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MeVest Delivers Tips for Students Amidst the Crisis 

Dear clients, readers, students and their parents,

Students, I know that this summer is likely not shaping up the way you’d hoped. Your regular jobs and internships may not be available, or they’ve changed dramatically because of COVID-19. Chances are that you were relying on this income to help pay tuition and other costs for the Fall 2020 semester. What I can tell you is that the changes to the CERB program last week now cover more students, but certainly not all. If you’re a student who had plans for summer employment that are no longer possible because of COVID-19, you should apply for CERB HERE. The CERB provides $2,000 per month in emergency relief, for up to four months.

For many students who don’t qualify, further support benefits for students should be unveiled by the government shortly.

Take these two steps whether you qualify for CERB or not
There are two financially savvy moves students can make right now that could help lighten the financial burden of upcoming school costs; first is to try to get a job through the expanded Summer Jobs Program and; second, is to apply for scholarships.

Take advantage of the expanded Summer Jobs Program
70,000 jobs will be made available for young people this summer through the Canada Summer Jobs Program. These positions will be predominantly in essential services and the skill sets for each will vary considerably. All the positions will be posted in the Jobs Bank HERE. The Jobs Bank also has a mobile app that students can download to their phones. There won’t be any risk of employers not being able to pay for these positions because the government will be funding them 100 per cent. Positions start the second week of May, so don’t delay in applying!

Use the extra time on quarantine to apply for scholarships
It’s scholarship season right now! If you’ve known me a while you know that I’m a huge proponent of scholarships for a couple of reasons; first, nearly 70 per cent of the money (millions, actually) goes unclaimed because students don’t finish the application process and; second, the application processes are generally a lot easier than originally thought. As someone who has personally benefited from scholarships, 30 percent of my education was funded by scholarships, I’m a believer that the reward is well worth the effort.

Start with the most popular scholarships databases 
I teamed up with my friend, Janet MacDonald, from My Campus GPS, to put together a list of resources for students to easily apply for scholarships.

With close to 100,000 listed scholarship awards, ScholarshipsCanada.comis an all-round favourite scholarship search engine. It has scholarships for every level of student, from high school to mature students. For best results, create an account and make a detailed personal profile. The search engine will match you with scholarships that fit your profile. You can also request to receive emailed deadline alerts for scholarship matches.

Other general scholarship search engines are StudentAwards.com, and ScholarTree.ca.

Students with a disability can search DisabilityAwards.ca. Indigenous students can use the Indigenous Bursaries Search Tooland AboriginalStudents.ca.

It’s important to note that not all scholarships are advertised on search engines. Local awards are best found via a Google search (using search terms that match your profile, such as “women + business + scholarship + name of city”). You should also contact people in your network and ask if they know of any scholarships you might be eligible for.

The very best piece of advice we can provide is this: search regularly, year-round.  Although we are currently in scholarship season for the next two months (most opportunities exist in this window), scholarships are offered every month of the year. A best practice is to schedule 30 minutes every three weeks to search for scholarships.

Make your application stand out
Many scholarship applications require an essay, and it’s often the most important part of the application. The purpose of the essay is to get to know you as a person, so to make your essay stand out from the others, get personal. What’s important to you? What have you learned from your experiences? How will you use that learning in the future? One of the biggest mistakes students make is simply listing their achievements or experiences with no reflection on how those experiences have impacted them and their community.

Another important tip is to follow the application directions exactly, or you risk being disqualified. Some great applicants are eliminated this way. Of course, the flip side is that if you follow the directions precisely, you can win the award, even if you’re not the best applicant.

Most students intend to apply for scholarships, but few people actually follow through. If you apply, you’re already way ahead of the game.

Students, being in school right now amidst the crisis, and as we weather this wildly uncertain economy, is probably a good thing. Focus on your studies. Keep mentally, physically and financially fit. We need your strength and fresh ideas to recover from this crisis.

We will continue to stay in touch with you about relevant financial issues amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Thank you for continuing to stay connected with us.

Please reach out to me if you have questions: lesley-anne@mevest.ca. In the meantime, stay healthy.

Lesley-Anne Scorgie
MeVest Founder

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