You’re eyeing the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for the 2023-2024 academic year, and you’re right to wonder about the odds for international students like yourself. Don’t worry if your grades from the last two years hover in the low 80s; your rigorous academic background and your research experience, including published papers in student journals and presentations, speak volumes.
Your potential advisor’s confidence in you isn’t misplaced. They’ve seen students at your level go on to win awards, and your academic record, coupled with a strong endorsement from a rigorous institution, will stand out. As for the number of scholarships awarded to new students, it varies by school, but there’s always a portion reserved for first-year applicants and international students.
Let’s talk more about the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for international students for the 2023/2024 session.
What is the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for International Students 2023-2024
The Ontario Graduate Scholarship for international students (OGS) or the Queen Elizabeth II Scholarships in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST) are your best bet for financial aid especially if you’re aiming for a master’s or doctoral degree. Since 1975, Ontario Graduate Scholarship for international students has been rewarding Ontario’s most outstanding graduate students across all disciplines. The QEII-GSST joined the ranks in 1998, focusing on those diving into science and technology.
You could be part of the legacy at participating Ontario institutions, where the goal is to celebrate and reward your academic excellence. The Ontario Graduate scholarship for international students program, in partnership with the University of Toronto, is a testament to this, funded by both the Province of Ontario and the university itself. They decide how many bright students like you get this scholarship each year.
Imagine receiving up to $15,000, with each term giving you $5,000 to advance your studies. You can enroll full-time and can start using this award in May, September, or January of 2024. Remember, this is a one-time boost for your education; it’s not renewable.
The Government of Ontario is generous, covering two-thirds of the award—that’s $10,000 a year. The University of Toronto steps in to cover the remaining third, which could be up to $5,000 annually. This support might come from the university’s funds, private sector contributions, or other external sources, sometimes even through connections made by your thesis supervisor.
Ontario Graduate Scholarship Eligibility
If you’re aiming for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship as an international student for the academic year 2023-2024, here’s what you need to know.
- You qualify if you’re a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident, or Protected Person by the deadline set by your graduate unit. International students with a study permit or those affected by COVID-19 and waiting for one can also apply.
- You should be planning to enroll full-time in a graduate degree program at the University of Toronto. Make sure your program fits the bill and you’re taking enough courses to be considered full-time, or the equivalent if you have a permanent disability.
- Your academic performance matters too. You’ll need at least an A- average in your recent years of study, or if you’re already in grad school, just maintain that A- across your graduate courses. There are some exceptions for outstanding candidates who might not meet the GPA cut-off due to special circumstances – think medical issues or significant professional experience. Always check with your department to see if you might be eligible for these exceptions.
- Remember, there’s a cap on how much government-funded support you can receive, and this scholarship counts towards that limit. If you’re unsure about your grades because some were pass/fail, then your most recent graded coursework will be used to assess your eligibility.
Keep these details in mind as you prepare to apply, and reach out to your graduate unit for any clarifications.
Eligibility to Hold an OGS International Students Award
As a potential recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), you need to be enrolled full-time in an eligible graduate program at the University of Toronto. If you change to part-time status, withdraw, or finish your degree before the scholarship period ends, you’ll have to return any funds you received for the time you didn’t complete.
You must also be in good standing with the Ontario Student Assistance Program—having a default or overpayment on any Canada or Ontario Student Loan disqualifies you. You can still work part-time or as a research assistant as long as it doesn’t interfere with your full-time student status.
Remember, you can’t have another major scholarship like SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, QEII-GSST, or another OGS at the same time. Each graduate unit might have additional criteria, so check with yours for any extra requirements.
Ontario Graduate Scholarship for International Students Requirements
For the OGS, you must be a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident, or Protected Person when you apply. If you’re an international student on a temporary resident visa or study permit in Ontario, you’re in luck—you can compete for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for international student awards. Just make sure your visa or permit is valid when you apply and when you’re ready to accept the award.
Now, let’s talk about grades. Whether you’re eyeing the OGS or QEII-GSST, if you’ve been in grad school for up to two years, you need at least an A- average in your last two full-time years of study. If you’re past your second year, that A- average has to hold across all your grad courses.
Being a full-time student in the 2024-2025 academic year at the University of Toronto is a must. For master’s students, you should have no more than four full-time terms under your belt when the award kicks in. Doctoral candidates, you’ve got a cap of thirteen terms.
For the QEII-GSST hopefuls, your field of study needs to be in science and technology. Think engineering, from aerospace to systems, or the life sciences, like biochemistry or environmental sciences. If you’re into the physical sciences, areas like chemistry, computer science, and physics are all fair game.
Ontario Graduate Scholarship Application
Applications for the Ontario Graduate scholarship for international students are made through the University of Toronto’s School of Graduate Studies online system. Check the specific deadline for the graduate unit you’re applying to and make sure to read the OGS Application Instructions before you begin.
After you’ve completed and submitted your application online, it will be accessible to the graduate unit you’ve chosen for their review.
Remember, if you’re planning to attend University of Toronto, you can’t transfer the OGS award between universities or even between different graduate units at U of T. You must apply separately to each graduate unit you’re interested in at U of T and to each Ontario university if you’re applying to more than one, as each has its own OGS application process.
For international students with a study permit, you’re eligible to apply by the OGS international application deadline. Follow the same process and meet the same internal deadlines as domestic students. The graduate units will then select a few applications to send to the School of Graduate Studies for the final decision.
The application is entirely online and includes:
– The OGS application form.
– Transcripts from all your post-secondary education (unofficial or student-issued transcripts like ACORN screenshots are fine).
– Details of any awards, publications, conferences, or research experience you have.
– Your study plan, which should be no more than two pages, with one page dedicated to the plan and the other to references and citations.
– Two academic references, which your referees will submit online.
For the Fall 2023 session, the OGS Information Session for the 2024-25 applications will take place on Thursday, November 16, 2023, from 2-3 pm, followed by a Q&A from 3-4 pm. You’ll receive the link to the MS Teams session via email from your graduate unit, with a reminder email coming in early November.
As you consider the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for the 2023-2024 year, remember that your academic journey and research achievements are impressive. Even if your grades are in the low 80s, your published work and presentations enhance your profile significantly.Your advisor believes in you, and rightly so, as many with your credentials have secured awards before.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your academic career with the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for international students, start preparing your application today. Don’t miss the information session on November 16, 2023, to get all the details you need. Your future awaits!