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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 5 to March 5, 2015

Important follow-up dates:
March 5, 2015: Application period ends
April to August 2015: Applications processed and scholarship recipients selected
September 2015: Results forwarded to all applicants
October 2015: Awards ceremony


To be eligible for a Desjardins Foundation scholarship, students must be Canadian citizens or have permanent resident status and meet the following basic requirements1:

  • Have a primary residence in Quebec or Ontario.
  • Be enrolled full-time (except in the cases stated below) in a vocational program of study2, CEGEP, college or university program of study at a recognized3 educational institution at the time they receive their scholarship4, and be able to prove an average grade of 60% or equivalent.
  • Have completed and sent the online form and provided all required documentation before March 5, 2015, at midnight.
  • For Ontario residents: be member of a Desjardins caisse populaire.
  • Not have received a scholarship from any funding agencies (Canadian Institutes of Health Research [CIHR], the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council [SSHRC], etc.) for the current year.
  • Not have received more than one Desjardins Foundation scholarship during a same study cycle (e.g., 1 scholarship for a master's degree, 1 scholarship for a bachelor's degree).


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


You are considered a full-time student even if you're studying part-time if you are registered for at least 20 course hours per month for an entire session and you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are the head of a single parent household and live with your child under the age of 12 on September 30 of the current year. You live with your child (or your spouse's child) under the age of 21 on September 30 of the current year. Your child is in school and has a major functional deficiency or mental illness.
  • You live with your child (or your spouse's child) under the age of 6 on September 30 of the current year.
  • You are at least 20 weeks pregnant.
  • You cannot enroll in full-time studies for over a year because of serious episodes resulting from mental illness or major physical and permanent problems indicated on a medical certificate.
  • You 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 internal employee portals.
  2. In Ontario, any program at a college of applied arts and technology.
  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 and appear on the list of recognized educational institutions - External link. This link will open in a new window.. Students outside Quebec must be enrolled in the Government of Canada's Master List of Designated Educational Institutions - This link will open in a new window..
  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.

Candidates are selected according to the following criteria:


  • Academic excellence (grades)
  • Community involvement
  • Financial need and financial situation
  • Workforce succession and regional development needs (To learn more about Special and Other scholarships—see Scholarships available.)
  • Overall evaluation of the candidate

Here are the main elements evaluated by the selection committees for the "overall evaluation of the candidate" criterion:

  • Educational and career goals
  • The steps taken to reach your goals
  • Determination and perseverance
  • Presentation of the cover letter and quality of your writing
  • Personal challenges (be sure to briefly describe any personal challenges experienced)

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 call for 2015 scholarship applications is now over. Thank you to all applicants.

In 2015, over 400 scholarships will be awarded to Quebec and Ontario students, totaling more than $700,000 in financial aid.

In 2014, over 700 scholarships and prizes were awarded throughout Quebec and Ontario, totalling close to $1.5 million in financial aid.

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 2014 scholarship recipients

In October, Desjardins Foundation winners will be honoured by their caisses and regions across Quebec.

On October 15, 2014, an awards ceremony was held during Co-op Week for national Desjardins Foundation winners. The event took place at Complexe Desjardins in the presence of Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, 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.

Learn more

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Montreal area: 514-281-7171
Elsewhere in Canada and the U.S.: 1-800-443-8611

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