Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship

The Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship is a prestigious and vital academic excellence award. It is named after the former Canadian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lester B. Pearson, and the scholarship is a beacon for outstanding international students seeking to pursue their undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto. 

This post will examine the criteria and impact of Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship and its role in fostering global talent and promoting educational diversity. Read on!

Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship

The Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship is designed for incoming undergraduate students at the University of Toronto. The University selects 37 exceptional people as Lester B. Pearson International Scholars, with notifications sent to them. The scholarship mandates that the respective schools submit applications, each limited to nominating just one student yearly. This applies to all undergraduate programs at the University of Toronto.

The selection criteria for this scholarship hinges primarily on academic achievements, references, and the Statement of Purpose (SOP) submitted by applicants. Internationally, the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship stands out as one of the University of Toronto’s most prestigious and fiercely competitive awards for international students. Covering not only tuition costs but also living expenses in Canada, the scholarship extends its financial support to cover additional necessities such as books and incidental fees.

Eligibility Criteria For Lester B. Pearson International 

To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an international student holding a Canadian student visa (non-Canadian).
  • Showcase originality of thought and creativity in both school and community engagements.
  • Demonstrate notable academic achievements and active involvement in creative pursuits.
  • Exhibit a keen enthusiasm for learning and a commitment to acquiring new skills.
  • Showcase leadership qualities that have been evident in previous experiences.
  • Be in the final year of higher secondary school during the application period or have graduated.
  • If you intend to commence the chosen undergraduate program at the University after resuming a new session.

Below are categories of people not eligible for the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program:

  • Currently enrolled in post-secondary education within Canada.
  • Initiating post-secondary studies at another Canadian university.

Note: If a student is already engaged in or planning to commence post-secondary studies before the U of T program begins, whether at the University of Toronto or another institution, they are not eligible for consideration for this scholarship.

Application Process

To submit your application, follow these steps:

  • Nomination

Obtain a nomination from your school. High schools that have not been contacted or verified should visit the website to obtain the link to participate. Schools with prior participation will receive access to nominations earlier.

  • Admission Application Form

Apply to the University of Toronto for the new intake, ensuring you meet the application deadlines. 

Note that you will be automatically considered for the Pearson Scholarship based on your primary program choice at U of T. While you can apply for multiple programs and secure admission to all, the Pearson Scholarship, if granted, will be tied to your initial program preference when scholarship decisions are finalized.

  • Completion of Scholarship Application

Once nominated by your school and after applying to the University, you will receive an exclusive link to the scholarship application upon successful school nomination. Proceed to complete the online Lester B. Pearson Scholarship application. 

Below are the documents required for this scholarship;

  • Transcripts
  • GRE scores
  • Statement of intent or purpose.
  • Updated Resume
  • Letters of reference
  • A sample of written work

Pearson Scholarship Deadlines

Important dates for the application process are as follows:

  • School nomination deadline: November 30, 2023.
  • Student OUAC admission application deadline: December 15, 2023 (Please be aware that while the application deadline extends to December 15, 2023, it is advisable to submit your admission application through the OUAC well before November 7, 2023, as program spaces fill up rapidly, and popular programs may close early.)
  • The student scholarship application deadline is scheduled on January 15, 2024.

Selection Process

About 37 students entering the University of Toronto’s undergraduate program receive the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship. 

The primary factors influencing selection include:

  • Evaluation of the scholarship application.
  • Consideration of high school nominations.
  • Verification of eligibility criteria fulfillment.

Note: Any scholarships granted are exclusively applicable at the University of Toronto. Also, in cases where students apply and gain admission to multiple programs, the scholarship is only valid for the first-choice program and not subsequent ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Benefits of The Lester B Pearson Scholarships?

Benefits of the Lester B. Pearson Scholarships include Comprehensive coverage for four years, including;

  • Tuition
  • Books
  • Incidental fees
  • Complete living expenses.

Can I Nominate More Than One Student?


Each school has the privilege of nominating one student annually for the Pearson Scholarship, which aims to acknowledge exceptional students worldwide. The selection procedure includes your school identifying the top candidate for nomination. Schools should nominate the student who best embodies the qualities of a Pearson Scholar.

How do I Nominate a Student?

In September, verified high schools will receive an annual email from Enrolment Services containing a personalized and secure nomination form. Suppose your school still needs to undergo verification. In that case, the officials can go to the scholarship sites to get a link or information on how to participate in the scholarship. After confirmation, your school will receive the nomination form and guidance for the subsequent steps.


Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship stands as a beacon of opportunity for exceptional students worldwide, offering financial support and a pathway to academic excellence at the University of Toronto. With its commitment to recognizing and nurturing global talent, this scholarship embodies the spirit of Lester B. Pearson, fostering leadership, creativity, and a passion for learning. 

As students embark on their academic journey, Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship is a testament to the University’s dedication to cultivating a diverse and dynamic community of scholars. For those aspiring to make a meaningful impact through education, this scholarship opens doors to a world-class learning experience and a transformative chapter at the University of Toronto.

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