Athletic Scholarships in Canada

An overview of athletic scholarships in Canada, and how branding your resume as a student athlete can create opportunities.

Niko Kattis · November 30, 2021

Most parents aspire for their children to become athletic or bright enough to attend college or university on a nice, fancy scholarship. Although scholarships are typically available for students who are exceptionally gifted in an athletic or academic field, it is important to know your opportunities, and make yourself a potential candidate who stands out to recruiters as an elite student athlete. Wherever your athletic passion may lie, this article will provide a general on overview for student athletes on the available university scholarships in Canada. 


According to MacLean’s, university tuition in most provinces exceeds $5,000 a year, while the average Canadian sports scholarship is $1,060. If your university fees cost $5,500 a year and you were to receive a full scholarship as a student athlete, this fee would be covered. A Canadian university may not give this much scholarship money out to their athletes, whether by choice or because the funds just don’t exist at their program. The scholarships offered in Canada are fully reliant on funding, which every university receives in different ways.

Whatever the situation, the amount of money that a scholar receives, is based on their grades, and game. It is important to keep in mind that some schools can have more funding than other schools for a particular sport activity, which may determine the strength of their athletic program, along with the scholarships they can offer. NCAA schools may offer higher amounts of scholarship funds, and the offers may seem more enticing, but university tuition is typically much higher in the States compared to Canada.


The governing body of Canadian University sports, USports, sanctions 12 major sport league. Schools from coast to coast collectively participate and compete for the national title for each of these sports: 

  • Basketball
  • Cross-country
  • Curling
  • Field Hockey
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling 

The level of competition for most Canadian university sports is not as fierce compared to the NCAA Division I college sport leagues, but USports still demand elite student athletes. For USports first-year scholars, a grade average of 80% coming out of high school is a requirement. Once enrolled in University, athletes with scholarships at an Ontario school must maintain a 70% grade average, while the other provinces and territories set the bar at just 65%. 

These benchmark academic standards are fairly obtainable, and students who excel at one of these sports during high school have an opportunity to receive an athletic scholarship. I personally know student athletes who just decided to pick up one of these sports during high school for fun, and have found success that ended up relieving some financial burden off of them and their families. For Ontario students in their final year of highschool, the deadline to submit university applications for undergrad programs is January 13, 2022.


As a Canadian athlete, it is important to recognize all opportunities available by doing research and branding yourself as a student-athlete. A lot of factors can weigh when selecting a post-secondary program, and it is important to explore all potential outcomes and choose the best one for you. Sport, program, funding, and location should all be taken into account when making the post-secondary decision that will shape your life.

Many kids tend to miss out on athletic scholarships because they either don't know their opportunities, or don't know how to stand out to schools who are looking. It is our mission at Powered by Arc to help get you the recognition you deserve. Learn more about Arc, easy-to-use products and how they can help you effectively brand your academic and athletic resume to universities.