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How to Apply

We're looking for students

just like you. 

Every year we award over 300 grade 11 and 12

students in the Greater Toronto Area with

up to $5,000 in recognition of their commitment

to both their academics and their community.

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For Students

What some might call "extenuating circumstances", we call your life story. It's unique to you and that's exactly what we're looking for.


The Merit Award doesn't have grade cut-offs or firm definitions on things like "extra-curricular". We're looking to understand who you are, what you've overcome to pursue your education and how you've been a positive force for others on the way.

Receiving a Merit Award isn't just a bursary. It's a badge of recognition as well as lifelong access to our Alumni resources from mentorship programs to leadership opportunities and more. 

You've already done the work, it's time to be recognized!

  • Eligibility
    A successful applicant must: Attend a participating school. Be currently enrolled in high school as a full-time student for the school year OR as a full time-student during Fall or Winter of the school year; Intend to return to school as a full-time student, in the next school year, in Grade 12 or post-secondary education at the university or college level, including registered apprenticeship programs; Have 16 credits.
  • Important Dates
    Every year the high level timeline for applying remains the same. December 1, 2023 – Application opens March 19, 2024 – Reference Request deadline March 25, 2024 – Application submission deadlines Early June – Recipients announced Mid June – Merit Awards Ceremony June – August – Mentorship Program
  • Participating Schools
    We work with 95 schools across the Toronto District School Board, Toronto District Catholic School Board and Peel District School Board. Toronto District School Board Alternative Scarborough Education 1 Avondale Alternative Secondary School Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute - EdVance C. W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute CALC Secondary School - EdVance Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute Central Technical School Central Toronto Academy City School Contact Alternative David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute Delphi Secondary Alternative School Downsview Secondary School East York Alternative School East York Collegiate Institute Emery Collegiate Institute Emery EdVance Secondary School Etobicoke Year Round Alternative Centre George S. Henry Academy Inglenook Alternative Jarvis Collegiate Institute John Polanyi Collegiate Institute Kipling Collegiate Institute L’Amoreaux Collegiate Institute Lakeshore Collegiate Institute Leaside High School Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute Monarch Park Collegiate Institute Native Learning Centre Native Learning Centre East North Albion Collegiate Institute North East Year Round Alternative Centre North West Year Round Alternative Centre Oakwood Collegiate Institute Oasis Alternative Secondary School Parkview Alternative (Overflow Centre) Runnymede Collegiate Institute Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies School of Experiential Education (SEE) School of Life Experience (SOLE) SEED Alternative School South East Year Round Alternative Centre Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute Subway Academy I Subway Academy II The Student School Thistletown Collegiate Institute West End Alternative West Hill Collegiate Institute West Humber Collegiate Institute Western Technical-Commercial School Weston Collegiate Institute Westview Centennial Secondary School Wexford Collegiate School of the Arts Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute York Humber High School York Memorial Collegiate Institute Yorkdale Secondary School - EdVance ​ Toronto Catholic District School Board Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Chaminade College School Dante Alighieri Academy Catholic Secondary School Father Henry Carr Father John Redmond James Cardinal McGuigan Loretto College School Madonna Catholic Secondary School Neil McNeil Catholic High School Senator O’Connor St. Basil-The-Great College School St. Joan of Arc Catholic Academy St. Joseph Morrow Park St. Mary Catholic Academy St. Mother Teresa Catholic Academy St. Oscar Romero St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School Monsignor Fraser College - Annex Monsignor Fraser College - Midland Monsignor Fraser College - Midtown Monsignor Fraser College - Norfinch Monsignor Fraser College - SAL Northeast Monsignor Fraser College - SAL Southwest Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic Secondary School Peel District School Board Bramalea Secondary School Brampton Centennial Secondary School Castlebrooke Secondary School Central Peel Secondary School Chinguacousy Secondary School Clarkson Secondary School Erindale Secondary School Glenforest Secondary School Harold M. Brathwaite Secondary School Judith Nyman Secondary School Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School Peel Alternative School- North Peel Alternative School-South Port Credit Secondary School TL Kennedy Secondary School Turner Fenton Secondary School West Credit Secondary School
  • Available Awards
    Grade 11 - $500 Grade 12 - $1,000, $2,000, or $5,000 (Leader of Tomorrow)
  • Selection Criteria
    Once a student has determined their eligibility, the selection committee looks for applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to their schoolwork, extra curricular activities and to volunteerism in the community at large. Please note that personal challenges and obstacles, including financial circumstances, will be given significant consideration. Contributions to family welfare and/or work experience will also be considered. Demonstrating a commitment to your future and your community can come in many forms. As such, there is no cut off grade requirment and we actively look to understand your situation and the hardships you've overcome.
  • How To Apply
    How to apply for a Merit Award: CREATE an account for your Merit Award Online Application here COMPLETE the online application form OBTAIN 2 teacher references (to be completed through the online request system) SUBMIT your application (you must press submit button once 3 other parts are completed) Run into trouble? Reach out to us at
  • How To Recieve Your Award
    In order to receive the Merit Award Bursary funds: Student recipients must be enrolled as a full-time student at high school or in university or college for the following school year. The bursary will be paid in the Fall after the student provides proof of his/her active enrollment. Confirmation of enrollment (in Grade 12 or post-secondary) can be either a letter from the school or a course itinerary. If you're taking a gap year following graduation, your bursery will be held for the following year when you resume your education.
For Students
Important dates
For Teachers
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For Teachers

Your vote of confidence can make

a world of difference. 

Encourage your students to apply

for a Merit Award. 

Students are far more likely to apply

when encouraged by a trusted adult or peer.

Our team of volunteers is also ready for school visits (COVID-19 permitting) and class talks.


We have an annual toolkit with everything you need

to spread the word about applying for the

Merit Award.


Being selected as a recipient of the Merit award prior to my senior year really gave the confidence boost I needed to take

on the obstacles I would face.

Jarred Laganas

Merit Award Recipient

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