How To Win University of Alberta Major Entrance Scholarship

The University of Alberta is one of the top universities in Canada! In addition to its smaller campus and top-ranked academic programs, they also offer many scholarships for prospective students. Here at GrantMe, we’ve helped many students apply to and win scholarships to UAlberta. Here’s our top advice on how to win University of Alberta scholarships. 

Available Awards

Did you know that 1 in 5 first-year students at UAlberta receive a scholarship? There are hundreds of scholarships available! Some scholarships are based on your grades and don’t require an additional application. You’re automatically considered for these awards when you apply for admission. Other scholarships are based on your leadership and other achievements. These scholarships require an additional application. They range from $1,500 to enough to cover your entire tuition for four years!

Your Application

With one application, you can apply for all of the major University of Alberta scholarships. Your application is key to your success. Here we’ll go through each part of the application and how you can position yourself for success!

Activity Summary 

The first part of the University of Alberta scholarships application is an activity summary!

Here’s the prompt:

Describe three activities that you have participated in during the last three years. What is the impact that these activities have had on you as an exceptional person and the impact you have had on your community? Be descriptive and concise. (100 words max. per activity) 

You want to make sure you’re fully expressing your involvement! Focus on describing your most impactful initiator and leader roles first. 

Initiator roles are volunteer roles in which you started an initiative like a new club or project. Leader roles are a step down from initiator roles, like being a coach or a camp counsellor. Lastly, member roles are involvements in which you volunteered as part of a team. For more help on choosing which involvements to highlight, check out our article here!

Essay #1

The University of Alberta scholarships application then asks you to write four short essays! Here’s the prompt for Essay #1:

What two qualities do you think make for an exceptional student? How do you demonstrate these qualities? What qualities do you hope to develop at the University of Alberta? (250 words max.)

Try to start your response with a short hook! Think of something that will capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to keep reading—this could be a personal story or a powerful statement. Give the reader a snapshot of your “character”—what specific event/person/experience motivated you to be who you are today?

For examples and tips on how to write a compelling hook, take a look at our article here

After you assert two qualities that describe an exceptional student (and YOU), demonstrate how you exemplify these qualities. To do so, write about an example of your volunteer experience! 

To help you clearly and powerfully communicate your experiences, use STAR structure! STAR is a 4-part acronym that will help you powerfully describe a specific volunteer or extracurricular experience. 

  • S — Situation (who, what, when, where)
  • T — Task (your objective)
  • A — Actions (what you did, how you did it, skills you used)
  • R — Result (qualitative or quantitative proof of your success) 

Use this formula to discuss your volunteer involvements in your application! STAR will make your writing powerful and easy to follow. For more help using STAR, check out our article here!

As you reflect on your Results, be sure to include what qualities you want to develop at UAlberta!

Essay #2

The next essay prompt is as follows:

Describe a time when you found the courage to step outside of your comfort zone. Why did you take this risk? What have you learned from the experience? How has this experience shaped your future goals? (250 words max.)

You want to follow the same pattern as the first essay! Begin with a short hook introducing your response and how you came to step outside of your comfort zone. Then use STAR to discuss the experience! Be sure to add reflection on what you learned and how this experience shaped your future goals. 

Essay #3

The next essay is a bit different!

UAlberta would like to get to know you better and are looking for information that did not come through elsewhere on the application. Pick one of the following and let us know all about you. This is your time to shine, make sure to show what matters to you and why!  (250 words max.)

  • People who have influenced you
  • Your bucket list items
  • Greatest lessons you have learned
  • Things you hope to achieve
  • Your dreams and aspirations
  • What or who inspires you
  • Your greatest accomplishments

We recommend choosing a response that you can connect to your volunteer or leadership experience. For example, perhaps you choose the prompt about your dreams and aspirations. If your dream is to be a doctor, you could talk about how you explored the field of medicine through your experience volunteering in a hospital. 

Highlighting your leadership and achievements helps to show the committee why you should receive a scholarship. 

Be sure to again use STAR for this response!

Essay #4

The final essay is even more open-ended than the last!

Pose a question of your own and provide an answer. Be adventurous, take a little risk, make sure it is thoughtful and original. Draw on your best qualities as a thinker, visionary, and status as a future student at UAlberta. (250 words max.)

Feel free to be creative here! The best way to approach this question is to again try to highlight your leadership experience. 

Perhaps you want to talk about your experience as a lifeguard. Your question could be:

How has your work experience contributed to who you are today?

Maybe you want to talk about your efforts in helping your local environment. Your question could read:

What is your favourite thing about where you live?

Your work promoting diversity and inclusion may be a big part of your life. You could ask:

What is important to you and why? 

Or maybe you want to be even more adventurous! Your question could be:

What superpower would you like to have upon entering university and why?

Whatever your question is, make it unique to you and highlight why you should win this scholarship. 

Follow this advice and you’re sure to submit a strong application for the major University of Alberta scholarships!

If you want even more support, GrantMe can help you stand out. We provide personalized scholarship matches, essay editing, and mentorship from past winners to maximize your success. Complete our short scholarship eligibility quiz to learn more about how GrantMe can help you achieve your post-secondary goals. 

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