Answering Financial Need Questions

What is Financial Need?

A financial need is, by the term alone, one's need for finances to be able to study, live, and work. For essays that require this detail, you want to provide

  1. your current financial resources, which could be any contribution from your parents including RESPs (Registered Education Savings Plan) or your own savings, and
  2. your estimated expenses, which include tuition fees, textbooks and equipment required of your degree, or living costs during postsecondary.

How Do I Demonstrate Financial Need?

Scholarship providers want to get a sense of your family’s financial picture: your family income, your personal contribution to it (that is, if you have a job), and the additional money you need to attend your target university.

Describe any challenges or adversity you and/or your family has faced. Consider what financial adversity may prevent or have prevented you from doing any activities or pursuing opportunities in postsecondary. Here are some details you can include in your essay:

Your current financial status

  • Are the joint salaries of all working family members not enough to provide for secondary needs, like your education? Or does only one person support the entire family's needs?
  • Are you living in a rental home or currently living in a relative's house?
  • Are there other family members who will be/is attending a postsecondary institution?
  • How long will you finish your degree, and what does the approximate total tuition cost? Do you have to purchase books and other equipment as well?
  • Will you be living on campus or renting?

Your plan to supplement your savings

  • Have you saved money for your education through working?
  • Have you saved birthday, Christmas, and other holiday monetary gifts?
  • Do you plan to work while attending university?
  • Are you currently working?

Make sure you use an optimistic tone when you are writing. Your financial situation or hardships might not be the most positive thing to share, but you can turn it around by writing about how these challenges have taught your resiliency and the ability to overcome adversity.

Remember to also write how you will benefit from this scholarship. Where will it be spent? Explain how you will make good use of the financial aid you receive. Benefits might include being able to concentrate more on studying instead of working or allowing you to spend more time on creating a positive impact on your community! This allows the committee to understand your drive and vision!

Need inspiration? Check out our Financial Need Essay Wizard! 

What Documents Should I Collect?

Some scholarships may ask for "proof" of financial need. Basically, they're asking for financial documents. Your parents may need to provide their latest income tax return or their most recent bank statements in these cases. If the scholarship website is not clear on which documents you need to attach, contact our specialists for further support at [email protected] or live chat.