Please read the following instructions and the FAQ carefully. Every year, approximately 25% of all applicants are disqualified for failing to meet one of the criteria, such as the deadline (January 31st), the maximum length (250 words), or for identifying themselves in the essay.

If you have a question about the competition that wasn't answered in the rules or the FAQ, then please send us an e-mail, and we'll do our best to answer it for you.


  • Applicants must be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants enrolled in a full-time program at a Canadian post-secondary institution, accredited by the applicable provincial Ministry of Education, during the - academic year.
  • A full-time program is defined by consecutive Fall and Winter semesters.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old on January 31, .
  • Awards are based on applicant's essay.
  • Essays may be written either in English or in French. Only one essay will be accepted per applicant.
  • Only the finalists will be contacted, by phone or other means according to the information supplied in their application. They will be required to provide official proof of enrollment and sign a written consent form indicating that the essay is entirely his or her own work and to allow Mensa and/or its designated agents to use their name and photograph for the purpose of publicizing the Mensa Canada Scholarship Programme. They may also be asked to provide proof of Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status and two letters of reference.
  • Application deadline is January 31, . The results of the competition will be announced in late July or early August, .
  • The Mensa Canada Scholarship Program includes one or more scholarships of $1000, and may also include Honourable Mentions, all of which are awarded in accordance with the dictates of the Board of Directors of the MCSP, as funding permits.
  • Any claims made in the essay are subject to verification, including but not limited to: patents, publications, academic standings, and medical procedures.
  • The decision of the judges is final.

How To Apply

  • Write an essay describing your career goals in 250 words or less.
  • Save your essay in TXT or RTF format under the title "Essay".
  • Your essay should describe specific goals (academic, vocational or career). It should contain explicit ideas and information.
  • Indicate the course of study and the post secondary institution which you are attending in the - academic year.
  • Describe any steps you have taken, relevant experience gained (e.g., paid or volunteer jobs, classes, honours, offices, organizations) and any difficulties you have overcome in pursuit of your goal. State the steps by which you intend to achieve your goal.
  • The essay text must not contain any form of the author's identity.
  • Your e-mail must contain only your personal information and the attached file must contain only your essay. The e-mails and the attached files will be numbered and separated. The essays will be judged anonymously.
  • Applications must be sent by e-mail as indicated in the instructions. Those received by any other means (e. g. links to web pages, by post or by fax) will be disqualified.
  • Deadline for submitting your essay is January 31, .

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use the word "I"? Doesn't the word "I" identify myself?
  2. The use of the word "I" does not identify you, and therefore will not disqualify your essay. The prohibition of any identifying information ensures that our judges will not be able to identify an essay's author.

  3. Do contractions such as "don't" count as one word or two?
  4. Contractions and words with apostrophes count as one word.

  5. What if I am a Canadian citizen enrolled in a post-secondary institution in another country?
  6. You must be attending a Canadian post-secondary institution.

  7. What correspondence can I expect after I submit my application?
  8. Only scholarship winners will be contacted. Please do not submit your essay more than once, or e-mail the judges to ask if they have received your essay. Unless you receive a "Mail Undeliverable" e-mail reply within 2-3 minutes, then your essay has been submitted successfully.

  9. What if my 18th birthday falls a few days after the January 31st deadline?
  10. You will be disqualified. Please apply for next year's competition.

  11. What if I'm resident in Canada but not a landed immigrant or citizen?
  12. You will be disqualified. The competition is open to Canadian citizens or landed immigrants only.

  13. I'm currently in grade 12. Can I apply for the scholarship?
  14. No. The scholarships are intended only for individuals who are attending college or university during the current academic year.

  15. I am a co-op student. If I am currently on a work term, do I still qualify as a full-time student?
  16. Yes, as long as your educational institution gives you an academic credit for your work term.