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Advice from TD's scholarship expert and past successful applicant
Deadline for $70,000 TD Scholarship for Community leadership is October 31st

TORONTO, Oct. 19, 2011 /CNW/ - Thousands of students across Canada are missing out on valuable scholarship dollars for post secondary education for one simple reason - they don't apply. According to Dr. Jane Thompson, Executive Director of, the TD Scholarship for Community Leadership, one of the country's most prestigious scholarships, there are two main reasons.

"First, many students do not realize that now - the first term of the school year - is the time to apply for many leading scholarships, and second, many have the misconception that they are not eligible for scholarship awards," said Dr. Thompson.

Each year, TD selects 20 young community leaders from across the country to receive the TD Scholarships for Community Leadership valued at up to $70,000.

Dr. Thompson and Katie Zeppieri, a 2007 recipient of the TD Scholarship for Community Leadership, have compiled the following tips to assist this year's scholarship applicants:

  1. If you don't apply, you can't win! Scholarship committees are the judges and experts determining who is worthy of the awards available.

  2. Read the components of the application carefully to identify what the scholarship judges are looking for. There are usually one or two key attributes to highlight. For example, the TD Scholarship for Community Leadership looks for initiative and innovation.

  3. Don't assume your achievements are not big enough. Consider how your accomplishments have impacted others - no matter the scope.

  4. Tell a compelling story. Many applications ask for an essay about your accomplishments.

  5. Have someone else review your application before submitting it, not just to check for spelling, grammar and overuse of acronyms, but to ensure that your achievements and story are clearly communicated.

  6. Schedule scholarship applications into your timetable to allow enough time to complete them and gather reference letters.

  7. Provide referees with an overview of which attributes or achievements are important to each scholarship to ensure reference letters are relevant. Most scholarships require reference letters. (TD requires four letters of reference.)

Dr. Thompson encourages students not to underestimate their achievements, and to avoid the misconception that they have to initiate something at the national or world scale, noting that TD scholarship recipients have come from small villages and big cities alike, from every part of the country and have won for a huge range of projects.

"Avoid simply detailing the activities in which you participated. Make sure you bring your story to life by describing your motivations, goals and the learning experience," said Dr. Thompson.

Katie Zeppieri advises students to treat a scholarship application like a school assignment.

"Check the deadlines for each scholarship for which you will apply, and build them into your calendar along with school work, projects and homework. Then work ahead towards the deadline to avoid a last minute rush, the risk of submitting a less than stellar application, and the embarrassment of hurrying references," she said.

The TD Scholarship for Community Leadership has awarded scholarships to over 320 recipients since 1995, as part of TD's commitment to education and stronger communities. Each scholarship is valued at up to $70,000, including full tuition at any accredited university or college in Canada, mentorship opportunities, $7,500 a year for living expenses and a guaranteed offer of summer employment within TD Bank Group for up to four years.

"We are truly interested in what Canadian youth are doing in their communities and in what they have to tell us," said Dr. Thompson.

To obtain an application, eligible students can:

  • Visit their high school or CEGEP guidance office
  • Check out the website at
  • Call 1-800-308-8306 to request an application

Completed applications must be returned by registered mail and received no later than October 31st, 2011 to:

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)
Ref: TD Scholarships for Community Leadership
350 Albert Street
Suite 600
Ottawa, ON K1R 1B1

All applicants selected as finalists will be notified by mid-January 2012 and interviewed by a selected panel comprised of prominent Canadians in early February. Scholarship recipients will be notified soon after.

TD Community Giving
TD Bank Group invests in communities to make a positive impact where it does business and where our customers, clients and employees live and work. In 2010, TD Bank Group donated over $50 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, we focus on Education and Financial Literacy, Creating Opportunities for Young People, and the Environment. For more information, visit

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