How To Win McMaster Major Entrance Scholarships

McMaster University is known for its research-intensive and student-centred programs. In addition to its ranking as the fourth best university in Canada, McMaster offers many scholarships for prospective students. Here at GrantMe, we’ve helped many students apply to and win scholarships to McMaster. Here’s our top advice on how to win McMaster scholarships. 

Available Awards

There are two types of McMaster scholarships.

The first kind are honour awards. These scholarships are automatic, meaning that you’re considered for them as soon as you submit your admission application to McMaster. They’re based on grades, so the higher your GPA the more money you can win! The amounts range from $750, $1,000, and $2,500.

The next type are entrance awards. Whereas honour awards are academic-based, these McMaster scholarships are merit-based. If you excel in leadership, athletics, arts, academics, and more, you may be eligible! In addition to general entrance scholarships, there are also faculty specific awards, awards for Indigenous students, and awards for student-athletes. 

Most major entrance scholarships require an additional application. Here, we’ll take you through how you can set yourself up for success!

Your Application

McMaster makes it easy to apply for scholarships by using one platform for every application—AwardSpring. However, the specific requirements for each scholarship may differ between scholarship to scholarship. 

In general, most McMaster scholarships require two things to apply: a statement of interest and reference letters.

Statement of Interest

A statement of interest is usually a one to two page essay detailing why you’re the best candidate for this scholarship. In this statement, you want to provide a snapshot of who you are and overview the leadership achievements that make you an excellent candidate. 

Stand out from the crowd right away by beginning with a hook. A hook is one to two sentences at the start of your essay that capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to keep reading. A great way to write a hook is to use a personal story or a powerful statement! Tell them your story and give a snapshot of your character. What specific event, person, or experience motivated you to be who you are today? For more on hooks, check out our article here!

Then add in some body paragraphs describing your most significant and relevant volunteer experiences. For help choosing the best experiences, check out our article here!

To help you clearly and powerfully communicate your experiences, use STAR structure! STAR is a 4-part acronym that will help you powerfully describing 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!

Finally, make sure that you discuss what YOU will bring to the McMaster University experience! How will your unique skills and experiences help you contribute to McMaster? What clubs, student groups, or initiatives do you want to start or get involved in? How will you make an impact? 

Reference Letters

Next, you may be required to submit one or two reference letters. Strong reference letters are key to achieving scholarship success. Your reference letter may be the difference between making the shortlist and winning the scholarship. So how do you ensure you stand out from the crowd? 

We created a guide on how to get winning scholarship reference letters. Check it out on our blog here!

Follow this advice and you’re sure to submit a strong application for the major McMaster 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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