Loran Scholarships are some of the most coveted Canadian scholarships. Becoming a Loran scholar does not only mean you’ll get financial assistance to help pay tuition at some of the most prestigious universities in Canada. It also brings with it several mentorship and professional development opportunities that we’ll talk about later. You’ll also receive one-on-one mentoring from an exceptional Canadian, who’ll inspire and motivate you how to become an effective leader in your community. This article will detail all there is to know about Loran scholarships, such as eligibility requirements and applicant criteria, but we’ll also detail the application process and share sample essays with you so hopefully you too can gain entry into this prestigious scholarly community. 

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Article Contents
16 min read

What are Loran Scholarships? Loran Scholarship: Eligibility Requirements Loran Scholarships: Application Process/Materials Loran Scholarships: Essays Interviews How to Prepare for Your Loran Scholarships Interview Loran Scholarship: Rules and Responsibilities How to Prepare Your Loran Scholarships Application FAQs

What are Loran Scholarships?

The Loran Scholarships, established in 1988 by philanthropist Jack Loran, are highly-prized scholarships that aim to nurture young Canadian talent. These scholarships are more than financial aid; they also represent a life-long membership into an esteemed fraternity of scholars who can help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

To begin with, the success rate for the Loran scholarships is only 0.72%, so they are extremely competitive. But if you are selected from among the over 5000 different applicants every year, you will receive an $11,000 tuition waiver applied to any of the 25 participating Canadian universities you want to attend.

You’ll also receive an $11,000 stipend to cover everyday costs, such as housing, transportation, food, and textbooks. Beyond financial aid, you’ll also gain access to an unparalleled support system. Loran Scholars benefit from mentorship opportunities with esteemed leaders in various fields, expanding their networks and exposing them to diverse perspectives. For example, some of the current Loran mentors include former Ontario Premier Bob Rae, the CEO Don Shumka, and Hilary Pearson, former President of the Philanthropic Foundations of Canada.

The scholarship also offers summer internships, research experiences for undergraduates, and summer undergraduate research fellowships, enabling you to gain valuable real-world experience from some of the best minds in Canada. You’ll also join the Loran Scholars network, which is a close-knit community of like-minded individuals, fostering lifelong friendships and collaborations.

In total, the entire Loran scholarship is valued at over $100,000. But there are also awards for runners-up and finalists, so even if you do not receive the main prize, you may be eligible for Finalist awards, which consist of monetary prizes valued at between $2,000 and $6,000 each. Aside from the Finalist and runner-up awards, you can also receive an Honours certificate from the Loran scholarship foundation if you make it to the interview or pre-interview stage. The certificate will be sent to your home school and can be a part of your high school resume when you apply to university.

Loran Scholarship: Eligibility Requirements

Loran scholarships are only open to the following candidates:

  • Recent high school graduates who will be entering university
  • Students with a minimum 85% grade average
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents

The eligibility criteria are the same for students enrolled in CEGEP in Quebec, but their minimum R score should be at least 29, and they should be in their final year of CEGEP studies. While a minimum GPA of 85% is a fundamental requirement, the selection committee also looks beyond your grades and transcripts. They seek individuals with a passion for positive change, evidenced through their leadership roles, extracurriculars for college, and participation in impactful student engagement activities for college. There are several stages involved in the Loran scholarship application process, and each of them has different requirements, whether it involves writing several college essays, or submitting at least one college recommendation letters, or going through two different interviews, which we will detail at length in the following sections.

The entire application process takes about four to five months, starting from when you submit your application. You must submit your full application by October 11 of the application year. If you are shortlisted for an interview, you’ll be notified at least a week before your interview date, which usually take place during November and December. After the short-list interview, you may, or may not, be invited for a final interview in February of the following year.

