How to Win the Schulich Scholarship

The Schulich Leader Scholarship is one of the top 5 major scholarships in Canada! Each year, 100 students across Canada pursuing studies in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are awarded full-ride scholarships funding their entire four-year degree. Here at GrantMe, we know what the Schulich committee looks for and how you can position yourself for success. Here’s our top advice on how to win the Schulich Scholarship.

Scholarship Eligibility

Your first step in how to win the Schulich scholarship is confirming your eligibility. 

There are four main criteria:

  • Academic excellence (aim to have a GPA around 80-90%+)
  • Leadership, charisma, & creativity
  • Entrepreneurial-minded
  • Pursuing a career in tech, engineering, entrepreneurship & business enterprise, or applied scientific research

They also prioritize candidates with financial need, although this is not a requirement. 

There are some important distinctions that can make you ineligible, so be aware.

You are ineligible if you want to:

  • Solely focus on activism in your future career (e.g. environmental, political, societal…)
  • Become a practicing physician or medical researcher (i.e. no future nurses or doctors)
  • Become a professor or theoretical researcher

The Schulich Scholarship is also only available to students intended to pursue students at one of 20 partner universities. These include most of the major universities across Canada, so chances are at least one of your post-secondary choices is included. However, you’ll want to check the list and choose your top 3 universities from it.

If you meet all the criteria so far and have a vision for the future of STEM, this is the award for you! There are up to one hundred scholarships available for high school seniors each year. Half are valued at $100,000 for engineering scholarships and half are valued at $80,000 for science and math scholarships.

The Schulich Application Process

Now that you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the real process of how to win the Schulich scholarship begins! The application process has quite a few steps. We’ll go through each below!


The first step in how to win the Schulich Scholarship is nomination! To apply for the scholarship, you must get a nomination from your school. Each school can nominate one student. Every school has a different process for nominating students—ask your guidance counsellor or principal what the process is like for yours! 

Nominations are due by January 27, 2021 this year. 

Out of the over 300,000 high school students in Canada, only approximately 1500 gain nomination. So if you’ve made it this far, that’s already a huge accomplishment!

If you’re in Grade 9, 10, or 11 and unsure if you meet the criteria to be nominated, don’t stress! GrantMe can help you gain the skills and experiences to be a strong scholarship candidate by Grade 12. Check out our free scholarship eligibility quiz today!

Activity Summary

The next step in how to win the Schulich scholarship is an activity summary! You must provide a 50-word description of your top three achievements. This can be academic or leadership based. 

You have a limited amount of space to add your activities, so you want to make sure you’re fully expressing your involvement! Try to list a mixture of initiator, leader, and member roles. 

Initiator roles are volunteer roles in which you started an initiative like a new club or project. Leader roles are a step down from initiator roles, like being a coach or a camp counsellor. Lastly, member roles are involvements in which you volunteered as part of a team. For more help on choosing which involvements to highlight, check out our article here!


The next step in how to win the Schulich scholarship is a 600-word essay demonstrating why should win. 

Here are some tips on how you can structure your essay.


Start with a hook!  Think of something that will capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to keep reading—this could be a personal story or a powerful statement. Give the reader a snapshot of your “character”—what specific event/person/experience motivated you to care about this issue and be who you are today?

For examples and tips on how to write a compelling hook, take a look at our article here

Body Paragraphs

Next, you want to add two to three body paragraphs. 

You want to show the selection committee why you’re the best candidate, not just tell them. Do this by highlighting your volunteer and leadership experience! 

To help you clearly and powerfully communicate your experiences, use STAR structure! STAR is a 4-part acronym that will help you powerfully describe a specific volunteer or extracurricular experience. 

  • S — Situation (who, what, when, where)
  • T — Task (your objective)
  • A — Actions (what you did, how you did it, skills you used)
  • R — Result (qualitative or quantitative proof of your success) 

Use this formula to discuss your volunteer involvements in your application! STAR will make your writing powerful and easy to follow. For more help using STAR, check out our article here!


Finally, end with a conclusion paragraph. A great way to conclude is by looking towards your future. How do you want to make an impact through your future education and career? Be sure to connect to the values of the scholarship—entrepreneurial leadership through STEM!

To access in-depth coaching and guidance on your writing, check out the GrantMe platform! Our trained essay editors know exactly what the selection committees look for and can help you draft a winning essay.  

Extenuating Circumstances

Next, you have the option to include a 250-word essay about any extenuating circumstances you faced. In addition to personal or academic challenges, this a great place to describe any financial adversity you may face. 

When describing your financial need, think of your financial situation over the last four years. How does your family make their income? What does it go towards? Describe any challenges or adversity you and/or your family has faced. Consider what financial adversity may have prevented you from doing. What has it held you back from?

You can also consider including if you:

  • Are living in a rental home
  • Have limited financial support from parents
  • Are pursuing a degree longer than a bachelor’s 
  • Are subsidizing your education costs through employment
  • Live in a low-income family
  • Have more than one sibling that needs their education paid for
  • Are only supported by one family income
  • Live with a family that supports any medical expenses (for you or family members)

If you want to access more funding opportunities in addition to the Schulich scholarship, GrantMe can help. We provide personalized scholarship matching and coaching to help you access funding opportunities and high-paying jobs. Start with our free scholarship assessment quiz!

Future Vision

The next step in how to win the Schulich scholarship is a 50-word description of where you see yourself in 10 years. You really want to identify your entrepreneurial mindset and focus on innovation here. How will you be a leader in STEM? How will you contribute to society? Be sure to avoid mentioning any of the criteria defined earlier in this blog that would disqualify you!


Last in the application process is providing two letters of reference. These references should come from someone like a teacher, coach, or volunteer supervisor who is familiar with your work. 

We made a guide on how to get a strong reference letter. Check it out on our blog here!

With that, your Schulich scholarship application will be complete! Follow this advice and you’re sure to submit a strong application. 

If you want even more support, GrantMe can help you stand out. We provide personalized scholarship matches, essay editing, and mentorship from past winners to maximize your success. Complete our short scholarship eligibility quiz to learn more about how GrantMe can help you achieve your post-secondary goals. 

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