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Financial support for post-secondary education

The Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program is available for families facing hardship. 

 The death of a parent or guardian is a devastating emotional blow, and the pain of this type of loss is often compounded by the financial impact on a family when there is little to no life insurance.  The loss of a loved one, along with the loss of an income impacts a family’s ability to cover not only essential monthly expenses, but also plans for post-secondary education.

But there is support available for students in need – a unique scholarship opportunity that can help make the decision to attend and finish a Canadian university, college or trade school program more attainable. It’s called the Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program.

Now in its fifth year in Canada, the Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program has supported 56 Canadian students to date, distributing $560,000 in funding.

Who can apply

The Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program is open to Canadian students between the ages of 17 and 24 who are enrolled or have been accepted to post-secondary. Those eligible will have experienced the death of a parent or legal guardian who had little to no life insurance coverage.

A key component of the application process is the submission of a 500-word essay or three-minute video explaining how a lack of life insurance has impacted the family’s financial situation. New for 2023, this essay or video can be created by a parent or legal guardian on behalf of the student.

A few things to keep in mind about the application process:

  • The application must be submitted by the student.
  • A parent or legal guardian can help by completing the essay or video as part of the submission.
  • The application must clearly explain how a lack of adequate life insurance coverage (or no coverage at all) impacted the family’s financial situation.
  • Applicants should include specifics on how they think things might have been different for them and their family if adequate life insurance coverage had been in place.

Applications are accepted from February 1st to March 31st, 2023, with scholarship recipients announced in August. Individual scholarships are valued at $10,000 to help cover the cost of post-secondary or trade school expenses.

Recipient stories

Over the years, dozens of scholarship recipients have been able to realize their dream of moving on to post-secondary education thanks to the support of the Life Lessons scholarship. Here are a few excerpts from their stories:

Fernando N. – “If my father had adequate life insurance coverage, I believe I would be in a much better place today… although some days are harder than others, I always achieve my responsibilities because I want my father to be proud of me and I aspire to be a great nurse one day.” Read Fernando’s full story here. Watch the video.

Veronica S. – “You never know when the worst day of your life may arrive and just how much your world can be thrown upside down. My father unexpectedly passed away in 2018, during the first term of my university career.” Read Veronica’s full story here. Watch the video.

William C. – “My father didn't have life insurance and my family was still financially suffering from paying off the cancer drugs. My father's last words were the only strand of hope I was holding onto. He said, "Take care of your mother." These words were said with confidence that there was still a future for our family. I clung to those words and used them to carve out determination for myself.” Read William’s full story here. Watch the video.

It takes a great deal of courage to continue moving forward after loss, and financial support to help a young person continue on their path can make things just a bit easier. If you have questions or would like more information about the Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program, please send an email, or visit the website.