Frequently Asked Questions

Investing in Our Diversity Scholarships and Ontario’s “Free Tuition”

There are so many deserving students for whom post-secondary education is just a dream without financial support. While the Ontario government has announced free tuition for students from low- income families, it does not cover all tuition fees for a full course load, nor all associated expenses.  Under the new provincial program, students are expected to pay $3,000 themselves towards their tuition costs. 

We believe this scholarship is still key for the most financially disproportionately impacted students- and can make the difference between them attending school or not. 

The following are FAQ regarding how “Free Tuition” intersects with the Investing in Our Diversity Scholarship:

What is the benefit of the Investing in Our Diversity scholarship in the landscape of “Free Tuition?”

  • Applicants can use scholarship funds for both tuition and other costs associated with school like transportation, text books, or a computer. Recipients of the scholarship make their own decisions on how to use the funds provided, which in turn, translates in to positive life skills.
  • If recipients attend Ryerson University, University of Toronto, York University, Centennial, Humber College, George Brown College, Seneca College, or OCAD University in first year, continue there in second year and meet their criteria, these partner schools will match first year IIOD scholarship funds and apply that amount directly to second year tuition. SCCC does not administer this process- it is directly between recipients and their post-secondary institutions.
  • Everyone who applies for an IIOD scholarship receives:
    • One-on-one counselling to assist with resume writing and job searching
    • Employment services offered through St. Stephen’s Community House Employment and Training Centre, and Toronto Youth Employment Services
    • Assistance with looking for and getting a job
    • Job matching assistance
  • Applying for an IIOD scholarship will give a big head start in getting ready for a job search and/or applying for other scholarships, as applicants will have already collected reference letters, prepared a biography, and practiced “marketing oneself” through the essay requirement.
  • These scholarships provide not just money but valuable networking opportunities. 

Investing in Our Diversity Scholarships

Do I need to be a high achiever to be considered for this scholarship?

No, while strong academics are looked on favourably, applicants who are highly involved in diversity, anti-racism and/or community health and safety initiatives are qualified candidates. We are looking for individuals who are extremely active in their school and community. In your essay, you will have the opportunity to explain your involvement and leadership in community initiatives, committees, and programs.

If I live in Co-op housing am I still eligible for an Investing in Our Diversity Scholarship?

No, the Cooperative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT) runs a scholarship program for their tenants. However, an exception will be made to residents living in the SCCC catchment area (Lake Ontario to the south, Bloor Street to the north, Yonge Street to the east and Lansdowne Ave to the west.) Please visit for more information about CHFT’s scholarship program.

What must I include in my budget?

Please provide us with a table outlining all your expenses and income. An estimated amount of expenses will be accepted for items with unknown costs. Ensure that totals are tabulated and the deficit is clearly stated. Include ALL sources of funding including other scholarships received. We want to see the applicant has made an attempt to earn the required amount for post-secondary through employment or outreaching to other agencies and foundations for scholarships.

Can I include additional materials to support my application besides the mandatory attachments outlined in the application?

Yes, we encourage applicants to attach materials that will strengthen their application. We ask that the materials are relatable to the scholarship criteria. Make sure all materials requested are included in your application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

When can I expect to hear back from SCCC about my application?

We will email and/or mail out a letter to all applicants in early April stating if they will be receiving a scholarship and the scholarship amount.

I am going into my second year of post-secondary school in September, am I still eligible for the Investing in Our Diversity Scholarship?

No, this is an entry level scholarship. Only individuals under 25 entering into their first year of post-secondary education or training are eligible for this scholarship.

If you are not eligible for this scholarship program there are other resources you can search to find other bursaries and scholarships. Please see the links below

Scholarships Canada

Ontario School Counsellors Association

Student Awards

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

Black Foundation of Community Scholarships Directory

Community Unity Alliance Directory of Black Scholarships and Awards

Is the second year matching scholarship a guarantee? 

No, second year scholarships are a possibility, but not guaranteed. Recipients must meet the criteria outlined by each institution. Second year scholarships are at the discretion of the partner institution and not SCCC or TCHC.

Will I still be eligible for the scholarship if I work and make an income?

Yes, applicants are encouraged to seek out other sources of funding to pay for tuition. The scholarship is not likely to cover all academic expenses so applying for other scholarships and working during the summer is encouraged.

Will I still be eligible for the scholarship if I work and make an income?

Yes, applicants are encouraged to seek out other sources of funding to pay for tuition. The scholarship is not likely to cover all academic expenses so applying for other scholarships and working during the summer is encouraged.

Can I defer my funds?

No, scholarships that have been awarded must be redeemed in that same year. Scholarships will not be carried over to the following year.

What type of community involvement do I need to do to be eligible for the scholarship?

Community involvement that includes anti- racism initiatives, community safety, or leadership. Relevant involvement would also include promoting diversity in the community which is acceptance and celebration of differences, protection of peoples’ rights, etc. in your community and/or school. Here are a list of agencies and programs that you can contact to get involved: