Preparing Your Awards Application

Resources & Tools

Awards Application Video Tutorial

Awards Application Tutorial – Print Version (PDF 1.34MB)

How to Prepare for Awards

The application requirements for awards can differ depending on award criteria selected by our donors. However, we have created a student awards program that is streamlined and consists of many common requirements so that students can complete them in a reasonable timeframe and begin to prepare their applications in advance.

There are many things students can do to prepare their applications, whether awards are posted or not. Consider the tips below to ensure your application stands out to our selections committees.

Upcoming Webinars

Want to learn more about NSCC's student awards program? Our webinars include an overview of the awards application process and tips and tricks on how to make your application stand out.

Current Offerings

  • Monday, September 25 – 5:00 – 6:00pm AST
  • Tuesday, October 3 – 5:00 – 6:00pm AST
  • Wednesday, October 11 – 5:00 – 6:00pm AST

How to Sign Up

To register, email and include the date of the session you wish to attend. You will receive a confirmation email indicating your enrolment status and instructions on how to join shortly thereafter. Space is limited.

To participate in a webinar, users will require access to a computer and must have Google Chrome. The use of a microphone and webcam is optional.

Selection Questions

Many of our awards require the completion of selection questions. The following are examples of questions that may be asked on your award application. Take some time to reflect on each of these questions and begin making some notes to prepare.

  • Provide us with an overview of: Why you chose your program/field of study; your career aspirations and educational goals and how an NSCC education and previous experience has prepared you for this career; and why you believe you will succeed in your chosen profession upon graduation.
  • Provide a summary of your participation in extra-curricular activities and/or volunteer work /community involvement. Please include the names of organizations, the time periods in which you were involved, and a description of your duties for each activity.
  • Outline, in a brief essay, the challenges and obstacles you have overcome in order to obtain your education. How has being an NSCC student reshaped the direction of your life? How will this award make a significant impact on your goals?

Financial Information

Financial need is a common criteria for many awards and to help determine your need you will be asked to complete a detailed financial section of the application. To help you prepare, take a look at our needs assessment (XLS 23KB) and start documenting your expenses and resources. Make sure to read this section carefully and review your numbers to ensure they are accurate.


Depending on the awards you apply for, you may be asked to complete references to support your application. In total, there are four possible reference types you might be asked to provide. Preview the reference information below and make special note of who you will approach, should you be required to submit reference(s) with your awards application.

  1. Reference Letter – the award description will state specifically who should complete the reference letter and what qualities and/or experiences to address.
  2. General Reference Questionnaire (PDF 96KB) – standardized form to be completed by an individual who has provided supervision to you in the past. Preferred parties include faculty, teacher, employer/supervisor, community organization.
  3. Community Service Reference Questionnaire (PDF 92KB) – standardized form to be completed by a member of a community organization who has provided supervision over volunteer activities.
  4. NSCC Community Reference Questionnaire (PDF 92KB) – standardized form to be completed by a member of the NSCC community (staff, faculty) who has provided supervision to volunteer/extra-curricular involvement at NSCC.

Common Mistakes

The following are some common award application mistakes. To ensure your application isn't considered void or incomplete, review these tips carefully.

  • Incorrect reference types are submitted. This is a preventable mistake if you take the time to double check the type of reference required for the award as well as who specifically can and can't complete it. If references are incorrect, your awards application will not be considered.
  • Applying for awards you are not eligible for. Read the award posting carefully before applying. Make sure to take a moment to read over the eligibility section of the award posting. You don't want to put time and effort into an application, only to find out you will not be considered because you don't meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Mistakes with financial section. Adding an additional '0' or missing a field can have a big impact on your calculation for financial need. Be sure to review this section thoroughly before submitting – read all the descriptions carefully to ensure you are providing the correct information needed.

Tips from Past Awards Recipients

We asked some of our past winners to share their tips in creating a successful student awards application, based on their experience.

  • You need to be able to toot your own horn. Be confident about your achievements and proud of what you are doing to further your education.
  • The best course of action when completing your application is to take your time, be honest, and explain what the award would mean to you.
  • Apply for as many awards as you can. NSCC has made the process really simple, so there is really no reason not to.
  • Don't just apply for awards that you think you stand the best chance at winning, or ones that do not have many application requirements. Taking the time to apply for all awards you are eligible for will only increase your chances of winning.

Where to go for help

There are many places to go for assistance with your student awards application:

Other Important Information

T4A Forms

Awards, scholarships and bursaries are considered part of a student's taxable income for the year. The college will issue T4A forms to all recipients in the spring of the year following the year in which the funding was paid. Award recipients will be required to submit their Social Insurance Numbers to the NSCC Awards office upon being selected for award(s).

Award Deadlines

Unless otherwise specified, all student awards deadlines expire at 5:00pm AST on the date specified on the award posting. Award deadline extensions can sometimes occur due to low enrollment, technical issues, or other incidents that may arise. The Student Awards Office reserves the right to extend awards deadlines in consultation with NSCC Foundation.

Application Revision

Once an award deadline has passed, students can no longer report changes to their applications. This includes changes to individual circumstances including expenses and income. Students are asked to review their financial information thoroughly before submitting their application.

Award Deferrals

Unless otherwise specified, deferrals of awards won shall not be permitted. A student who changes a program and/or campus after being chosen for award(s) must advise the Student Awards Office immediately. Should the student no longer meet the award criteria, the award shall be forfeited. Awards may not be carried over from term to term should a student defer their studies.

Disclosure of Information

The collection, use, storage, and disclosure of student information is protected by College policies/procedures and government legislation. All award applications must be completed by students themselves and may not be submitted by a third party. The Student Awards Office reserves the right to refuse applications submitted by individuals not enrolled or registered at NSCC.


NSCC makes every attempt to ensure accuracy, currency and reliability of the information posted on this site. If there is a discrepancy, the criteria held by the Student Awards Office is deemed correct.

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