How To Apply For Scholarship In Canada From Nigeria (Top Scholarships)

How To Apply For Scholarship In Canada From Nigeria

Updated on September 13, 2023

Are you a Nigerian student with dreams of studying in Canada but concerned about the financial aspect of your education? Scholarships can be the key to turning your academic dreams into reality. Canada is known for its prestigious universities and diverse culture, making it a popular destination for international students, including Nigerians. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of how to apply for scholarship in Canada from Nigeria, ensuring that you have the best chance of securing financial aid for your studies.

Canada has become an increasingly popular destination for Nigerian students seeking high-quality education and diverse cultural experiences. With its renowned universities and colleges, the country offers numerous scholarship opportunities for international students, including those from Nigeria. 

Securing a scholarship not only provides financial assistance but also offers recognition for academic excellence, leadership potential, and a chance to be part of a vibrant academic community. 

Before diving into the application process, it’s essential to understand the types of scholarships available in Canada and their significance. Scholarships not only ease the financial burden of studying abroad but also recognize and reward academic excellence, leadership qualities, and community involvement. Canadian scholarships can cover tuition fees, living expenses, travel costs and even research grants, making them invaluable for aspiring scholars.

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In this comprehensive guide, we will provide valuable insights and step-by-step instructions on how to successfully apply for scholarships in Canada from Nigeria. 

How to Apply for Scholarship in Canada from Nigeria

To apply for a scholarship in Canada from Nigeria follow these steps:

1. Preparing for Scholarship Applications

Preparation is the key to a successful scholarship application. Start early to maximize your chances. Begin by researching the various scholarships available and their specific eligibility criteria. Many scholarships in Canada consider factors like academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and community service, so focus on building a well-rounded profile.

2. Searching for Scholarships

The search for the right scholarships can be overwhelming but rewarding. Explore various sources, including university websites, government scholarship programs, and international organizations. Additionally, utilize online scholarship search engines tailored to Canadian opportunities. These platforms can help you filter scholarships that align with your qualifications and field of study.

3. Writing an Outstanding Scholarship Essay

Most scholarship applications require a compelling personal statement or essay. This is your chance to stand out and showcase your motivations, aspirations, and unique experiences. Craft your essay meticulously, addressing the prompt provided by the scholarship committee. Be authentic, tell your story, and emphasize how the scholarship will contribute to your academic and career goals.

4. Meet Eligibility Criteria

Carefully review the eligibility criteria for each scholarship you plan to apply for.

Eligibility requirements typically include academic excellence, language proficiency (usually English or French), leadership qualities, and a strong commitment to contributing to Nigeria’s development.

5. Prepare Required Documents

Gathering the necessary documents in advance will save you time and ensure a smooth application process. Common documents required for scholarship applications in Canada include:

  • Proof of academic qualifications (transcripts, diplomas, degrees)
  • Language proficiency test scores (IELTS, TOEFL, or equivalent)
  • Letters of recommendation from professors or employers
  • Statement of purpose or research proposal
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Valid Nigerian passport
  • Any additional documents specific to the scholarship program

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6. Apply to Canadian Institutions

Start the application process for admission to the Canadian institutions of your choice. Follow the application guidelines provided by each institution and pay close attention to deadlines. 

Submit all required documents, including application forms, academic transcripts, and English or French language proficiency test scores.

7. Apply for Scholarships

After securing admission to a Canadian institution, you can proceed with the scholarship application process. 

Scholarship applications usually require additional documents, such as a statement of purpose or research proposal. Be sure to tailor your application to meet the specific requirements of each scholarship program.

8. Seek Guidance and Support

consider seeking guidance from education consultants, scholarship offices, or experienced individuals who have successfully gone through the scholarship application process. 

They can provide valuable insights and assistance in preparing your application materials and meeting the scholarship requirements.

9. Prepare for Interviews (if Applicable)

Some scholarship programs may require shortlisted candidates to attend interviews. If you are selected for an interview, prepare well in advance by researching the scholarship program, practising common interview questions, and showcasing your academic achievements and future aspirations.

10. Submit Applications and Follow-Up

Submit your scholarship applications by the designated deadlines and ensure all required documents are included. 

Keep track of your applications and follow up with the scholarship providers or Canadian institutions, if necessary, to confirm the receipt of your application and inquire about the selection process and timeline.

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Top Scholarships in Canada for Nigerians

There are several top scholarships in Canada for Nigerian students. Here are some of the notable scholarships that Nigerian students can consider:

1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program is one of the most prestigious scholarships in Canada. 

It is open to international students, including Nigerian students, who are pursuing a doctoral degree at a Canadian institution. The scholarship provides $50,000 per year for up to three years and covers a wide range of disciplines.

