About

Mission: We are committed to the greatest of Canada's natural resources: our youth. We work to identify and support talented students who show promise of leadership and a strong commitment to service in the community. We fund these citizens to study on Canadian campuses, to the benefit of their future and ours.

Who We Are

The Loran Scholars program identifies and supports exceptional young Canadians who demonstrate character, service and leadership. Since 1988, we have granted more than $22 million to over 2,200 students.

Each year, we select the top 30 of approximately 3,500 applicants as Loran Scholars. Each scholar receives a renewable undergraduate award valued at up to $100,000, including mentorship and a summer program. Our 25 partner universities offer a matching tuition waiver and join us in stewarding Loran Scholars throughout their studies.

We also offer one-time finalist awards ($3,000) and provincial awards ($2,000). These awards can be used at any public university in Canada.

History

The Loran Scholars program is administered by the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation. Founded in 1988, we were the first national organization in Canada to grant scholarships based on a mix of academic achievement, extracurricular activity and leadership potential.

Our founders responded to what they recognized as a gap in the Canadian system of merit-based financial assistance to university students. Such assistance tended to be directed to two groups - those with exceptionally high academic averages, via university scholarship programs, and those with exceptional abilities as athletes, via national teams programs. Only a small proportion of overall financial aid was directed at those who show promise of the leadership and other talents that will make their communities better places both during and after their university careers.

In the words of our founder Dr. Robert Cluett, at the heart of our work is the belief that “breadth, openness to challenge, and willingness to take risk are many times more important than any quantitative measure of promise.” It is a belief that we still hold quite strongly today.

In 1997, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation became our principal supporter, thereby doubling the size of our program. In the subsequent 13 years, the foundation invested in nearly 200 W. Garfield Weston Loran Scholars.

In 2007, we named our premier merit scholarship the Loran Scholars program. The name was chosen because Loran is used for long-range navigation and we emphasize long-term relationships with our scholars and long-term impact on our communities. As a navigation system, Loran requires three points. These three points correspond with our three core values - character, service and leadership - which we hope our scholars will continue to use to chart their own courses.

We are an independent charitable organization governed by a Board of Directors.