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The Canada Millennium Scholarships

The Canadian Government has come to its senses and has realized that in order to fuel Canada’s economy in the next century, education of its citizens is going to have to be a prime concern. It is with this in mind that the Canada Millennium Scholarships have come into being. This federal project was initiated and announced at the 1998 budget, to be implemented by the Canadian Opportunities Strategy which will have as its goal the management of a 2.5 billion dollar endowment fund which will grant scholarships to students based on financial need and merit. This fund is to help some 100 000 students annually in financing their post secondary studies leading to undergraduate degrees, diplomas or certificates beginning in the year 2000.

The Foundation overseeing the Millennium Scholarship is to work in tandem with the various provincial financial assistance programs so as to avoid duplication of funding.

The Millennium Scholarships are made up of two types of awards: General Awards which are to be given out to students based on financial need and who demonstrate merit and the Exceptional Merit Award which will be handed out to those that have excelled in their studies irrespective of their financial situation. The allocation of the awards is as follows. 95% of the awards will be handed out as General Awards while the remaining 5% as Exceptional Merit Awards. In terms of figures this translates to approximately $285 Million in General Awards and $15 million in Exceptional merit awards being handed out on a yearly basis for the next ten years. The General Awards are to be handed out beginning in the 1999-2000 school year while the Exceptional Awards are to be handed out starting the following academic year, 2000-2001

General Awards
In order to be eligible for the Foundation's General Awards, you must:
1) be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident within the meaning of the Immigration Act;
2) be eligible for student financial assistance in your province of residence;

  • You are considered to be a resident of the province in which you have most recently resided for a period of at least two years without studying at the post-secondary level. If you complete your high school in Alberta and immediately thereafter enroll at a university in Nova Scotia, you are considered to be a resident of Alberta. Similarly a student at a Nova Scotia university who transfers to a university in Ontario without first residing two years in Ontario without studying at the post-secondary level is considered to be a resident of Nova Scotia.
  • You cannot be disqualified for a Millennium Scholarship simply because you wish to study in a province other than your province of residence. You must, however, qualify for your award in your province of residence. After you have qualified, you may use your scholarship in whatever province or territory you wish.

3) be enrolled at an eligible institution as a full time student as defined by the student financial assistance program of your province of residence;

  • An eligible institution is a public or private post-secondary educational institution in Canada that grants degrees, certificates or diplomas and that is eligible for Canada Student Loans or the Programme de pr�ts et bourses du Qu�bec. Each student should consult with one of those programs to confirm whether his institution is eligible or not.
  • Most provincial student financial assistance programs define 60 per cent of a full course load as full time study. There are, however, exceptions and you should consult either the financial aid office at your educational institution or your provincial student aid office for details. Exceptions are routinely made for certain classes of students such as handicapped students.

4) be pursuing studies that lead to a diploma, certificate or diploma from the institution in which you are enrolled, other than a degree, certificate or diploma for a program of studies beyond the undergraduate university level as defined by your province of residence;

  • Most provinces consider professional degrees such as law or medicine to be undergraduate degrees. You should consult the financial aid office at your educational institution or your provincial student financial assistance office for details.
  • The choice of degree, certificate or diploma is up to each individual student.

5) demonstrate need as defined by the provincial student financial assistance program of your province of residence;
6) have successfully completed 60 per cent of a full year of post-secondary education within the last ten years at an eligible Canadian post-secondary educational institution;

  • This requirement does not need to be met in a single session. If you have completed over the past ten years several courses which, taken together, represent 60 per cent of a full year of post-secondary education, you will be considered to have met this requirement.

7) be in good standing in an approved course of study at the time the award is paid;
8) not have received assistance from the Foundation for more than $15000 or 32 months.

Exceptional Merit Awards
Am I eligible for Exceptional Merit Awards?

In order to be eligible for an Exceptional Merit Award, you must:
1) demonstrate exceptional merit as defined by the Foundation;
2) be entering post-secondary education for the first time.

Applying for a General Award
There is no special application for this award. It is incorporated within your application to your Provincial financial assistance program; you are thus considered automatically for the General Awards. Your provincial assistance office will be able to assess your level of need and at that point if they feel that you meet their eligibility criteria they then forward your name and file to the Millennium Foundation. The scholarships are to be handed out to those that are most in need. Each province has been allocated a certain number of awards based on its population size as a percentage of the total Canadian population

Applying for an Exceptional Merit Scholarship
These applications are not in place as of yet and will be made public in the summer of the year 2000. The first of these awards is to be handed out for the 2000- 2001 Academic year.
For more information on the Canada Millennium Scholarships visit the website . You can contact the Foundation at

Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation
1000 Sherbrooke St. West, Suite 800
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 3R2
1 (877) 786-3999 1 (514) 985-5987

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