Schulich Leader Scholarship Essay Sample

What are Schulich Leader Scholarships?

Launched in 2012, this $100 million scholarship fund provides 50 undergraduate scholarships each year, across top Canadian universities. The most promising students can pursue their dreams and become the next global pioneers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). A similar program is conducted in Israel, where an additional 50 scholarships are awarded annually.

Why was this program established?

Founding philanthropist Seymour Schulich believes in supporting exceptional young minds that demonstrate great leadership and embrace STEM fields. He believes that together we are creating the next generation of technology innovators.

How is this program funded?

This program is funded by The Schulich Foundation and Co-Administered by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

What is the monetary value of each scholarship?

Twenty-five scholarships, valued at $100,000 each, are designated for students pursuing an engineering degree. Twenty-five scholarships, valued at $80,000 each, are designated for students studying science, technology or math.

How many scholarships are awarded by each partner university?

Twenty partner universities in Canada are eligible to provide two Schulich Leader Scholarships annually. One designated for a Nominee planning to enrol in an engineering program, valued at $100,000; one designated for a Nominee planning to enrol in a science, technology or mathematics program, valued at $80,000.


The five partner universities that attract the most Nominee applications by the annual application deadline are granted an additional two Schulich Leader Scholarships each. One designated for engineering program and one designated for a science, technology or mathematics program.


This measure was put in place in 2015 to provide equity amongst Nominees applying to win the award at the universities that generated a larger pool of Nominee candidates annually.

What universities in Canada and Israel participate in this program?

The list of all partner universities can be found at

What are the eligible STEM programs at each university?

Each university has their own list of eligible STEM programs. To see the complete list of eligible STEM programs at each university, visit the universities page and click on the respective university logo. A pop-up screen will appear and list the information.

Who is eligible to receive the scholarship?

Schulich Leader Scholarships are open to all graduating high school or Cégep students across Canada who have an interest in pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) at one of our partner universities.

Students must:

Demonstrate 2 of 3 selection criteria:

  1. Academic excellence
  2. Outstanding community, business or entrepreneurial leadership
  3. Financial need


Be entrepreneurial minded, intending to pursue a career in:

  1. Technology
  2. Innovation
  3. Engineering
  4. Scientific Research (Research into questions posed by scientific theories and hypotheses)

In addition, to qualify Nominees must:

  1. Graduate high school or Cegep in 2017/2018 academic year
  2. Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  3. Enroll at one of our partner universities

We are NOT looking for students pursuing careers in:

  1. Medicine (Practicing Physician)
  2. Medical Research (Research conducted to aid and support the development of knowledge in the field of medicine)

What grades meet the requirement of Academic Excellence?

The definition of “Academic Excellence” is up to the discretion of each individual high school or Cégep.

How is Financial Need defined?

Students planning to apply for government assistance for undergraduate study at university would meet the criterion of “Financial Need”

What high schools are eligible to participate?

All public and private high schools and Cégeps across Canada are eligible to participate.

Note: In Quebec, only high schools with students going directly to university can participate.

What is the application process?

The application process to become a Schulich Leader and receive the scholarship is as follows:

  1. High school / Cégep publicizes this opportunity to their student body
  2. High school / Cégep selects one student to be their Schulich Leader Nominee (Cégeps may select two Nominees)
  3. Nominee completes a separate Schulich Leader scholarship application
  4. Universities review applications and select their scholarship recipients

What are the 2018 application deadlines/important dates?

  1. February 1, 2018 – Deadline for school to submit a Nominee
  2. February 22, 2018 – Deadline for Nominee to submit Schulich Leader scholarship application
  3. June 15, 2018 – Scholarship winners finalized

What format are applications submitted in?

All applications must be submitted electronically on our website. The link to access the application is only available upon request by the high school/Cégep. To request the link contact

What information is required for the Schulich Leader Nominee and Schulich Leader application?

