Applying for Merit Scholarships in Canada: A Guide


As a student looking to pursue higher education in Canada, you may be seeking financial support through scholarships to help cover the costs. Merit scholarships are one excellent option to consider since they reward students for academic achievements, skills and talents. Preparing a strong application and understanding what merit scholarships evaluate can significantly improve your chances of securing these competitive awards. This guide provides an overview of popular merit scholarships in Canada and actionable tips to make your application stand out. With some time and effort, you can identify and successfully apply for merit-based scholarships that align with your background. Use this resource to learn strategies to present yourself as an ideal candidate and increase your odds of obtaining financial assistance to achieve your academic goals in Canada.

What Are Merit-Based Scholarships in Canada?


Merit-based scholarships in Canada are awarded to students based on their academic achievements and talents. They are given by universities, private organizations, and provincial governments to recognize excellence and support post-secondary education.

Academic Achievement Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded based on a student’s high school grades, test scores, and advanced coursework. Many universities offer automatic entrance scholarships for students who achieve a minimum admissions average. Private organizations like Schulich Leader Scholarships and Loran Awards also provide merit scholarships for students with outstanding grades and community involvement.

Talent-Based Scholarships

Talent scholarships recognize students with exceptional skills or achievements in areas like arts, athletics, entrepreneurship, and community service. For example, the Schulich Leader Scholarships for Entrepreneurship are given to students who have demonstrated entrepreneurial talent. The Loran Awards support students with a track record of community service and leadership. Some universities offer talent scholarships for accomplishments in music, visual arts, dance, and athletics.


To apply for merit scholarships in Canada, students typically need a resume of achievements, reference letters, an application essay, and to meet minimum grade cut-offs. The awards cover tuition fees, living expenses, and opportunities for mentorship. By rewarding hard work and recognizing talent, merit scholarships support students in pursuing their dreams and maximizing their potential. With determination and perseverance, Canadian students from all backgrounds can earn merit scholarships to help finance their post-secondary studies.

Top Merit Scholarship Programs in Canada

The Schulich Leader Scholarships

The Schulich Leader Scholarships are among the most prestigious undergraduate STEM scholarships in Canada. Valued at $100,000 for engineering scholarships and $80,000 for science, technology and math scholarships, these renewable scholarships are awarded to students enrolling in one of the 20 participating universities across Canada. To be eligible, you must have a minimum final admission average of 85% and demonstrate outstanding community leadership.

The Loran Scholars Foundation

The Loran Scholars Foundation offers renewable undergraduate scholarships valued at $100,000 over four years. Loran Scholars are selected based on outstanding character, promise of leadership and strong commitment to service in the community. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents entering their first year of university with a minimum 85% admission average. Successful candidates demonstrate creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, courage and compassion.

The TD Scholarships for Community Leadership

The TD Scholarships for Community Leadership are worth up to $70,000 over four years. These scholarships recognize students who have demonstrated outstanding community leadership and make a meaningful contribution to their communities. Applicants must be in their final year of high school in Canada, be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, achieve a minimum 75% admission average and demonstrate a commitment to community service and volunteer work.


In summary, Canada offers prestigious merit-based scholarships for undergraduate study. By excelling academically, demonstrating strong leadership qualities and community involvement, Canadian students can earn generous scholarships to help fund their post-secondary education at leading universities across the country. With hard work and perseverance, these life-changing opportunities are within reach.

How to Apply for Merit Scholarships in Canada

To apply for merit-based scholarships in Canada, you will need to put in effort to find and apply for scholarships that match your qualifications.### Search for Available Scholarships The first step is to search for scholarships you may be eligible for. You can search online databases like Scholarships Canada, Universities Canada, and individual university websites. Look for scholarships based on your program of study, grades, extracurricular activities, and other qualifications. Make a list of scholarships you want to apply for and note their eligibility criteria and application deadlines.

Gather the Necessary Documentation

For most scholarships, you will need to provide transcripts, reference letters, a resume, and a personal essay. Request official transcripts from all high schools and post-secondary institutions you have attended. Ask teachers, coaches, and mentors who know you well to write reference letters discussing your strengths and potential. Update your resume to highlight your education, achievements, and relevant experience. Finally, prepare to write a strong personal essay discussing your background, goals, and how the scholarship will help you.

Apply Before the Deadlines

Submit complete applications for each scholarship before their posted deadlines. Meet all eligibility criteria and provide all requested documentation to maximize your chances. For paper applications, submit via registered mail for proof of delivery. For online applications, apply through the appropriate website and keep records of your application for your records.

Follow Up

Check with the scholarship administrators a few weeks after the deadline to confirm your application was received and is complete. This also expresses your continued interest and enthusiasm. If offered an interview, be well prepared to discuss how you meet the scholarship criteria. And if selected as the recipient, be sure to formally accept the scholarship and follow all guidelines to claim your award.

With preparation and persistence, applying for merit-based scholarships in Canada can pay off considerably in helping fund your post-secondary education. Do your research, put together strong applications, and don’t miss out on opportunities that could support your success.


As a student, the financial burden of higher education can seem overwhelming. However, with some research, preparation, and persistence, there are merit scholarships available that can significantly offset your costs. By targeting awards that fit your background and skills, crafting a strong application, and casting a wide net across multiple opportunities, your chances of securing funding are greatly increased. While competitive, merit scholarships reward hard work and achievement. With focus and diligence, you can gain the financial support needed to pursue your academic goals. Though the application process requires time and effort, the payoff of reduced student debt is well worth it. Invest in your future by putting your best foot forward and apply.

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