Show Me the Money: Financing Your Education with Scholarships & Awards


No matter how you slice it, post-secondary education comes with a steep price tag. Costs include tuition, books, course materials, as well as overall living expenses, and they are all likely to rise. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Statistics Canada, the cost of tuition and compulsory fees for full-time undergrads in BC was around $5,639 per term in the year 2016-2017. That figure in 1990-91 was only at $2,770.

Like many Canadian post-secondary students, you may have to rely on a part-time job or student loans to help pay for your education. Another source of money to help pay for your post-secondary studies are scholarships, financial awards, and bursaries.

Scholarships are typically given based on academic performance while bursaries are usually based on the student’s financial need but sometimes also have academic requirements. There are also other financial awards that are not necessarily academically driven or based on need, but based on contests or funded by corporate sponsors.

CPABC has also established the CPA Education Foundation (CPAEF) to support business and accounting education in the province. Students attending post-secondary institutions in BC can apply for scholarships and bursaries offered by CPAEF. The CPAEF also helps post-secondary institutions support their faculty and educators by offering initiatives like the CPAEF Speaker Series, Doctoral Support Program, Accounting Educator’s Symposium, CPA Professorship in Accounting (UBC), and the CPA Research Fellowship (SFU).

Visit the CPAEF website for a listing of post-secondary awards offered at each school.

Visit your school’s Financial Aid & Awards office to find out what types of scholarships and awards may be available. You can also visit and search for awards in your field of study. A search for awards under the field of study ‘Accounting’ brings up 435 scholarships totaling over $500,000 in value.