The Schulich Leader Nominee application requests the following:

  1. Name and contact information of the high school / Cégep
  2. Name and contact information of the Nominee

Once a Schulich Leader Nominee application is verified, the Nominee is emailed the Schulich Leader scholarship application link. On this application the Nominee is required to do the following:

  1. Select the universities where they would like to attend
  2. List their top three achievements (academic or other)
  3. Write a 600 word essay demonstrating why they would make a great Schulich Leader
  4. Write an optional essay to outline extenuating circumstances 
  5. Short answer to identify where they see themselves in 10 years
  6. Upload two letters of reference
    -letters must be maximum one page in length, addressed to the Schulich Leader  Scholarships Selection Committee, and include Referee telephone number and email address for verification purposes
  7. Upload an up-to-date transcript or credit counsel summary
  8. Upload a headshot profile image for marketing purposes

What is the difference between a Schulich Leader Nominee and a Schulich Leader?

Schulich Leader Nominees are selected by the high school/Cégep administration, while Schulich Leaders are selected by the universities. Only Nominees are eligible to become Schulich Leaders and receive the scholarship.

Can I nominate myself for the scholarship?

We do not accept applications unless they have been submitted electronically by a member of the high school/Cégep administration.

What is the benefit of being a Schulich Leader Nominee?

The Schulich Leader Nominee designation is associated with many benefits:

  1. Only Nominees are eligible to receive the $100,000 or $80,000 scholarship
  2. Nominees are recognized on a National stage and within their school
  3. Nominees receive increased access to summer jobs/internships

If I am a Schulich Leader Nominee, can I apply to receive the scholarship at all 20 universities?

Schulich Leader Nominees may apply to become Schulich Leaders at any or all of the partner universities where they have submitted enrollment applications or intend to submit an application to enroll in undergraduate study in a STEM program. Note, if you select a university that you intend to apply to, you must apply to that university by March 1, 2018.

How are Schulich Leaders selected in Canada?

Each partner university reviews all of the Schulich Leaders applications where the Nominees have selected their school. From this pool of applicants the two Schulich Leaders for each respective institution are chosen.

When do the universities select their Schulich Leaders?

The 2018 Schulich Leaders will be selected by each university by June 15, 2018. However, the universities may make offers to their desired Schulich Leaders before then.

How are scholarship recipients notified?

The method by which recipients are notified is up to the discretion of each partner university.

Are Schulich Leader Nominees notified if they do not win the scholarship?

It is not a requirement that the universities notify the students they have not selected to receive the scholarship. However, we do update all Schulich Leader Nominees and Nominators via email on a regular basis to provide insight into the selection status at each school. We also post any updates on our website and Facebook page as they become available.

What happens if a student is offered the scholarship by more than one university?

Schulich Leader Nominees do not have to accept the first scholarship offer they receive. Nominees can decide to wait and see if they receive offers to other universities as well. However, the partner universities are allowed to put out a scholarship offer with an acceptance deadline. If you receive an offer from one university but would like to wait and see if you receive additional offers, we suggest checking our website and Facebook page, as we will post which universities have finalized their Schulich Leaders as we receive that information. If there is a particular university you have a special interest in we suggest following up with them directly as well.

How are the funds distributed to scholarship recipients?

Before each academic year the universities distribute the funds to the students directly for that academic year. Engineering recipients receive $25,000 and Science, Technology, Math recipients receive $20,000. 

Is the scholarship transferable between universities?

Schulich Leader scholarship funds are non-transferable. If a student receives the award but wishes to switch to a different university the funds remain at the university where they received the award.

What are the requirements to maintain the scholarship each year?

The scholarship may be withdrawn by the university if the student fails to obtain sufficient grades to pass a year, commits a felony, withdraws from full-time attendance at the university or changes his or her area of study away from the STEM areas.

If a student wins the scholarship, are they ineligible to receive other awards?

Schulich Leader Scholarships does not set any restrictions on receiving other awards.

Can the scholarship be deferred?

