Please contact Sarah Freel at 778-782-4413 or email

Why students fail to apply for the scholarships and awards that are available to them

Presenter: Rory Grewar, Director of Special Funds, Victoria Foundation


Rory was born and raised in Winnipeg and attended the University of Manitoba. He worked as a Senior Administrator with the Provincial Government’s Environment Commission for 14 years before moving to BC to become Director of Administration at the David Suzuki Foundation.  In 2010, he fulfilled a lifelong dream to move to Vancouver Island when he joined the staff of the Victoria Foundation.

In his capacity as the Foundation’s Director of Special Funds, Rory manages the scholarship and award programs of the Irving K Barber BC Scholarship Society, the province's largest non-profit scholarship organization. In 2016, the Society will issue nearly $3M in scholarships and awards to post-secondary students in BC.

Session Description

Canadian college and university students are increasingly graduating with a cloud of debt looming over their capped heads, while at the same time leaving millions in unclaimed scholarships in their wake.

A survey by found that around 3% of private and public scholarship funds goes unclaimed each year. With an available “pot” of over $177 million in scholarships funds up for grabs, that works out to be more than $5 million – enough to pay a year’s tuition for almost 700 university students.

In this interactive workshop, we will explore the question of why students fail to apply for the scholarships and awards that are available to them, and try to determine what steps might be taken to increase application rates. Included will be a review of popularly used award criteria that may be creating unnecessary barriers and making scholarships unattainable for many of those that need and deserve them.

Come to this workshop and leave with strategies and tactics that you can immediately employ at your own institution to increase scholarship award rates.

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