How to Apply for an Access Award

Not sure how to apply for an award? Read through our guide to learn how to put together a great application package.

Get ready to apply

See Indigenous Education Awards Guide for criteria and application details of other awards specific to Indigenous students.

Importance of education and community involvement

Although good academic standing is important, many of our awards also recognize the importance of classroom and community contribution and acknowledge students who may have overcome significant challenges to commit to their educational goals.

Your application will benefit from reference letters written by members of your community who know and value your unique talents and contributions.

Personal goals and aspirations

Several applications ask you to talk about your educational goals and what you plan for the future. It may be that you imagine getting the certificate or diploma you are pursuing right now. If that is what you see, that is fine. Write it down and talk about why it's important to you. On the other hand, if you imagine yourself with a particular career doing a particular thing five or ten years in the future, write that down. Everybody's goals and aspirations are personal and everyone is different. Be who you are.


Spend some time listing your goals and dreams. Make a collage or do a drawing if that helps you to better imagine them. Then, when you are writing your awards applications, you will have something to think about as you write.

Reference letters

Be sure to include in your application

  • your future educational goals
  • your Camosun and/or community reference letter(s)
  • any specified requirement such as an essay, DVD, or other items requested in the award description

We value your educational journey as well as your community contribution, and donors do too. That's why they were so generous with the gifts that made these awards possible.

Letters of reference take time to prepare. Be sure to give your instructor or community member at least two weeks before the application deadline to write a letter of reference for you. This will ensure they have the time to write a thorough and thoughtful recommendation. They will also need a copy of the award criteria so they know why you are applying. We encourage you to write a note to your reference letter writers, thanking them for their help and support after they have done you this favour.


It can be helpful to pre-write as much of the letter as possible for the reference writer and give an electronic copy of what you have written to the person from whom you have requested a reference.

Sample community reference letter


Award Selection Committee
School of Access
Camosun College

Dear Selection Committee:

Re: (Your Name and Award Name)

This is a letter of support for (your name's) application for the (Access award name). I have known (your name) for about (number) years. She/He has volunteered with (community organization or college group) for the past (number) years (doing what?).1

(Your name) is also .....2

Thank you for your consideration.

Reference Writer's Name, Title
Contact information

Enclosures (listed if you have them)


  1. Describe your own pertinent and detailed examples of your involvement, responsibilities, and contributions.
  2. Describe your strengths and characteristics – e.g. reliable, hardworking, conscientious, courageous, a leader, has great attendance, goes above and beyond, helpful, etc. Don't be shy about your qualities. We need to know about you.

Instructor's reference letter

When providing a reference letter from an instructor, be sure the letter includes:

  • a current date
  • your name and student number
  • class(es) and term(s) taken with instructor
  • grades (or current progress)
  • attendance and participation
  • other comments
  • instructor's name and title
Songhees student and teacher

Access awards

Funding opportunities for School of Access students.