Loran Scholarships: Application Process/Materials

As we mentioned, the application process for the Loran scholarships is lengthy. The entire application is completed online, so you do not have to mail or fax any materials to the scholarship committee. Instead, you must complete the online application, which goes beyond filling in your personal and contact information. The online application is six pages long and you have to include information such as:

  • Employment history
  • Potential post-secondary schools and programs of study
  • A detailed record of your academic and extracurricular achievements
  • A list of interesting facts about yourself
  • Number of hours you’ve spent in community involvement

You have four spots to talk about your academic and extracurricular achievements aka Activity Section. You have to list them in order from the most significant to you. In each Activity Section, you can list details such as:

  • Start and End Date
  • Reason(s) for starting
  • Describing your contribution

For example, a sample Activity Section can look like this:

Activity Role: Assistant Basketball Coach

Start Date: 2015/06

End Date: 2016 /04

What Prompted Your Involvement (25 words maximum): My little brother’s team was looking for an assistant coach.

Describe Your Contribution (50 words maximum): I created and ran new drills based on the strengths of individual players; I instituted a rule that all players had to attend practice or sit out the game. For the harder practice drills (suicide-runs), I participated with the players to motivate them.

# Hours per Week: 20hrs

But after all these sections are complete, you must then write at least four different essays touching on various subjects. So if you are looking for no-essay scholarships in Canada, then Loran scholarships are not the right choice for you. You have to write original essays that detail everything from your leadership experiences to personal essays about obstacles and experiences you’ve had that have had a meaningful impact on your life and worldview.

Loran Scholarships: Essays

The four essays you are expected to write include:

  • A 300-word essay detailing a “significant contribution” you’ve made to your school or community
  • A 300-word essay describing a time when you challenged yourself and what you learned from it
  • A 350-word essay talking about the leadership role that was most meaningful to you and why
  • A 200-word essay describing a time you took the initiative to address a problem faced by your school or community

These essays provide a window into your character, showcasing your resilience, determination, and unique perspective. You should be prepared to invest a lot of time in crafting compelling essays that delve into your community leadership experiences and significant life events. Since these are relatively short essays, you should figure out how to write a college essay that gets accepted and how to start a college essay, the latter of which is most important, so you can hook your reader immediately and keep them interested in your story.

You can read over various college essay introduction samples to get an idea of how you can articulate your unique experiences into compelling prose, but we’ll also provide a series of sample essays that you can use as inspiration for writing your own essay. You can also try using a college essay review service or a college essay advisor, if you think your essay needs a little work or a professional assessment for how to make it stand out even more.

Loran Scholarship Sample Essay #1

Prompt: Describe your most significant contribution to your school or extended communities. Why did you do it? How did it affect others?

I loved growing up in Red Deer and I always thought that it was a tolerant, inclusive place, but a single moment shook this belief and eventually drove me to act. A hurtful incident involving parents ridiculing a fellow student’s accent and insulting their culture opened my eyes to the pressing need for understanding and acceptance in my community.

Motivated by this experience, I took it upon myself to organize a multicultural day within our school. I envisioned a day where we would share food, listen to musical performances, dress-up in traditional dress and share stories about our commonality that would erase prejudice through genuine connections.

The first task was spreading the word. This meant doing everything from designing vibrant flyers that captured the essence of unity to orchestrating a powerful social media campaign that would amplify our message far and wide. Engaging with local businesses and vendors was also crucial. I was successful in convincing them to participate through supporting us financially and by having booths to sell their goods and services on the day.

To enrich the day further, I reached out to local community leaders, artists, and musicians, urging them to join our cause by performing traditional songs and dances or displaying their artwork. Their involvement bridged generational gaps and ignited conversations that resonated deeply. But we also had a lot of fun, and it was such a great success that it became an annual event at our school. For me, this event was intensely personal. It was a way to challenge stereotypes, nurture tolerance, and foster acceptance. It was a step towards making our school a haven where every student, regardless of their background, felt embraced and valued.

Loran Scholarship Sample Essay #2

Prompt: Describe a time you challenged yourself by going outside your comfort zone. What was the risk? What did you learn?

We were flipping through channels and my friend stopped on CNN. He was riveted by a report about a recent Supreme Court decision in the US. I asked him why he was interested in this. He said, “everything is connected” and then quoted Pierre Elliot Trudeau; when America sneezes, Canada catches a cold.

