Major scholarships in Canada

Major Canadian Scholarships to Fund Your Post-Secondary Education


Let’s get this out of the way: these major scholarships are for the best of the best. If you’re a high achiever in one area or more, organizations across Canada have some pretty big financial awards – but winning them won’t be easy.

Don’t let our disclaimer dissuade you, though. In the words of the great Canadian Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Consider that millions of dollars worth of scholarships go unclaimed each year. Each of the awards below is worth at least $10,000, with some ranging as high as $100,000! Whether you’re after the Loran, the Schulich, the Commonwealth, or one of the major awards from Rogers, TD, or RBC, you’ll have some pretty steep competition, but we’ll help you every step of the way.

Loran Scholar Award ($100,000)

In partnership with 25 Canadian universities, plus donors and volunteers across the country, the Loran Scholar Foundation invests in the future of Canada. They offer the country’s largest and most comprehensive four-year undergraduate award (valued at $100,000 over 4 years) to young Canadians on the basis of character, service, and the promise of leadership. There are also 120 finalist and provincial awards given to promising candidates who aren’t chosen as Loran Scholars.

Eligibility Criteria for High School Students:

  • Be in your final year of uninterrupted full-time studies in high school.
  • Present a minimum cumulative average of 85%.
  • Hold Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status.
  • Be at least 16 years of age by September 1st of the following year.

Eligibility Criteria for CEGEP Students:

  • Be in your final year of uninterrupted full-time studies in CEGEP. If you are planning to attend university outside of Québec after only one year of CEGEP, you can apply in your first year of CEGEP.
  • Present an R score equal to or higher than 29.
  • Hold Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status.
  • Be at least 16 years of age by September 1st of the following year.

There’s no longer a limit to the number of applicants from one single school. If you think you qualify, contact your guidance counsellor, teacher or school administrator to learn about the process at your school. If you are currently attending a CEGEP, you can consult our list of CEGEP representatives for the right person to contact at your school.

Their application process takes place annually in September/October. Shortlisted candidates can submit videos to support their application, after which 250 semi-finalists will be invited to online interviews. Semi-finalists get a chance to connect with each another and get some great interview experience with local leaders, and the best candidates are invited to participate in national interviews.

The 2023 Loran Award application period is now closed.

Learn more by clicking here. As well, check out our summary and thoughts on this award by clicking here. For more insight, we’ve also interviewed a number of past winners of the award. Read their interviews herehere, and here.

Schulich Leader Scholarship ($100,000-$120,000)

Schulich Leader Scholarships are Canada’s most coveted undergraduate STEM scholarships.

Up to 100 entrepreneurial-minded high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math program at 20 partner universities across Canada receive awards every year. Engineering scholarships are valued at $120,000 while science and math scholarships are valued at $100,000.

Every high school in Canada can nominate one graduating student each year to apply for the scholarship. Speak to your guidance counsellor to get nominated.

Nomination deadline is in late January annually for the following year. Nominees submit their application in February.

Criteria for eligibility include:

  • Graduating high school or CEGEP in Canada in the current academic year;
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Plan to enrol in an eligible STEM program at one of their partner universities
  • Meet the following criteria:
    1. Academic excellence, AND
    2. Leadership, charisma and creativity (with strong consideration given to students’ financial need)
  • Be entrepreneurial-minded and intend to pursue a career in one or more of the following focus areas:
    1. Technology
    2. Engineering
    3. Entrepreneurship and business enterprise
    4. Applied scientific research

They are NOT considering students who:

  • Focus on activism (environmental/political/societal)
  • Intend to become a practicing physician and/or medical researcher (e.g. Doctor, Dentist, Nurse, Psychologist, Pharmacist, Optometrist, etc.)
  • Intend to become a Professor and conduct theoretical research

If nominated, you will receive an email from Schulich Leader Scholarships with the link to your online scholarship application. The online application includes:

  • The universities you wish to attend
  • Your top three achievements (academic or other)
  • Essay demonstrating why you should win
  • Optional essay to outline extenuating circumstances
  • Short answer to identify where you see yourself in 10 years
  • Two single-page letters of reference that include email and telephone contact information for verification
  • Copy of up-to-date transcript, credit counsel summary or detailed academic report
  • Headshot profile image for publicity

Scholarship application deadline is in February.

Learn more by clicking here.  As well, check out our summary and thoughts on this award by clicking here.

TD Scholarships for Community Leadership ($70,000)

Each scholarship is worth up to $70,000 for tuition fees and living expenses over four years. If you love making a difference in your community, you may have already qualified. TD Scholarships for Community Leadership are open to students across Canada who:

  • Have demonstrated community leadership
  • Are in the final year of high school (outside Quebec) or CEGEP (in Quebec)
  • Have a minimum overall grade average of 75% in their most recently completed school year

The application process involves writing an essay describing your community leadership experience, letters of recommendation, and details on your family and personal life.

TD selects from a pool of up to 80 finalists to interview with regional selection panels, and from there, at least two scholarship recipients are chosen from each of the five regions:

  • Atlantic Canada
  • Quebec
  • Ontario
  • Prairies/Northwest Territories/Nunavut
  • British Columbia/Yukon

Scholarship application deadline is November 13, 2020.

