national essay contest scholarship overview

National Essay Contest Scholarship: Overview


Are you a student currently in a French program? Are you also in Grade 10, 11, 12, secondaire IV, secondaire V or Cégep 1 (in Quebec)? Then take part in the National Essay Contest Scholarship! There’s a chance you could win a scholarship ranging between $1,000 and $12,000 at one of these post-secondary institutions:

  • uOttawa
  • Université Sainte Anne
  • Université de Montréal
  • Université de Moncton
  • Université de Saint-Boniface
  • York University – Glendon 
  • University of Alberta – Campus Saint-Jean
  • Université Simon Fraser
  • University of Lethbridge
  • Collège Boréal
  • University of Regina 
  • Collège de l’Île
  • University of British Columbia

Moreover, your essay could be read by the National Essay Contest Scholarship’s sponsoring organization: Foundation David Suzuki. This foundation is a national, bilingual non-profit organization that works to conserve and protect the environment as well as build a sustainable Canada. 

Choose a Category

Every entry form must indicate which of the categories best fit the entrant:

Category One: FSL, French Second Language

This would be for students whose first language is not French. Therefore, this includes students who take Basic French, French Immersion, Core French, Extended Core French, as well as any other version of a FSL program that’s available in their province or territory. Additionally, they do not match any of the French First Language criteria.

Category 2: FFL, French First Language 

This category is for students who meet one or more of these criteria:

  • First language is French.
  • Speak, write, and comprehend French with native fluency.
  • Attend or attended a FFL school for more than 3 years (within the past 6 months).
  • Also, regularly speak French at home with one or both parents.

How Do They Choose Winners?

A panel of French teachers and the sponsoring organization will mark the essays using the Evaluation Grid. By submitting your essay to the contest, each applicant agrees to the publication, reproduction, and/or other use of their essay, name, address, and voice statements about the contest without further compensation. More importantly, the sponsor, its advertising and promo agencies as well as the contest judges are not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, illegible, or delayed entries. 

How Do I Enter?

Firstly, start off by reading the Rules and Regulations and the Evaluation Grid to gain a better understanding of what the panel and sponsoring organization are looking for. Secondly, write a 750-word essay (in French) on the provided theme for this year. For example, the 2019-2020 National Essay Contest Scholarship theme was:

On June 17th, 2019, Canada has declared a climate emergency. If you were put in charge of leading the government, how would you respond to this emergency?

Thirdly, submitting your essay is easy! Just make sure that you fill out the online form between October and December. Go to and click on the Contest link on the home page to find the entry form. Lastly, winners are announced at the beginning of March. 

For more information, read the National Essay Contest: How To Apply and Win.