I was never interested in politics, but when my friend said that about US-Canada relations, it made me think about how politics affects people, and how I could contribute to my community. I settled on local politics. I decided to volunteer at our local city council in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

I started attending council meetings, which were heated sometimes. One meeting was interrupted by a group protesting legislation that would remove rent protections. After the meeting, I met with a few of them. Some were living with disabilities and struggled to make ends meet; some were single parents, and others were newcomers to Canada.

They lived with challenges that I could never imagine, and realizing this gave me a new perspective on the issue. However, when I brought these concerns to one of the councillors, he told me that things would never get done if they took everyone into consideration; the council’s job was to work for the greater good. I came away from these conversations understanding that it is not easy to lead.

I understood that despite the advantages that come with being a leader, there are also downsides; as a leader you can never make everyone happy, and that is something you have to live with. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try. You still have to listen to people, and make them feel heard, which is also something a true leader must do, even if you can’t always fix everything.

Sample Essay #3

Prompt: Choose a leadership role that was most meaningful for you. How was the goal established? Describe the steps you took to reach the goal. What were the results? What challenges did you face within your group and how were they resolved?

Overall, what did you learn about leading others through this experience?

Organizing disaster relief efforts after the earthquake in Turkey and Syria through my local mosque became a defining leadership experience, teaching me invaluable lessons in resilience and determination. The goal was established out of a deep sense of responsibility to help those in dire need. To achieve this, I first coordinated with the mosque committee, outlining our objectives and strategies. I initiated a rigorous fundraising campaign, despite facing challenges like donor fatigue and a limited Muslim community in our area. The effort was relentless, involving countless phone calls, emails, and community engagements.

Raising $450,000 was just the beginning; ensuring the aid reached the right hands posed another challenge. I meticulously researched and collaborated with reputable agencies on the ground, navigating language barriers and time zones. Coordinating with Foreign Affairs Canada provided crucial guidance on efficient aid delivery, bridging the gap between intention and action. Within our group, challenges emerged, from differing opinions on fund allocation to logistical hurdles. Open communication and compromise resolved these issues, fostering unity amidst adversity.

The results were profound. Witnessing the impact of our efforts, from providing shelter to delivering medical aid, reinforced the power of collective action. Personally, I learned the art of effective leadership – resilience in the face of setbacks, adaptability in complex situations, and the importance of unwavering determination. It taught me that leadership isn’t about grand gestures but the consistent, tenacious pursuit of a shared goal, overcoming obstacles through collaboration and determination. Through this experience, I discovered the true essence of leadership – it’s not about the spotlight, but the impact made on lives when we channel our efforts towards a common cause.

Sample Essay #4

Prompt: “Describe a time when you took the initiative to address an unmet need at school or in the community. What was the need? What did you do? What was the impact?”

In my hometown of North Bay, Ontario political apathy had become a norm. Few politicians bothered to truly connect with residents, resulting in low voter turnout and stagnation in development. Recognizing this need for change, I took charge.

Drawing on my experience as a youth outreach worker for Elections Canada, I initiated a multifaceted campaign. I uploaded videos on YouTube and various social media platforms. I engaged in lively online debates with everyone from local school trustees to current and former MPPs and MPs, creating spaces for our community's concerns to be heard.

But I didn't stop there. I hit the pavement, canvassing tirelessly myself. I knocked on countless doors, put up signs, and actively participated in sports and recreational events to connect with people face-to-face. These actions were heartfelt attempts to reignite our community's interest in politics.

The impact was staggering. Voter registration skyrocketed by 30% from the previous year, breathing life into local democracy. More importantly, this resurgence inspired individuals within our community. People began entering politics. It reaffirmed my belief in the power of active community involvement, reminding us all that our voices, when united and amplified through various mediums, can shape the future of our town.


After you submit your online application, if you’re successful, you’ll be invited to participate in an online interview with members of the selection committee, which often include past Loran scholars, business leaders, or important academics. This interview will be done online, so you don’t have to travel. Depending on your performance, there could be several outcomes from this semi-finalist interview, the main one being that you advanced to the final, national interview. But, baring that outcome, you could also qualify for the runner-up and semi-finalist award based on your interview performance.