Learn more by clicking here. As well, check out our summary and thoughts on this award by clicking here.

Terry Fox Humanitarian Award ($28,000)

The Terry Fox Humanitarian Award is given to a graduating secondary school student or to a student currently studying towards a first degree or diploma at a recognized Canadian college or university. Based on demonstration of the highest ideals and qualities of citizenship, courage in overcoming obstacles, involvement in humanitarian service, participation in sports, fitness, and community service. Submission of a transcript reflecting two years of schooling prior to the current year required.

To be considered for the award, applicants must be:

  • In good academic standing.
  • Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.
  • Students graduating from secondary (high) school or students completing their first year of CEGEP or students who have completed secondary (high) school
  • Involved in voluntary humanitarian activities (for which they have not been compensated).
  • Planning to or are already studying towards their first university degree or diploma at a Canadian post-secondary institution, or entering their 2nd year of CEGEP in the upcoming academic year.

The 2020 application period is now closed. Stay tuned for details on the 2021 application period.

Learn more by clicking here. As well, check out our summary and thoughts on this award by clicking here. For more insight, we’ve also profiled some of the winners here.

CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award ($25,000)

The CFUW AWA will be granted for studies in specific programs of Law, Medicine, Nurse Practitioner or a Masters in Aboriginal Studies as outlined in the application instructions. The award is renewable as it is designed to help a successful winner by providing the award for a second year. In the event the winner does not request the second year of support, this award will be offered every second year.

An applicant for the CFUW AWA will be considered eligible on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Canadian Aboriginal woman
  • Study in Canada
  • Holds or will hold an undergraduate university degree or equivalent before the CFUW AWA for which she applied is granted
  • Must have applied to be a full-time student in any year of an eligible program at a recognized or accredited Canadian post-secondary degree-granting institution

Learn more by clicking here.

National Essay Contest (Up to $12,000)

Are you in Grade 10, 11 or 12 (Secondary IV, Secondary V or CEGEP 1 in Quebec) and registered in a French program? Do you need a little boost to continue your education in French after high school? Take part in the National Essay Contest for the chance to win a scholarship ranging between $1,000 and $12,000 for a select post-secondary institution.

To participate, you must submit an essay written in French on the following theme: “How has fake news changed your relationship with the media?”

You must indicate on your entry form which of the two categories below you best fit to be judged against:

Category 1: French Second Language (“FSL”): students whose first language is not French or students who are currently enrolled in Core French, Extended Core French, Basic French, French Immersion, or any other version or type of FSL program.

Category 2: French First Language (“FFL”): students who satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

  • Your first language is French
  • Speak, write and comprehend French with native fluency
  • Regularly speak French at home with one or both parents
  • Attend or have attended a French First Language school for more than 3 years within the past 6 years.

Submission deadline is December 18, 2020.

Learn more by clicking here. As well, check out our summary and thoughts on this award by clicking here. For more insight, we’ve also profiled some of the winners here.

The Dalton Camp Award ($10,000)

The Dalton Camp Award is a $10,000 prize for the best essay on the link between media and democracy, presented annually by FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting. FRIENDS launched the award in 2002 to honour the memory of Dalton Camp, a distinguished commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Eligible essays written in English up to 2,000 words in length are judged on both subject matter and strength of written expression on an anonymous basis by a jury.

Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, regardless of age, student or professional status may enter for the $10,000 prize. Students enrolled in a recognized post-secondary institution are also eligible for the $2,500 Student Prize. FRIENDS encourages and welcomes applications from across genders, ages, abilities, sexual orientations, religions and beliefs.

Submission deadline is December 1, 2020.

Learn more by clicking here.

Royal Bank Scholarships (Over $500,000)

RBC has developed a diverse set of scholarship programs worth over $500,000 a year to help address the critical need for students funding across Canada. There are a number of scholarships available for you to consider:

Learn more by clicking here.

Ted Rogers Scholarship Fund (Up to $10,000)

The Ted Rogers Scholarship is here to help ensure the success of future young leaders by assisting with their educational aspirations and breaking down barriers that Canadian youth face throughout their education period.

A quick overview:

  • 150 community scholarships of up to $10,000 were awarded in 2019.
  • A $3,500,000 total in scholarships has been given to 1000 recipients since 2017.
  • 215 employee scholarships of $2,500 were given out this year

Eligible applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Additionally, they must be a participant of one of several Rogers’ community partners, and entering into full-time studies in a first bachelor degree, diploma program, or trades program at a Canadian university, college, or trades school.

Recipients are identified by community partners, who select individuals based on their community leadership. There is no formal application process outside of the community partners.

The 2020 selection period is now closed. Stay tuned for details on the 2021 application process.

Learn more by clicking here. As well, check out our summary and thoughts on this award by clicking here.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Apply for any of the scholarships you qualify for. Let us know if you have any questions! We’re here to help.

Also, we’re constantly updating this article. Let us know if you come across a major scholarship in the wild that you’d like us to break down for you!