You are here : Home Desjardins Foundation > Awards and scholarships > Academic scholarships

Academic scholarships

Awarding scholarships is an integral part of our mission

Our scholarship programs reflect the vision and mission of Desjardins Foundation. They particularly support finance, cooperation and democracy.

The Foundation also awards scholarships related to Desjardins employment fields and sectors that help support economic and community development in regions and large urban centres.

Call for applications period:
January 15 to March 17, 2014

Important follow-up dates:
March 17, 2014: Application period ends
April to September, 2014: Applications processed and scholarship recipients selected
Mid-September, 2014: Results forwarded to all applicants

Conditions

To be eligible for a Desjardins Foundation scholarship, students must be Canadian citizens or have permanent resident status and meet the following basic requirements[ 1 ]:

  • have a primary residence in Quebec or Ontario
  • be enrolled full-time (except in the cases stated below) in a secondary-level vocational program of study, CEGEP-, college- or university (including research) program of study at a recognized[ 2 ] educational institution at the time they receive their scholarship[ 4 ], and be able to prove an average grade of 60% or equivalent for the academic results of the previous 2 terms.
  • fulfill the criteria for the desired scholarship with regard to level and program of study (see Scholarships available for further details)
  • have completed and sent the online form and provided all required documentation before March 17, 2014, at midnight
  • for Ontario residents: be member of a Desjardins caisse populaire

Exclusions

The following individuals are not eligible for a Desjardins Foundation scholarship:

  • Employees, managers, directors and officers of Desjardins Foundation, and members of their immediate families (brothers, sisters, children, father, mother), legal or de facto spouses or persons with whom they are domiciled
  • Members of the Desjardins Foundation scholarship recipient selection committee, members of their immediate families (brothers, sisters, children, father, mother), their legal or de facto spouses or persons with whom they are domiciled

Exceptions

Students who are enrolled for at least 20 course hours per month and meet one of the conditions below are considered part-time students.

Students who meet the following conditions are considered full-time students:

  • Be the head of a single parent household and
    • live with your child under age 12 on September 30 of the current year
      or
    • live with your child under age 21 who is in school and has a major functional deficiency or mental disorder on September 30 of the current year
  • Have a spouse and
    • live with your child under age 6 on September 30 or the current year
      or
    • live with your child under age 21 who is in school and has a major functional deficiency or mental disorder on September 30 of the current year
  • Be at least 20 weeks pregnant
  • Suffer from a major functional disability
  • Participate in Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale Québec's Réussir program
  1. Additional scholarships available only to Desjardins employees include different eligibility criteria. Information on these scholarships is available on the Desjardins Employee Portal. [Back]
  2. Quebec residents must be registered in a program of study and educational institution that are on the list of recognized institutions by the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport du Québec. In Ontario, any program at a college of applied arts and technology. [Back]
  3. Students in Quebec must be enrolled in a program of study and educational institution that are recognized by the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport du Québec. Students outside Quebec must be enrolled in the Government of Canada's Master List of Designated Educational Institutions. [Back]
  4. First scholarship payment is made in October of the current year and the second in mid-February of the following year. Vocational programs must be at least 6 months long and students must be in school in October of the current year. [Back]

Candidates are selected according to the following criteria:

Criteria:

  • Academic excellence (grades)
  • Community involvement (school, cooperative, sports, community, cultural and business activities, etc.).
  • Financial need and financial situation
  • Succession and regional development needs (for Special and Other scholarships—see Scholarships available for more details).

Overall evaluation of the candidate:

Selection committees will evaluate your educational and career goals, the steps taken reach your goals, your cover letter and the quality of your writing (spelling and grammar).

We aim to support students who persevere with their studies despite difficult personal situations and take such situations into account when evaluating candidates. Accordingly, candidates are asked to briefly describe any personal situation that has affected their studies.

Selection process:

Selection committees impartially evaluate each application using a strict and objective process.

To ensure all 17 Desjardins regions are represented, a selection committee has been formed for each region. Applications are assigned to regional committees based on the location of the candidate's Desjardins caisse or home region.

Certain scholarships do not have regional prizes, and applications are exclusively evaluated by national selection committees.

The 2014 call for applications for academic scholarships has ended.