Your essays will also be valuable as college interview prep, as the interview stage is the final stage of the application process for the Loran scholarship. If you are selected to participate in the semi-finalist interviews, you’ll only have about a week or a little more to prepare, so you should start preparing as soon as you submit your application. You should go over your essays to remember key points about your experiences and how they affected your growth and readiness for college.

The semi-finalist interviews are virtual, but the final interview, or national interviews, as they are referred to by the scholarship committee, are held at various universities in Toronto, which are among the selected Canadian universities that are involved in the Loran scholarship program, such as the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and Queen’s University. But it’s not only universities of Ontario that are involved; we’ll give a complete list a little later. For now, we’ll give you a few sample essays written according to the various questions and prompts on the Loran scholarship online application form, so you get an idea of what and how you should write.

Wondering what you need to do to get into a Canadian university?

How to Prepare for Your Loran Scholarships Interview

1. Review Your Entire Application (Application Essays, Leadership Experiences)

Loran scholarship interviews are open-file, which means that your interviewers will have your application in front of them. Despite having your application, they might throw you off by asking for more information or detail about an experience that you didn’t address in your essays, which means that you should go over all your activities and experiences and make notes about them. For example, if you listed basketball or volleyball as a sport you’re involved in, they might ask you what you love about it and what it has meant to your growth as an individual or a scholar. They might ask you for more information about one of the interesting facts about you, which you should have a response for.

2. Prepare answers to Common Interview Questions

Even though your interviewers may ask you specific questions about your application, they might also ask common college interview questions, which you can prepare for beforehand. A question such as “tell me about yourself” is often asked at both professional and academic interviews. However, you don’t want to memorize your responses and repeat them verbatim. Try jotting down your talking points and practice putting them into an answer. You want to sound natural and thoughtful at the same time, and you can achieve this by remembering specific points, not whole sentences, about these answers. You won’t be able to anticipate every question, but what you can do is form your answers to a particular structure, which is: sum up the event or experience (who, what, where), talk about what you learned and how it changed you, and then connect the lesson to what you want to do in the future, academically and professionally.

Loran Scholarship: Rules and Responsibilities

We talked about the eligibility requirements for applying for the Loran scholarship, but what happens if you do win the scholarship? There are a lot of responsibilities associated with the award, so don’t assume that you’ll just receive the money and that’ll be the end of it. If you are awarded a Loran scholarship, you have to remain in good academic standing throughout your degree program, which means having a 3.3 GPA or higher. You must also participate in the various Loran community events, such as the summer programs or service commitments that come along with being a Loran scholar.

As we mentioned, there are only 25 Canadian universities where you can study as part of being a Loran scholar, which cover all major regions of Canada, such as:

  • Maritimes: Dalhousie University, Memorial University, Mount Allison University, University of King’s College, University of New Brunswick
  • Quebec: McGill University, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Ontario: University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, Western University, McMaster University, Queen’s University, Toronto Metropolitan University, University of Guelph, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Western University, York University
  • Prairies: University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta, University of Manitoba, University of Calgary
  • British Columbia: University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria

But this requirement only applies if you win the full Loran scholarship. You will still be eligible for your semi-finalist or provincial award if you attend any accredited university in Canada, even if it is not one of the 25 universities involved in the main Loran scholarship.

How to Prepare Your Loran Scholarships Application

1. Become the Candidate They are Looking For

You have to list several different types of extracurricular and community engagement activities on your Loran scholarship application. There are four distinct categories, which are:

  • School & Community Service
  • Artistic/Musical/Cultural Activities
  • Community Events/Conferences/Special Programs/Competitions
  • Athletics

You also have to include a number figure for how many hours you’ve spent (there is no minimum or maximum number of hours) volunteering or engaging in a community service activity. All this takes time, and if you’re interested in the Loran scholarship, you should begin working on getting these experiences early, as soon as you start high school. This means that you should look for community service or volunteer placements that resonate with you personally, so you have the motivation to follow through and stick with it long-term. However, don’t think that you have to do something monumental and world-changing to get noticed. Something as simple but meaningful as helping elderly neighbors, coaching youth sports or getting elected to student council will also go a long way to making you stand out.