Subject to the respective university policies, Schulich Leaders may defer the scholarship for a period of up to one year. 

If students accept an official university enrollment offer before finding out if they won the scholarship, will they be ineligible to receive the scholarship at a different university?

If you accept an offer to one university and receive the scholarship at another, you should still be able to accept the scholarship offer and attend the university where you received the scholarship. However, as each university has their own policies we suggest you speak to them first before submitting a formal acceptance agreement.

August 19, 2015 — 

Two upcoming University of Manitoba first-year students have each been awarded Schulich Leader Scholarships, a four-year award totalling $60,000-$80,000. This is the fourth consecutive year that U of M students have won this prestigious award.

Harley Bray, a graduate of Churchill High School, and Christopher Dyck, an alumnus of Mennonite Brethren Collegiate, are the worthy individuals.

Every Canadian high school, secondary school and CEGEP (in Quebec) could each nominate one student to be eligible to receive the scholarship. In the end, only 50 students could win this significant award, which will pay for their undergraduate degree at one of the 20 designated universities in Canada. 

This year there were 1,250 Schulich Leader Nominees across Canada. Of these students, 59 applied to the U of M, and only Bray and Dyck were selected.

Throughout high school Bray spent nearly 50 hours a week volunteering or doing extracurricular activities. Among them, she volunteered with 19 programs and organizations at school and in the community, including Churchill’s PeaceLearners Program and UNESCO Committee. Outside of school Bray donated her time with Riverview Health Centre as well as the Montrose and Riverview elementary schools, and a number of other programs. She competed on Churchill’s curling, golf, rugby and dragon boat teams. She also managed the football and hockey teams, and was the school’s mascot. For this, the University of Manitoba awarded her a Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship earlier this year. 

“Growing up,” she wrote in her Schulich application essay, “I have given a lot of thought as to what and who I want to be. I have thought of becoming a teacher, firefighter, police officer, and even a psychiatrist. There is one thing that all of these professions have in common; they all help others and that is what I aspire to do with my career. I want to help others achieve their own greatness and I want to give back to all those have gave to me and helped me get to where I am today.”

Bray will begin to pursue a career in pediatric care by attending the Faculty of Science. She will receive $60,000 over four years.

The other outstanding student winner is Christopher Dyck. He will use his Schulich Leader Scholarship to peruse his dream of becoming a theoretical physicist or an electrical engineer. He will enter the Faculty of Engineering and is the recipient of the $80,000 award.

In middle school, he was awarded the MBCI Alumni Scholarship for being a tutor and companion for others. The award is given to those who affirm the values of MBCI, demonstrating a positive attitude towards others while maintaining academic excellence. In Grade 11 his peers awarded him the Sig Schroeder Memorial Scholarship for excelling in two sciences and a second language. This is all the more impressive given that, as Dyck admits, he struggled with reading and writing throughout his younger years and had to dedicate himself to overcoming these struggles. One could say he overshot the mark and is now among the exceptional students.

“I have a fire inside me pushing me to reach my potential,” Dyck wrote in his application essay. He wants to create a new scientific model that will unify all physics and aspects of the universe. This bold task is so daunting, only a few are brave enough to endure the efforts to attempt it. Dyck is driven to try.

He noted: “As far back as I can remember, there has always been a yearning and unquenchable question burning inside me: ‘what lies beyond or knowledge of the universe?’”

About Schulich Leader Scholarships:

Schulich Leader Scholarships are prestigious entrance scholarships awarded to high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at participating universities in Canada and Israel. Recognizing the increasing importance and impact that STEM disciplines will have on the prosperity of future generations, businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich established this $100 million scholarship fund in 2012 to encourage our best and brightest students to be the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation. This program awards 100 scholarships annually, valued at more than $5 million. Schulich Leaders can devote their full time and attention to their studies, as all of their financial needs are covered over the course of their degree. As a result, many of our highest potential students are winning these scholarships and will make great contributions to society.

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