Largest Merit-Based Scholarships in Canada
Scholarships are one of the important ways you can pay for your education. Amounts you can get will vary anywhere from a few hundred dollars, to several thousand, and are typically awarded according to two criteria: financial need-based, or merit-based.
Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on a student’s demonstrated values, actions or abilities. These can include leadership, community involvement or academic achievements, to name a few. Most merit-based scholarships also have detailed application and eligibility requirements, including interviews with the scholarship organization.
Because these requirements are often both more subjective and more stringent than other types of scholarships, these awards are sometimes larger amounts of money and more competitive.
Students who believe they qualify should check out these three scholarships, which are some of the largest in Canada.
Loran Scholars Award
One of the largest scholarships in Canada, this award is open to students in any program of study and can be used at any one of 25 public Canadian universities across the country. The Loran Foundation, which manages the award, selects as many as 32 students each year to receive these scholarships.
The Loran Awards are valued at $100,000 over a four-year program, and include:
- A $10,000 annual stipend, plus matching tuition waiver
- Access to $10,000 in summer internship funding
- Mentorship arrangements, gathering and other events with other Loren Scholars, and annual retreats
TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership
This scholarship recognizes students who are community-minded with strong leadership skills who are active members of their community.
Twenty winners are selected from 5 regions across Canada:
- British Columbia/Yukon
- Prairie Provinces/Nunavut/Northwest Territories
- Atlantic Canada
The application and selection process involves interviews with regional selection panels composed of prominent members of the community, who will assess the applicants and make the final award decisions.
These awards have a value up to $70,000 over four years, including up to $10,000 per year for tuition and $7,500 per year for living expenses. There are also mentorship opportunities, offers for paid summer employment, and networking events included in the award.
Schulich Leader Scholarships
The Schulich Leader Scholarships are offered to innovative and leadership-minded students who plan to study in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math.
These scholarships are available to students across Canada and are awarded based on a combination of merit – specifically academic excellence, and strong community, business or entrepreneurial involvement – as well as considering financial need. The application process is a bit unique, as your high school needs to submit your name in a nomination for the scholarship program.
50 scholarships are awarded each year, divided into two categories:
- 25 scholarships of $100,000 each (over 4 years) for students pursuing an engineering degree
- 25 scholarships of $80,000 each (over 4 years) for students pursuing degrees in technology, math or the sciences.
Regardless of what scholarships you decide to apply for – whether you go for these huge national opportunities, or search through your local, provincial, and university financial aid options – the keys to success involve researching your possible scholarship options, writing interesting application essays, and making sure your application materials are free of errors.