2. Use the Application to Stand Out in Small Ways

What we mean by this is that the Loran scholarship application gives you a lot of ways to be truly unique. Your list of activities also includes reasons for why you chose this activity and what contributions you made; they must be short, but in these few words you can say something truly memorable about your leadership and how you made an impact, such as how you solved a problem, or helped someone in need. Another example is the list of interesting facts about yourself. Here you can also say something that is not revealed by your essays or recommendation letters. You can talk about something fun and light, such as interesting places you’ve been too, or a unique hobby that you have, whatever you think is interesting.

2. Write Various Drafts of Your Essays

You must have an 85% grade average to be eligible for the Loran scholarship, but as everyone will have good grades, you need to focus on highlighting what makes you an interesting and unique candidate, which you can do by writing excellent essays.

The application gives you the prompts that you have to follow, and you should always keep them in mind when writing. Make sure not to overuse fancy words or flowery language to try and impress your readers. Instead, you want to focus on your progression through the experience you are talking about, sort of like a cause-and-effect formula, where you write about who you were before, and who you became after. While this is important for the content of your essay, you also want to make sure you keep within the word limits and answer all the questions asked in the prompt.

But the word limits can help you as well. Write a lengthy essay and then start editing to remove words, phrases and entire sentences that you don’t need until you are within the word limits of each essay question but also have answered what the prompt was asking.

3. Practice Your Interview Skills

We talked about how you can prepare for your interviews above, but another way that you can prepare for these interviews is by doing mock interviews. A mock interview can help you get comfortable when you’re sitting in front of your interviewers (if you make it to the final stage, fingers crossed) or when you’re doing your virtual interview. Preparing and writing out answers is one part; but all that preparation won’t count for anything if you freeze or become too nervous during your real interview. A mock interview is the antidote to either of those outcomes. Doing a mock interview with your friends or family can work, but you should try to work with academics, or professional Canadian university admission consultants who can offer personalized advice and well-worn strategies to help you get into the right mindset and help you overcome your nerves.


1. What are the Loran scholarships?

Loran scholarships are high-value academic scholarships for exceptional Canadian undergraduates that offer both financial rewards and professional development, mentoring, and networking opportunities. 

2. Who is eligible for Loran scholarships?

You are eligible for a Loran scholarship if you’re a high school or CEGEP student in their final year of study; a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; you have a grade average at or above 85%; plan on attending one of the 25 partner universities accepted by the Loran scholarship foundation. 

3. What is the application process for the Loran scholarship?

You have to complete an online application to apply for the Loran scholarship. You must complete six-page application that asks for four different essays, but you must also submit your transcripts and a single reference letter. After you’ve submitted the online application, and it is successful, you’ll have to do two interviews; a virtual, semi-finalist interview and an in-person final interview in Toronto. 

4. When and how is the Loran scholarship awarded?

The tuition portion of the Loran scholarship is credited directly to your university, but the annual stipend is deposited into your account. 

5. Who can be my letter writer for my reference letter?

You can choose any professional person you’ve known for a long time, who is not a close friend or family member. You can ask your teachers, guidance counselors, coaches or any of the supervisors you worked with at your community involvement or volunteer activities. 

6. What do I need to apply for a Loran scholarship?

For the first stage of the application process, you must only submit the online application form. Afterward, you will have to interview virtually with members of the selection committee. Finally, if you are selected as a finalist, you will interview in-person. 

7. What do I need to have to win a Loran scholarship?

The Loran scholarships hands out award to students who are deeply involved in bettering their communities both in and outside of school. But the criteria also stretch to being actively involved in the arts or athletics, participating in academic competitions, or helping out at your local food bank. So long as you are involved in a variety of activities, excel academically, and demonstrated leadership experiences, you’ll have a good chance of getting a Loran scholarship. 

8. Is it hard to get a Loran scholarship?

Yes. Loran scholarships are the most competitive and highly-sought-after scholarships in Canada for high school students going into university. There are over 5,000 applicants every year competing for only 36 finalist awards, and close to 120 runner-up and semi-finalists prizes, so you have to make sure your application, including your essays, and interview performance are next-level. 

To your success,

Your friends at

BeMo Academic Consulting

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