How To Win SFU Major Entrance Scholarships

If you’re looking to attend university in British Columbia, you’ve likely come across Simon Fraser University (SFU)! In addition to being ranked among the top 12 universities in Canada, SFU offers many scholarships for prospective students. Here at GrantMe, we’ve helped many students apply to and win scholarships to SFU. Here’s our top advice on how to win SFU scholarships. 

Available Awards

There are hundreds of SFU scholarships available to incoming students! Their major entrance awards are called Undergraduate Scholars Entrance Scholarships. These awards range from $10,000 to enough to pay for your entire four-year tuition! With one application, you may be eligible for one of five scholarships:

  • SFU Undergraduate Scholars Entrance Scholarship
  • SFU Undergraduate Scholars Entrance Scholarship with Distinction
  • The Darcy and Karina Biagioni Family Entrance Scholarship
  • SFU Surrey Close to Home Entrance Scholarship
  • Tadeusz Specht Memorial Scholarship in Science and Health Sciences

Requirements & Eligibility

These SFU scholarships recognize high school students who demonstrate excellence in both their academic and extracurricular activities. To apply, you need to have average grades at 90% or above. If you’re in an International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a minimum of 31 IB points works as well. 

You’ll want to have some strong community involvement as well to succeed in your application!

Finally, your application will also require an academic reference and a community involvement reference, so be sure you can supply those!

Your Application

With one application, you can apply for all of the major SFU 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 SFU scholarships application is an activity summary!

Here’s the prompt:

Please describe your extra-curricular activities and achievements. You may submit a maximum of 5 achievements and activities such as volunteer, paid experience, athletics, awards, arts etc. (150-word descriptions)

First, you want to make sure you’re fully expressing your involvement! Try to list a mixture of initiator, leader, and member roles. 

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!

The next prompt is:

Based on what you’ve indicated above, what are your two most significant achievements/activities that demonstrate your initiative, commitment, and perseverance? (250 words max.)

Choose your two most impactful involvements! These will likely be initiator or leader roles. 

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!

If you don’t have very many involvements, don’t worry! The next question on the application is:

If particular circumstances or responsibilities have prevented you from actively participating in volunteer or extracurricular activities, please provide a brief explanation below (250 words max.)

Here’s your chance to describe any challenges you or your family have faced. This could be financial, health issues, mental health, responsibilities at home—whatever impacted you!


The next part of the application is an essay! The prompt is:

What personal experiences and events have shaped your outlook on life, and how do you feel this will contribute to you being a positive member of the SFU community? Why do you feel this makes you an excellent candidate for your chosen area of study at SFU? (500 words max.)

Here’s how you can structure this essay.


Start with a 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

Body Paragraphs

Your first 1-2 paragraphs should describe 1-2 of your volunteer or leadership experiences! Use STAR structure to write this. Be sure to end with a reflection about how this experience shaped your outlook on life. 

Your next paragraph should go into how you hope to contribute to the SFU community! What clubs or opportunities do you want to get involved with? How will you bring a new perspective or initiate new projects within them? What new clubs or initiatives could you start on campus? Try to be specific here. Don’t forget to connect how the skills and experiences you gained during your past volunteer experience will help you to contribute to SFU. 

Your final body paragraph should describe why you’re an excellent candidate for your chosen area of study at SFU. How have you prepared for this field of study? This could be through classes or volunteer experiences. Why are you interested in this field? What future goals do you have?


Finally, end with a brief conclusion that provides a reflection on your hopes for the future at SFU!

Financial Circumstances

The final part of the SFU scholarships application is about your financial circumstances! Here’s the prompt:

Please provide brief information on any current financial circumstances that would prevent you from attending SFU. (250 words max.)

When describing your financial need, think of your financial situation over the last four years. How does your family make their income? What does it go towards? Describe any challenges or adversity you and/or your family has faced. Consider what financial adversity may have prevented you from doing. What has it held you back from?

Consider also describing some of the below points if they apply to your situation.

If you:

  • Are living in a rental home
  • Have limited financial support from parents
  • Plan to enrol in a degree that is longer than a bachelor’s degree
  • Are subsidizing your education costs through employment
  • Are part of a family that considers themself “low income” 
  • Have more than one sibling that needs their education paid for
  • Are only supported by one family income
  • Have any medical expenses or family member’s medical expenses. 

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