In 2014, Desjardins Foundation will be providing more than 600 scholarships and awards valued at close to $1.2 million in financial aid to Quebec and Ontario students.

Thank you to all participants.

Learn more

Over $1 million in scholarships will be awarded in 2014 for a variety of programs.

Learn more

As a general rule, scholarships are not taxable. They do, however, count when applying for certain tax advantages.

In Quebec, scholarships are, in general, not taxable. However, scholarship amounts must be added into net income and deducted from taxable income.

This means that income derived from scholarships on a Quebec tax return has an impact on some tax deductions and social welfare benefits, such as:

  • child support payments
  • non-refundable tax credit for medical expenses
  • refundable tax credit for childcare
  • refundable tax credit for work premiums
  • refundable solidarity tax credit

At the Federal level, if you receive a scholarship towards studies that do not quality you for an education amount, amounts over $500 must be added to your income. For scholarships towards studies that qualify you for an education amount, the entire amount is taxable except for amounts used to pay the qualifying program enrolment fees for the term for which the scholarship was awarded.

Including scholarship-related income to your federal tax return has an impact on some tax deductions and social welfare benefits, such as:

  • Canada Child Tax Benefit
  • GST/HST credit
  • non-refundable Medical Expense Tax Credit

Desjardins Foundation congratulates all 2013 scholarship recipients

On October 24, 2013, at the Complexe Desjardins Grande-Place, Desjardins Foundation honoured all 31 national scholarship recipients in the presence of Monique F. Leroux, President and CEO of Desjardins Group and President of the Desjardins Foundation Board of Directors, Desjardins Foundation governors and several members of the selection committee. The event took place at the same time as other ceremonies throughout Quebec to highlight and celebrate the successes and dreams of hundreds of young regional Foundation scholarship recipients.

A total of 550 scholarships, valued at nearly $1 million, were awarded by Desjardins Foundation this year.

Congratulations to all 2013 scholarship recipients!

2013 national scholarship recipients with Monique F. Leroux, President and CEO of Desjardins Group and President of the Board of Directors of Desjardins Foundation, Normand Desautels, Senior Executive Vice-President of Desjardins Group and Louise-Marie Brousseau, General Manager of Desjardins Foundation.

See young, motivated, driven and inspiring scholarship recipients

Centre-du-Québec Desjardins Foundation scholarship recipients introduce themselves. Watch the videos:

Mathieu Boivin-Carrier – boursier de la Fondation Desjardins
Mathieu Boivin-Carrier – boursier de la Fondation Desjardins (56 s)
Second year business administration student at HEC de Montréal, specialization in finance, and member of Caisse Desjardins des Bois-Francs
Marie-Laurence Valois – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins
Marie-Laurence Valois – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins (in French only) (1 min 3 s)
Business administration student at HEC de Montréal and member of Caisse Desjardins de Drummondville
Vanessa Anger-Letendre – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins
Vanessa Anger-Letendre – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins (in French only) (48 s)
Early education student at Cégep de Drummondville and member of Caisse Desjardins des Bois-Francs
Kassandra Tardif – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins
Kassandra Tardif – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins (in French only) (1 min 5 s)
First year medical student at Université de Sherbrooke and member of Caisse Desjardins de Drummondville
Maryse Provencher – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins
Maryse Provencher – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins (in French only) (59 s)
Science and technology student at Université de Sherbrooke and member of Caisse Desjardins Godefroy
Kim Bélanger – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins
Kim Bélanger – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins (in French only) (1 min 1 s)
Masters student in guidance sciences at Université de Sherbrooke and member of Caisse Desjardins de Drummondville
Joanie Drouin – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins
Joanie Drouin – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins (in French only) (59 s)
Undergraduate student in psychology at Université Laval and member of Caisse Desjardins des Bois-Francs
Justine Martineau-Roy – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins
Justine Martineau-Roy – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins (in French only) (1 min 10 s)
Natural sciences student at Cégep de Victoriaville and member of Caisse Desjardins des Bois-Francs
Rébecca Durocher-Bergeron – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins
Rébecca Durocher-Bergeron – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins (in French only) (47 s)
Farm management and operation student at Cégep de Victoriaville and member of Caisse Desjardins des Bois-Francs
Marie-Josée Michel – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins
Marie-Josée Michel – boursière de la Fondation Desjardins (in French only) (1 min)
Undergraduate student in special education, elementary level
Récipiendaires des bourses d'études de la Fondation Desjardins pour le Centre-du-Québec
Récipiendaires des bourses d'études de la Fondation Desjardins pour le Centre-du-Québec (in French only) (7 min 43 s)
2013 Desjardins Foundation scholarship recipients

