At Discover Year, we embrace diversity in all of its forms and therefore seek to recruit participants with varied perspectives, backgrounds and opinions. While we take an inclusive approach to admissions, it is vital to the success of the program that participants be committed to the process of self-development and remain open-minded. We are looking for young adults who are motivated to uncover their greater purpose in life and to figure out how they can make the most of their unique potential.

For this reason, admission to Discover Year requires two steps:

  1. Completed application, including application form, personal statement and (2) references
  2. Interview (for selected candidates, based on an assessment of their personal statement and references)

Below are some of the admissions criteria we use to assess applicants.

Basic criteria for admission:

  • High school diploma (as of July 2022)
  • Between 17-21 years old (as of December 31, 2022)

The most important traits we look for in applicants:

  • Team player (empathy, compassion, respect toward others)
  • Curiosity (intrinsic motivation to learn new things)
  • Openness to experience (open mindedness, willingness to try new things)
  • Integrity (honesty and genuineness; upholds ethical standards)
  • Positive attitude (optimism, gratitude, determination)

Application Deadlines: 2022-2023 session

    1st Round

• Application deadline: February 6, 2022
• Interviews: February 2022
• Offers of admission: beginning in March 2022

    2nd Round*

• Application deadline: June 5, 2022
• Interviews: conducted on an ongoing basis (as required) in the second round of admissions
• Offers will also be extended on an ongoing basis in the second round

*Please note that there are a limited number of spaces available in the program, and there is no guarantee that spaces will be available in the second round.
Once an offer of admission has been received, a non-refundable deposit of $1,100 is required to hold your place in the program.

Application Requirements

All documents should be submitted to or in hard copy to:

Discover Year - Admissions
1716 Bellechasse Pl.
Ottawa, ON, CANADA K1C 6W3

  1. Application Form
    Please complete the online Discover Year Application Form

  2. Personal Statement
    Please submit a personal statement of approximately 800-1000 words outlining the following:

    1. Reasons why you want to participate in the Discover Year program
    2. The aspect(s) of the program that appeal to you the most and why
    3. How you exemplify the traits listed above (provide concrete examples from past or present experiences)
    4. Your personal qualities that you believe will have a positive impact on other Discover Year students and our community

  3. Letters of Reference
    Please submit two confidential letters of reference, complete with the Reference Form. Letters of reference should be sent directly to Discover Year from the referee themselves. Applicants should have one reference from each of the two following categories:

    I. Educational: teacher, coach, counsellor, school administrator, etc.
    II. Personal: any adult outside of your family (e.g., community group leader, family friend, employer, volunteer supervisor, etc.)

  4. Interview
    Our Admissions Committee will select candidates to be interviewed based on an assessment of their personal statement and references. Brief interviews will be scheduled based on availability of all parties, and will assess applicants on the following:

    1. Knowledge of the program (does the applicant understand the purpose and structure of the Discover Year program?)
    2. Motivation to participate in the program (what is the applicant hoping to get out of their Discover Year?)
    3. Demonstration of the necessary personal characteristics to participate effectively (does the participant actively display the traits – curiosity, openness, integrity, teamwork and a positive outlook – required to be successful in Discover Year’s structure?)

  5. Application for Financial Aid (if applicable)

    Eligible applicants (see COST page) must submit the following information with their application to be considered for a bursary:

    1. Copy of most recent T451E (Notice of Assessment) OR three consecutive pay stubs of all working parents/guardians in immediate family
    2. Letter of endorsement from a member of the community on official letterhead, testifying to the applicant’s financial need
      1. NOTE: The educational referee above is welcome to submit letter of endorsement, but a separate letter is required for financial aid
      2. Letters of endorsement must indicate applicant’s family size (including number of dependents)

    All admitted students are eligible for the Discover Year Internships Program. Up to five $1,000 internships are available each year. Internship recipients are responsible for completing 65 hours of work for Discover Year in a variety of capacities, depending on the student’s interests and the needs of the program. Some typical responsibilities include:

    • Social media management
    • Representing Discover Year at post-secondary fairs and events
    • Liaising with prospective students
    • Documenting their DY experience through photos/videos

    Application details for the Discover Year Internships Program will be shared with students at the outset of program.

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