9 little-known scholarships in Canada that could be life-changing


Applying for scholarships in Canada can be time-consuming and frustrating, which often results in students only applying to big-name awards that seem like sure bets. To help you save time and money (not to mention tears), we’ve put together this list of the 9 most overlooked scholarships in Canada that could make all the difference when it comes to paying your way through school. Be sure to check these out!


The Ayn Rand Institute Scholarship

The Ayn Rand Institute offers undergraduate and graduate level scholarships for Canadian students. There are three different awards: undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral. The winners of the Ayn Rand Institute scholarship receive a cash award.

The undergraduate program is open to Canadian students who have achieved at least 80% of their high school credits by the time they apply. Applicants must also submit an essay on a topic related to Objectivism or Ayn Rand's philosophy of reason and individualism as well as provide an up-to-date transcript from their high school.


The David Suzuki Foundation Scholarship

The David Suzuki Foundation is giving away $4,000 scholarships for Canadian students who demonstrate courage and a commitment to the environment. The scholarship is awarded based on the quality of an essay on one of three topics: climate change; wildlife conservation; or sustainability.

Students are asked to write an essay of 1,500 words or less about one of the three topics. The essays will be judged based on the following criteria: creativity, engagement with the topic, and clarity of expression.


The Google Lime Scholarship

For the last two years, Google has been running a scholarship for underprivileged students all around the world. But what about Canadian students? Well, there's one for them too! Called The Google Lime Scholarship, this program is offered by KPMG, who will provide financial support to Canadian students as they pursue their studies in STEM fields. The scholarship covers tuition, accommodation and living expenses (up to $10K per year) over four years of study, with recipients completing a period of service following their graduation from university. As well as awarding financial assistance, the program gives participants access to career development opportunities and leadership training programs. Furthermore, it provides technical training to help them find work following graduation - which is no mean feat in today's job market!


The National Scholarship Program

The NSP is open to Canadian residents who are under 20 years old at time of application. In order to apply for the NSP you must meet eligibility requirements as well as program specific criteria; you can find more information about these here . If you need help finding a scholarship, don’t hesitate to reach out!


The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship

To be eligible for the award, you must:

  1. Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher; 
  2. Demonstrate leadership potential and community involvement; 
  3. Demonstrate financial need; 
  4. Be enrolled as an undergraduate student at an institution located in Canada (not including UBC).


The RBC Indigenous Student Awards

I'm going to start with a scholarship I helped create. The RBC Indigenous Student Awards are designed to support and encourage indigenous students pursuing postsecondary studies, and they can come with a $7,000 award for full-time studies. To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must have completed at least one year of postsecondary studies or be enrolled in their first year of full time study. They also need to have lived on a reserve or aboriginal community for at least six months out of the last three years.


The TD Scholarship for Community Leadership

Vanier CGS Master's degree and PhD students receive $35,000 per year for three years. Vanier CGS doctoral candidates receive $50,000 per year for four years. The Association of McGill University Support Employees Scholarship: Awarded to a student who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement and active participation in their community.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions Graduate Fellowship: A one-time award of $2,500 for an entering or continuing graduate student to undertake research on the nursing care needs of children and adolescents with special health care needs. The Jack Engell Scholarship: The Jack Engell Scholarship is open to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident currently enrolled full-time at an Ontario university in their final undergraduate year of study towards completion of a bachelor’s degree program in engineering.


The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

The Vanier CGS is awarded to outstanding PhD students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and who demonstrate a strong commitment to conducting research and an interest in pursuing an academic career. This scholarship will provide up to $50,000 over a ten-month period.

Fees are waived for the duration of the award.

The only requirement for this scholarship is that you're enrolled as a full-time doctoral student at one of the following universities: University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University, McGill University, McMaster University, Université de Montréal or Université de Sherbrooke.

The deadline for this scholarship application is November 15th each year.


The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards

Named after a Canadian suffragette, the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards are given to women who have made significant contributions to public life. The awards honour women who have demonstrated the values of leadership and social activism, good citizenship, and lifelong learning.

The awards were created by YWCA Toronto’s Social Justice department with the goal of awarding a diverse group of women, including those from racialized communities and Indigenous peoples.

To qualify for this award, nominees must also demonstrate financial need. They may be nominated by any person or organization as long as they meet all eligibility requirements. 

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