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Financial Aid Still Available For Students Who Write

Person writing on notepad with laptop open in front of them

By Chris Avery

The Student Awards Office at NAIT is looking to increase participation in essay-driven applications.

The deadline for Scholarship and Bursary applications is January 29, 2021.

“The way that I always put it to a student is that if you spend two hours writing an essay worth $1000, that is $500 per hour,” said Sirina Hamilton, a manager at Student Awards and Financial Aid at NAIT.

“I would really encourage students to look at the scholarships that appear on the application and look through the ones that require essays.”

The scholarship application process recently changed as of 2018. It includes an automatic matching and application process accessible through the MyNAIT Portal. The system caters each selection to individual needs and financial requirements.

During the process, several stages ask for information from the applicant. Hamilton said it is crucial to make sure all of this information is correct.

“It’s not a race. We don’t look at the time stamp. We look at the application itself. If it’s not written in your application, we won’t know,” she said.

“Once it’s submitted, it’s submitted. There is no way to go back to make changes. We really encourage students to take into consideration those stopping points.”

For other applications that require community involvement or volunteering, Hamilton recognizes that this may be a challenge for students with current restrictions.

“This year, there is a different approach: how COVID has impacted [student] lives,” she said.

She mentions that her team is more open to other types of community involvement. This could be as simple as helping an elderly neighbour with their groceries or shovelling snow for a neighbour with a disability.

For students looking to beef up their community involvement, Hamilton and her team suggest accessing the Community Involvement Resume tool on their webpage.

She also said becoming more aware of resources available at the Student Awards Office can help many struggling students access much needed financial aid and financial planning.

A list of scholarships, bursaries, application tips and other information can be found here.

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