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FAQ: CNIB Scholarships and Bursaries

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Have questions about applying for a CNIB Scholarship or Bursary? We’re here to answer them! Browse our FAQ.


I’m not sure if I qualify for a CNIB scholarship. What are the eligibility criteria?

Scholarship applicants must be:

  • Blind, Deafblind, or have low vision (i.e. best corrected visual acuity of 20/70" and/or you have a visual field of 20 degrees or narrower).
  • Pursuing a post-secondary diploma, degree, skilled trades certificate, apprenticeship, continuing education program, or equivalent.
  • A Canadian citizen or have held landed immigrant status for one year prior to the date of application.
  • Highly motivated, independent and able to demonstrate a reasonable level of personal achievement.


How do I get a CNIB scholarship?

Visit www.cnib.ca/scholarships and review all available scholarships. If you are eligible for any scholarship listed, complete an application. Applicants are automatically considered for all eligible scholarships (unless stated otherwise). Successful recipients are chosen by CNIB's scholarship selection committee.

Please note: The Joyce Family Foundation Bursary and the CNIB National Youth Council Leadership Award have additional application requirements. 

What are the application deadlines?

The application opens on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 and closes on Wednesday, July 3, 2024.

Will submitting my scholarship application ahead of the deadline help me?

There's no benefit to submitting early. CNIB's scholarship selection committee does not start reviewing scholarship applications until after the submission deadline. Take all the time you need to thoughtfully prepare your application by the submission deadline. Submitting early will not strengthen your application.

The application form has a ‘first entry submission’ and a ‘second entry submission.’ I’m confused – what one should I be completing?

First entry submissions are for people graduating high school/secondary and entering a post-secondary program for the first time. By this, we mean you are completing high school and beginning your post-secondary education. This can also include applicants who have taken time off after high school and are looking to apply to their first post-secondary program.

Second entry submissions are for current post-secondary students who are actively enrolled in a program or have completed some post-secondary education. You should submit a second entry application if you are not entering post-secondary directly from high school/secondary.

Who should I ask for a reference letter?

Applicants must include two reference letters in their application – one academic and one community-based. An academic reference can be a teacher, counsellor, or academic advisor. A community-based reference can include anyone in your community who can speak to your work ethic, ambition, and leadership. References cannot be family or friends. All reference letters should be on official letterhead, professional letter format and in an accessible format.

How do I write an academic resume?

ResumeGenuis is a great online resource with examples and templates for building an academic resume. 

I need some guidance on how to write a letter of intent.

A letter of intent is your opportunity to express how this funding can support you in your academic and personal goals. We encourage you to check out this helpful link.

I noticed that the Joyce Family Foundation Bursary includes a mentorship commitment. What does that mean, and how does CNIB define mentorship?

In order to be eligible for the Joyce Family Foundation Bursary funding, you accept the terms of the scholarship, which includes receiving mentorship opportunities from our CNIB mentorship pool. All recipients are eligible to provide mentorship to future scholarship recipients.

Mentoring provides participants with the opportunity to envision, grow and accomplish goals collaboratively. As part of the scholarship program, our mentees learn to navigate post-secondary institutions along with nurturing skills like networking; presentation skills; listening skills; giving and receiving feedback and effective communication.

Our mentor pool will include people who are blind or partially sighted and either more experienced in a post-secondary journey or in the world of work and are keen to offer their real-life experiences and learnings. 

Please be sure that mentoring is something you are comfortable with before applying for the Joyce Family Foundation Bursary.

CNIB Scholarships – Information Session

Have questions about applying for a CNIB scholarship or need some help understanding how to complete the application? Join us on Thursday, May 9 for a virtual information session where we’ll outline available scholarships, eligibility criteria, review the application process and deadlines, and answer any burning questions that you may have.

  • Date: Thursday, May 9, 2024
  • Time: 4:00 pm PDT | 5:00 pm MDT | 5:00 pm CST | 6:00 pm CDT | 7:00 pm EDT | 8:00 pm ADT | 8:30 pm NDT.
  • Location: Virtually on Zoom. Zoom information will be shared after registering.
  • Registration required. To register, please complete the Zoom Registration Form.
When will I hear back about whether I’ve been awarded a scholarship?

Whether you are chosen to receive a scholarship or are not awarded one this year, you will receive a follow-up from a CNIB representative by the end of the summer. Please ensure we have your correct contact information to stay connected throughout the process.

Application Checklist
  • Review the application criteria and ensure you are qualified and able to meet the requirements
  • Mark the deadline in your calendar
  • Pull together your academic transcripts 
  • Thoughtfully answer all questions in the application process
  • Collect your two reference letters as soon as possible
  • Ask a friend or family member to review your application and essay
  • Save a copy of your application for reference
  • Review your application once more before submitting it to ensure you have met all the guidelines
  • Ensure your documents are provided in an accessible format
  • Submit application and documentation before or by the deadline – late applications will not be accepted

Still can’t find the answer to your question?

Email us at scholarships@cnib.ca and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.