Copy of Merit Alumni Backgrounds (3)_edited_edited_edited.png

How to Apply

We're looking for students

just like you. 

Every year we award over 250 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.

Copy of Merit Alumni Backgrounds (3)_edited_edited_edited_edited.png

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!

The Important Stuff

Important Dates

Every year the highlevel timeline for applying remains the same. October/November – Application opens March – Application submission deadlines May – Recipients announced June – Merit Awards Ceremony June – August – Mentorship Program August – Alumni Networking Event Exact dates for the current year can be found in the calendar.


A successful applicant must:

  1. Attend a participating school.
  2. 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;
  3. 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;
  4. Have 16 credits.

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.

How To Apply

How to apply for a Merit Award:

  1. CREATE an account for your Merit Award Online Application here
  2. COMPLETE the online application form
  3. OBTAIN 2 teacher references (to be completed through the online request system)
  4. SUBMIT your application (you must press submit button once 3 other parts are completed)
Run into trouble? Reach out to us at

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.

Available Awards

Grade 11 - $500 Grade 12 - $1,000, $2,000, or $5,000 (Leader of Tomorrow)

Participating Schools

We work with 82 schools across the Toronto District School Board, Toronto District Catholic School Board and Peel District School Board. Find the complete list here (updated June 2021).

Image by Science in HD
Copy of Merit Alumni Backgrounds (3)_edited_edited_edited.png

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