Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program for post-secondary students

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Are you ready to re-imagine your future?

It takes incredible bravery and determination to pursue post-secondary education in the face of adversity – especially for students impacted by the loss of a parent or guardian with little to no life insurance coverage. 

That’s why Manulife has collaborated with Life Happens, a U.S. nonprofit organization that helps students pay for their education through the Life Lessons Scholarship Program.

What is the Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship program?

Manulife has introduced the first Life Lessons Scholarship Program in Canada, for students who’ve experienced the death of a parent or guardian with little to no life insurance. The Scholarship Program helps combat the financial burden of paying for post-secondary education during an emotional time and recognizes the perseverance that so many youth show in such adversity.

The Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program is committed to student success and helps support students financially, making the decision to attend and finish a college, university or trade school program a little easier.

Are you a current, or soon-to-be post-secondary student looking for financial support? Read more about how to qualify and apply below.

Criteria and application

Before applying to the Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program there are a few things to note. Please see below for a list of common questions and answers.

Students currently enrolled in or have been accepted to a college, university or trade school within Canada and will be attending full-time post-secondary in September and:

  • are a permanent resident of Canada;
  • are between 17 and 24 years of age at the time of application; and
  • have experienced the death of a parent or legal guardian who had little or no life insurance coverage

In addition to some basic information, you will need to submit a 500 word-essay OR a 3-minute video about how the death of your parent or guardian has affected your life financially and emotionally (the “Entry”). It can be difficult to share such a personal experience. To assist in the process applicants’ surviving parent or legal guardian are welcome to create the Entry on their behalf. The Entry and any accompanying recordings, pictures, videos or images (“Recordings”) must be prepared by you or on your behalf and with your authorization by your surviving parent or legal guardian.  It’s helpful to note how the loss of a parent/guardian has impacted your post-secondary education plans, your family’s financial situation and how you’ve been working hard to stay on track to attend your post-secondary program during this time. Please note, essays exceeding 500 words or videos longer than three minutes will automatically be disqualified. For any Entry prepared on your behalf, you must obtain the appropriate consent for its use in support of your Entry.  The creator of any Entry submitted on your behalf may be asked to sign a consent form allowing Manulife to use and disclose the Entry and/or any Recording.

Before you apply, be sure to read the full Rules and Regulations to ensure you’re eligible for the Manulife Life Scholarship Program.

Thank you for your interest in the 2024 Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program. The applications deadline has now passed. To apply for the 2025 scholarship, please visit the criteria and application page on February 1, 2025. 

Manulife will award scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each annually to successful applicants. Please see the full rules and regulations for more information.

Recipient names and stories will be shared in August.

Scholarship money will be issued directly to students in July, available for the start of the September 2024 semester. Please see the full rules and regulations for more information

If you can’t find your answer or have additional questions, please email


Congratulations to the 2023 Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Recipients

The Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program recipients are more than recipients. They’re students who’ve already achieved so much, even if the face of adversity. These students demonstrate the emotional and financial impact of losing a parent or guardian and the perseverance to carry through their post-secondary goals. They emphasize the importance of financial planning and remind us why we all need life insurance.


With the generous donations from our sponsors, we have been able to award additional scholarships for the 2023 semester.

Proud sponsor of the 2023 Manulife Life Lessons Scholarship Program.

Rules and regulations

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