Ontario Scholar Program

No. 53
Date of Issue: April 14, 2009 Effective: Until revoked or modified
Application: Directors of Education
Secretaries of School Authorities
Principals of Secondary Schools
Principals of Provincial and Demonstration Schools
Principals of Inspected Private Schools
Reference: This memorandum replaces Policy/Program Memorandum No. 53, May 25, 2004.


This memorandum provides direction to school bards’ and schools concerning the designation of a student as and Ontario Scholar. The revised requirements, outlined in this memorandum, apply in the 2008-09 school year and in subsequent years.


A student may be designated an Ontario Scholar if he or she satisfies both of the following requirements:

  • He or she obtains an aggregate of at least 480 marks in any combination of ministry-approved courses listed below that provide a total of six credits, as defined by Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9 to 12: Program and Diploma Requirements, 1999 (OSS) and/or Ontario Schools, intermediate and Senior Divisions (Grades 7-12/OACs): Program and Diploma Requirements, rev. ed., 1989 (OSIS).
  • He or she has been recommended by the school principal for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) in either the current school year or the previous school year.

Ministry-approved courses are the following:

  • any Grade 12 university preparation, university/college preparation, college preparation, workplace preparation, and/or open courses authorized under OSS, including locally developed courses approved by the ministry.
  • cooperative education courses related to any of the above courses.
  • Dual credit courses in college-delivered dual credit programs approved by the ministry.
  • Any Ontario Academic Courses (OACs) authorized under OSIS.


The following conditions will apply:

  • A candidate’s mark in any course shall be multiplied by the credit value of the course.
  • Where a student obtains more than six credits in any combination of Grade 12 university preparation courses, Grade 12 university/college preparation courses, Grade 12 college preparation courses, Grade 12 workplace preparation courses, Grade 12 open courses, dual credit courses, and/or OACs, the highest marks will be used.
  • Standing in either English for English-language schools or English for French-language schools (i.e., anglais/English under OSIS, English for French-language schools under OSS) may be counted, but not both.
  • Standing in either French as a second language or francais may be counted, but not both.
  • A student previously designated an Ontario Scholar is not eligible for a second award.
  • A student need not complete the courses in one school year in order to be designated an Ontario Scholar.
  • Standing obtained at a conservatory or school of music as outlined in section 2 or Policy/Program Memorandum No. 133, “Music Certificates Accepted for Credits”, January 5, 2004; in section 2 of appendix 4 of OSS ; OR IN SECTION 2 OF APPENDIX C of OSIS may be considered for the purposes of the Ontario Scholar award.


Principals must indicate that a student is receiving the Ontario Scholar award when they submit student’ final marks to OnSIS. Principals must also ensure that this information is provided for those students w ho have qualified for the award by attending summer school.


A student designated an Ontario Scholar will receive an Ontario Scholar certificate.

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