Criteria for enrollment include:

  • Academic excellence: Applicants must have a high academic standing in their previous studies.
  • Research potential: The scholarship favours candidates who contribute to their chosen field of study through research.
  • Leadership skills: Applicants must demonstrate leadership qualities and potential for future leadership roles.
  • Nomination: Students must be nominated by a Canadian institution where they plan to pursue their doctoral studies.

2. Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program

Administered by the Canadian government, the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program offers scholarships to students from Commonwealth countries, including Nigeria. 

These scholarships are available for masters and Ph.D. level studies in various fields. The program covers tuition fees, travel expenses, living allowances, and other costs.

Criteria for enrollment include:

  • Commonwealth citizenship: Applicants must be citizens of a Commonwealth country, including Nigeria.
  • Academic qualifications: Candidates must have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree or its equivalent.
  • Field of study: Scholarships are available for various fields at the master’s and Ph.D. levels.
  • Potential for development impact: Applicants must show commitment to using their education to contribute to the development of their home country.

3. Trudeau Foundation Scholarships

The Trudeau Foundation Scholarships are highly competitive awards for doctoral candidates in the humanities and social sciences. 

These scholarships support research that contributes to public engagement and policy-making in Canada. 

Nigerian students who have demonstrated academic excellence and a commitment to making a positive impact in their communities can apply for this scholarship.

Criteria for enrollment include:

  • Academic excellence: Candidates must have exceptional academic achievements.
  • Research proposal: Applicants are required to submit a research proposal that aligns with the Foundation’s themes and demonstrates originality, rigour, and potential for impact.
  • Leadership qualities: The scholarship looks for individuals who have demonstrated leadership skills and a commitment to public engagement and policy-making.
  • Nomination: Students must be nominated by a Canadian institution and have their research proposal approved by a designated Trudeau Scholar program representative.

4. Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship is available to international students, including Nigerian students, who are pursuing graduate studies at a university in Ontario. 

The scholarship provides funding to offset tuition fees and living expenses. Students must be nominated by their institution to be considered for this scholarship.

Criteria for application include:

  • Enrollment in an Ontario institution: Applicants must be admitted to a graduate program at an eligible Ontario university.
  • Academic merit: Candidates should have a high academic standing in their previous studies.
  • Research potential: The scholarship considers the applicant’s potential to contribute to their field of study through research.

5. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships

Offered by the University of Toronto, the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships aim to recognize international students with exceptional academic achievements and leadership qualities. 

Nigerian students who are admitted to the University of Toronto’s undergraduate programs are eligible to apply. The scholarship covers tuition, books, incidental fees, and full residence support.

Criteria for enrollment include: 

  • International student: The scholarship is open to non-Canadian students who require a study permit to study in Canada.
  • Final year of secondary school or recent graduate: You should currently be in your final year of secondary school or have graduated no earlier than June 2023. This means you should be applying for university admission for the academic year starting in September 2024.
  • Beginning studies at the University of Toronto: The scholarship is specifically for students starting their studies at the University of Toronto in September 2024. If you are already attending post-secondary studies or planning to start your studies at another institution in January 2024, you are not eligible for this scholarship.

6. Humber College International Entrance Scholarships

Humber College International entrance scholarship offers renewable scholarships for international students, including Nigerians, entering undergraduate programs. 

The scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, community involvement, and leadership potential. The scholarship amounts vary and can contribute significantly to tuition fees.

The scholarship is exclusively available for undergraduate and master’s studies. There are specific scholarship offerings based on the admission intake periods. 

In January, one full tuition scholarship and one scholarship worth $5,000 are available. In September, there will be seven scholarships valued at $5,000 each, along with two scholarships valued at $3,000 each.

Criteria for eligibility include: 

  • Sustained academic performance: Candidates should have a consistent and strong academic track record, reflecting their dedication and excellence in their studies.
  • Community involvement: Applicants are encouraged to actively participate in their communities and demonstrate engagement in extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or leadership roles.
  • Referee/Reference letters: The scholarship requires applicants to submit letters of recommendation from referees who can vouch for their character, academic abilities, and potential for success.
  • Statement of interest: Candidates are expected to provide a statement of interest that showcases their motivation, goals, and aspirations for their academic and personal development.

7. University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships

The University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships program provides financial support to exceptional international students, including Nigerian students, pursuing master’s or Ph.D. programs. 

The scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence and research potential.

Criteria for scholarship include:

  • Academic excellence: Applicants must have a strong academic record.
  • Nomination: Students must be nominated by the department or faculty at the University of Manitoba where they plan to pursue their graduate studies.


Applying for scholarships in Canada from Nigeria can be a rewarding and life-changing opportunity for Nigerian students aspiring to pursue higher education abroad. 

By conducting thorough research, meeting eligibility criteria, preparing necessary documents, and seeking guidance, you can enhance your chances of securing a scholarship. 

Remember to stay organized, adhere to deadlines, and put your best foot forward throughout the application process. Good luck in your pursuit of academic excellence in Canada!

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