a profile on will prompt you to identify different circumstances and automatically match you to appropriate scholarships.

Heritage, religious, and group affiliations

Many cultural organizations, religious groups, and other associations provide awards to students. To find these awards, do some research on organizations that represent your heritage (ancestry, language, country of birth, etc), religious or spiritual groups, and any other organizations that you or your family has an affiliation with (4-H, Rotary Club, etc.). Additionally, some corporations may offer scholarships or bursaries for different students, so don't forget to check for those too!

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