If you are a high-school student who is planning to attend university next year, you’re probably giving your finances some serious consideration. Attending postsecondary education is a life-changing experience, but as we all know, tuition can take up a large part of your budget. When you’re researching ways to fund your education, you should consult York U’s Scholarships & Awards webpage and research financial aid services such as OSAP or your provincial financial assistance program.
It’s also a good idea to research other scholarship programs. What if I told you that there is a Canada-wide scholarship program that could cover the cost of your whole undergraduate degree? I’m talking about the Schulich Leader Scholarships. Take a look at our overview of the Schulich Leader Scholarships program below to learn more and read our previous blog post, “How to Stick to Your Student Budget” to start creating a financial plan for your postsecondary education.
What are the Schulich Leader Scholarships?
The Schulich Leader Scholarships program awards 50 scholarships each year (with values ranging from $80,000 to $100,000) to high-school students entering engineering, science, technology or mathematics (STEM) programs. The Canada-wide program works with more than 20 partner universities and 2,000+ participating high schools to reach as many applicants as possible.
The name “Schulich” is likely familiar to York U students and applicants: Seymour Schulich founded York U’s Schulich School of Business as well as this awards program, though they are not connected. Seymour Schulich established the awards program due to his belief that advancements in STEM research and education will create a better future for the world. Schulich Leaders must demonstrate leadership, innovation and drive towards their studies and must also demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the award.
The Application Process
The Schulich Leader Scholarships program is a little different from other awards. To be eligible to apply, you must first be nominated by a representative from your high school. Each year participating high schools choose a representative (e.g. a teacher, principal or advisor) to nominate one student. Pre-university colleges in Quebec (also known as Cégeps) can nominate two students. The deadline to nominate students for the 2018-2019 school year is February 1, 2018. If your school has not yet selected a nominee, consider discussing the program with your teachers or advisors to see if you could be nominated!
Once students are nominated, they must complete a scholarship application which needs to be submitted via the Schulich Leader Scholarships website by February 22, 2018. The application must include the following:
- The university the nominee wishes to attend (can be any Canadian university);
- The nominee’s top three achievements (they do not necessarily have to be academic);
- A 600-word essay demonstrating why the nominee should win, and why they want to win;
- An optional 250-word essay to outline extenuating circumstances;
- A short answer section detailing where the nominee sees themselves in 10 years;
- Two single-page letters of recommendation including contact information for verification;
- A copy of the nominee’s recent transcript, credit counsel summary or detailed academic report; and
- A headshot profile image for publicity.
After the application deadline has passed, universities will review applications based on their own criteria and will start to make offers to students. The universities’ selection process will take place between March 1 to June 15, 2018. Each partner university is allowed to award two Schulich Leader Scholarships, one designated for a nominee planning to enrol in an engineering program and one designated for a nominee planning to enrol in a science, technology or mathematics program.
A new measure was implemented in 2015 to ensure fairness for universities that receive a high volume of nominations. The top five universities with the most nominations each year will be awarded two additional scholarships to give out: one for engineering and one for science, technology or mathematics.
Who is Eligible?
To be eligible to become a nominee, you need to demonstrate specific attributes. The first attribute concerns your capacity as a leader. Ask yourself: Am I an academic leader? Am I a leader in an entrepreneurial, community or business context? Secondly, you must be able to demonstrate financial need. If the above criteria applies to you, you may be eligible to be nominated for the Schulich Leader Scholarships!
The third eligibility component concerns your plans for the future: are you thinking of enrolling in a technology, mathematics, engineering or science program? Finally, in order to be eligible for a Schulich Leader Scholarship, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is graduating from high school and enrolling in one of the partner universities.
All of these requirements are crucial in order to be nominated. Make sure to check that you meet all of these requirements before approaching your school representative as a potential Schulich Leader Scholarship nominee.
Why You Should Choose York
After you have been nominated, you need to decide which universities you will apply to. You will need to evaluate your choice based on the programs offered, experiential learning opportunities and campus environment (among other things that are important to you). You may want to read our previous #YUBlog post, “Finding Your University Fit” for practical considerations when choosing a university. For example, York University is an excellent institution for students looking to pursue a degree in STEM fields. York prioritizes hands-on experiential learning, meaning that you can put your skills to use and gain valuable experience in your field. York is also the number one university in Ontario in regard to collaborative research publications and is home to more than 25 research centres, meaning that undergraduate STEM students can contribute to research being conducted at the University.
Good luck with your Schulich Leader Scholarship applications! To learn more about the program, visit the Schulich Leader Scholarship website and review the frequently asked questions.