Q. Am I eligible for Desjardins Foundation scholarships?
A. You are eligible for Foundation scholarships if you:

  • are a Canadian citizen or have landed immigrant status
  • have a primary residence in Quebec or Ontario (for Ontario residents, you must be a member of a Desjardins caisse populaire)
  • are enrolled full-time in a program of study at a recognized educational institution (secondary-, CEGEP- or college-level vocational studies, CEGEP, college or undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate university program) at the time you receive your scholarship, in the fall session and the winter session following the application period. Please note that vocational students must be in school on the disbursement date of October 15, 2013, and be undertaking a training course lasting a minimum of 6 months.
  • maintained an average of 60% or the equivalent for the academic results of the previous 2 terms

Please see Eligibility for details and exclusions.

Q. Are there other ways to apply besides filling out the online form?
A. No. Only applications submitted using the online form are accepted. No documents can be sent by mail or fax.


Q. Must transcripts attached to the application form bear the official seal of the institution?

A. No. You may send a copy of your most recent transcripts in the following formats: GIF, JPEG, PDF, DOC or DOCX. Make sure that the logo or name of the institution and your name appear on your transcript. If your application is selected, you may have to provide an official transcript at a later time.


Q. If I haven't yet completed 2 semesters in my current program, which transcripts should I send in?

A. You should send in the transacript from your last program as well as your grades from your current program. For example, if you were in CEGEP last year and you're in the process of finishing your first year of university, send in your most recent cegep grades as well as your grades from your first semester in university.


Q. What information must I include in the statement of intent?

A. (Required for vocational training, college and undergraduate university students)

Describe your career goals, educational objectives and your academic plans (maximum 1 page). Explain how a Desjardins Foundation scholarship would help you with school. Explain why the jury should award you a scholarship. This is your chance to highlight your strengths.


Q. What information must I include in the statement of intent - Justification of your study project?
A. (Required for only graduate and post-graduate students.)

Justify your study project based on your experience, past studies, interests and future plans (maximum 1 page). Explain how they relate to each other, how a Desjardins Foundation scholarship would help you carry out your study project and why the jury should award you a scholarship.


Q. What information must I include in the study or research project?
A. (Required for only graduate and post-graduate students)

Based on the academic path you chose (research, professional or other profile), please draw up a personal presentation of the project in the following order: title, objectives, subject, problems, methodology (maximum 1 page). If you are doing an internship, please specify, if possible, the location, plan, objectives and the timeline of your accomplishments.


Q. How do I submit the evaluation form for a professor?
A. Have a professor of your current or previous program fill out the evaluation form for professors.

  • If you send your evaluation with your application form

    Once the evaluation form is completed, the professor must print, sign, scan and send it to you. When you are filling out the application form, you will be asked to attach the evaluation form. Make sure that the form is signed by the professor before attaching it to your application.
  • If you send your evaluation by email after having submitted the application form:

    Once the evaluation form is filled out, the professor must print, sign, scan and send it by email to bourses.fondationdesjardins@desjardins.com and include your identification number in the subject line. Professors who do not have access to a scanner must send the form by email from their academic (university) email address and include their contact information in the email signature, which will replace a signature.

Evaluation forms should be sent in by professors.


Q. I am an Ontario student. Do I still have to perform the Quebec government's Aide financière aux études (AFE) simulation?
A. Yes. All candidates, including Ontario residents, must use the AFE assessment simulator to ensure that financial needs are compared on the same basis. The result of this simulation will be used for weighting purposes by selection committees.


Q. I am considered a full-time student according to Aide financière aux études (AFE) although I am a part-time student. Am I still eligible for Desjardins Foundation scholarships?
A. Yes, you are eligible for Desjardins Foundation scholarships if you meet the other Desjardins Foundation eligibility criteria listed under the exceptions in the Eligibility section.