Scholarship Selection Process

Based on Four Selection Criteria: The basic process for evaluating applicants and awarding scholarships is as follows

STEP 1: Three Standard Selection Criteria: All applicants are evaluated by at least three judges based on the following three standard criteria:

    • i) High Academic Achievement: This is based on your academic transcript, and by testimony to your scholarly excellence that is provided by a letter of recommendation by a teacher.
    • ii) Financial Need: This is based on the financial information that is furnished in Section E of your Application, by information provided by your letters of recommendation, plus any reinforcing narrative you provide in your essay.
    • iii) Recognized Contribution to the Black Community: This is based on information presented in Section F of your application, by information provided by your letters of recommendation, by your resume, plus any reinforcing narrative you provide in your essay.

STEP 2: A Fourth Criterion Which is Donor Determined: Step 2 applies the fourth selection criterion which is unique criteria determined by donors. These unique criteria may include (i) enrolment in a particular field of study, (ii) personal attributes and achievements such as leadership, (iii) special community service or volunteerism, (iv) overcoming certain life challenges, (v) residence in a specific geographic area, or (vi) other distinctions. Many donors do not specify unique criteria. Descriptions of scholarships in the BBPA NSF website provide guidance regarding donor determined unique criteria. Here are some examples of unique donor-driven selection criteria:

    • The TD Financial Group Scholarships require recipients to be enrolled in business and be available to intern at the bank during summers.
    • The Dr. Anderson Abbot Scholarship requires enrolment at the University of Toronto.
    • The Dentons Canada LLP Scholarship requires enrolment in law.
    • The Cadillac Excellence in Marketing and Communication requires the recipient to be enrolled in marketing or communication.
    • The Madeline Blackman Scholarship requires the recipient to have heritage links to Antigua and Barbuda. Express this in your essay and support letters.
    • Currently being finalized are new scholarships targeted at recipients who reside in facilities/areas operated by Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). Express this in your essay and support letters.

STEP 3: Decision Making: Using information gathered in Steps 1 and 2, the judges, most of whom are current or former educators/administrators from post-secondary institutions, will determine which candidates should be assigned specific scholarships. Donors who request participation in the final decision for their particular scholarship are party to the decision.

STEP 4: Conditional Offers of Scholarships: Candidates selected in Step 3 will be emailed conditional offers of scholarships. They will be asked to provide additional information (e.g. validation of enrolment in the current academic year, etc.) by a given deadline. Should they respond in a timely way with the requested information, the conditions will be removed and they will be awarded a scholarship.

STEP 5 Confirmation of Scholarship: With all conditions met, scholarship recipients will be officially advised by email of their award. As a courtesy, applicants who are unsuccessful in the current scholarship program will be notified by email.

STEP 6 Scholarship Awards Ceremony: This ceremony is scheduled for the first week of October and will be located at York University, Toronto. All scholarship recipients and their families and friends will be invited. An applicant’s inability to attend the awards ceremony in person will not impact on his/her eligibility for a scholarship.

QUESTION 1: WILL I BE CONSIDERED FOR ALL SCHOLARSHIPS? A1: The application form does not ask that you target your candidacy to a specific scholarship. This is because the judges will assess your application against scholarships with donor determined criteria. Where you fulfil specified donor criteria you will be evaluated for those scholarships plus you will be considered for all other scholarships which do not have specific donor criteria. Consider the following example. Should you be enrolled in the study of music, (i) you will be considered a candidate for The James Massey Music Scholarship, (ii) you will not be considered a candidate for scholarships requiring studies in law, business, science or other donor requirements you do not possess, and (iii) you will be considered for all other scholarships. In the end, all applicants will be considered for many scholarships.

QUESTION 2: WHO SHOULD I CONTACT FOR HELP WITH MY APPLICATION? A2: To ensure you do your best work in preparing your application, we recommend that you consult all the resources available to you. If in high school, consult your parents, your guidance counsellor, a community mentor and/or any teacher who has been particularly supportive of your development. The same may be said if you are currently in a college/university, but additionally, you may consult staff in your institution’s financial aid and awards office or a person familiar with you school work or employment record.


Applications for the BBPA National Scholarships are now open. This ‘How to Apply’ guide provided below serves as a guide to prospective scholarship applicants. The application form for the BBPA National Scholarships will be posted online.

STEP ONE- READ THE GUIDE: Click and carefully read the Application Guide here. This document guides you through the scholarship-application process and provides clarification for most of the questions and items in the online application form. You can also click and find an example of a Budget Synopsis here.

STEP TWO – REVIEW THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM: Carefully review the BBPA National Scholarship Application Form. Using the application form and the Application Guide, list the various supporting materials that you are required to provide, and also the questions which require ‘essay-style’ responses.

STEP THREE – ASSEMBLE SUPPORTING MATERIAL: Take the time to assemble the supporting material required of you (e.g. supporting letters and your academic transcript), and also to draft the essay-style responses some questions require (in a Word document which you may later paste into your online application form). You can also get tips on a successful application which was shared at the BBPA National Scholarship Program Roundtable Discussion and Q&A. Click here for a replay.

STEP FOUR- SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION: Having assembled all required supporting material, submit your online application form by the deadline.


APPLICATION TIMELINES (subject to change)

Scholarship Applications open May 13, 2024 and close July 1, 2024

Town hall dates are:
Town Hall 1 – May 29 2024
Town Hall 2 – June 5 2024
Town Hall 3 – June 12 2024

Scholarship Awardees Notified – September 2024





The Board of Trustees
The National Scholarship Fund
180 Elm Street,
Toronto, Ontario, M5T 3M4.

Click Here For A Guide To The BBPA NSF Application Form

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