Yes, you can still win scholarships if you choose to take a gap year! However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- If you are in a gap year, you may end up completing most of your scholarship applications once you are officially enrolled in a post-secondary program. This will likely be when the majority of eligible scholarships are open to you.
- Some (but not all) scholarships allow you to take a gap year.
- Some (but not all) scholarships will let you postpone or defer the scholarship and use it once you go to university.
- This all varies based on the application.
If you're currently in high school and wanting to take a gap year, it's in your best interest to apply to as many scholarships as you can now instead of waiting. You have more scholarship opportunities as a Grade 12 considering a gap year than as a student in a gap year. Even if you're only eligible for 50% of the scholarships available to you because you're heading into a gap year, that's still more than the 0% you may be eligible for during your gap year.
Scholarships such as the Terry Fox have been won by students in the GrantMe program while they were on a gap year. When writing essays it is important to show why you decided to take a gap year and what you learned while taking the gap year.
We have lots of current gap year students in our program as well because they are preparing for applications that they will complete upon entering university. If you're in university and taking a gap year, you can still apply to scholarships upon your return to school.
In addition, if you win scholarships in your Grade 12 year, it might change your financial reality—making the choice to go to school immediately a more attractive option to you.
Either way, it's best to keep your options open!