References

Scholarships can be very competitive; in many cases, the reference letter can make the difference between a successful or unsuccessful application. 

This page contains information and tips for references; students/applicants should consult How to Apply. 

Information for references

  • Your reference letter is a required component of the student’s application. Without it, the student’s application will be considered incomplete, and they will be disqualified from the scholarship competition. 
  • Reference forms must submitted through our secure online form; your unique link will be sent to you via email. 
  • Reference letters submitted in any other format will not be accepted. 
  • If you are unable to complete the reference form by the deadline indicated below, please advise the student as soon as possible so that they may choose a new reference. 

Tips for writing reference letters


Leadership competitions

  • Focus on the student’s leadership traits, abilities, and achievements; do not focus on their academic achievements.
  • Specifically describe at least one of the student’s leadership activities or achievements. 
  • Speak to the student’s growth as a leader, and to their future growth potential. 
  • Be as objective as possible.

Scholastic Distinction competitions

  • Focus on the student’s academic traits, abilities, and achievements. 
  • Specifically describe at least one of the student’s academic achievements. 
  • Specifically describe any extracurricular activities that the student participated in that went above and beyond the required curriculum. 
  • Speak to the student’s academic/intellectual growth and curiosity, and to their future growth potential. 
  • Be as objective as possible.

International scholarships

Although a formal reference letter may not be required, please be prepared to comment on the following attributes of the applicant, being as specific as possible: 

  • Ability to think critically and independently 
  • Overall intellectual ability 
  • Writing and language skills 
  • Work habits, work ethic, motivation, and initiative 
  • Leadership/involvement in student government 
  • Leadership/involvement in student clubs, groups, and teams 
  • Leadership/involvement in the community 
  • Potential for leadership and growth

Aboriginal Student Services and Métis Education Foundation Awards

  • Focus on the student’s involvement within a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit community, emphasizing the level of involvement, their leadership traits, abilities and achievements; do not focus on their academic achievements. 
  • For students applying to the Métis Education Foundation Awards, focus the attention on the involvement within the Métis community specifically. 
  • Specifically describe at least one of the student’s community/leadership activities or achievements. Speak to the student’s growth as a leader, and to their future growth potential.  
  • Be as objective as possible.