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Alexander Rutherford Scholarship

Do you think you have a penchant for academics? Is your grade point average impeccable? If you answered yes to either question, and are planning to study in a reputable university in Alberta, then you are in luck. The government of Alberta has plenty of scholarships and grants in place to help aspiring students achieve their academic dreams of higher education. One such prominent program is the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship.

Named after the fabled Canadian Minister of Education and Premier, Alexander Rutherford, the scholarship shares his zest for promoting public education, particularly in the province of Alberta. If you are out of high school with excellent grades and are on the hunt for a great university in the province, then perhaps this scholarship can provide you with the much-needed financial boost. It must be noted that the application process for the academic year of 2020-2021 began in early August, and generally doesn’t waver much each year. Now that the basics are covered, it’s time to delve into the details.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the scholarship amount, refer to the following criteria:

  • You must be a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident. You must be a resident of Alberta if you are an independent applicant, or one of your parents or guardians must be a resident of Alberta if you are a dependent student.
  • You also qualify if you’ve received the status of a Protected Person under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
  • It is also vital that you or your parents/guardians ought to have stayed in Alberta for the duration of that grade or have been living in Alberta for or at least 12 consecutive months before the beginning of your course.
  • The program is also aimed at students who finished high school a while ago, with the maximum limit dating back to September 30th, 1980. As long as you completed high school on or after that date, you can apply for the scholarship.
  • The program is only for full-time students, so ensure that you have taken a full course load of a degree that lasts for at least one semester.
  • Moreover, the scholarship is awarded only once per student.

Owing to the pandemic, the government has understandably given some leeway for elective courses to which numerical grades could not be assigned. As a result, a default grade of 90 percent has been assigned for Unassigned Credit courses (UCT). You can apply for the scholarship with UCT grades once the transcripts are available.

Selection Process

To make the cut, ensure that your grade point average for five designated courses crosses a minimum threshold set by the Alberta government in either Grade 10, 11, or 12. If you did your schooling in Alberta, then the Alberta Transcript of High School Achievement will be taken into consideration. For those who studied outside the province, the marks on the official high school transcript shall suffice. An added bonus of this selection process is that once you qualify for the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship, you will be automatically considered for Rutherford Scholars Award, Dr. Ernest and Minnie Mehl Scholarship, and Mildred Rowe Weston Memorial Scholarships.

How to Apply

The process is digital, hence you need to create an Alberta Student Aid account and verify it. It is recommended that you use your personal email id for the creation and verification process. If you want your parents or guardians to have access to your student aid or scholastic awards, fill out the Consent to Disclose form or assign a Power of Attorney. With that out of the way, take a look at the finer details of the application process.

The application process begins only once your high school transcripts are available. Furthermore, to put the best foot forward, apply after completing your high school upgrading credit courses, to submit with the maximum marks. Finally, make sure that the course you are enrolling for is a full-time course and you have graduated on or before September 30th, 1980. Once all these are taken care of, simply log in to your Student Aid account and select the Alexander Rutherford High School Achievement Scholarship, which is available under the Apply section.  

Your next step would be to procure basic details such as your Social Insurance Number, Alberta Student Number, name of the college or university you will be attending, when will your semester begin, and where did you finish high school. After filling out these details, you will be all set to apply.

Side note: Your student number (ASN) can be separately requested if not readily available.


If you are eligible to receive the scholarship, Student Aid will forward a request to the post-secondary school you will be attending, to confirm your enrollment. This process can occur either before the start of your course or even after the end of the course. In case your school doesn’t respond to Student Aid’s request within a month, a confirmation form will be sent to you directly to submit at your institution. All said and done, the process of submitting to Student Aid must not exceed 30 days.

How much can you get

Depending on your five-course average score and the grade you achieved it in, the scholarship amount will vary.

For Grade 10:

If you have an average between 75% and 79.9%, then you can receive a sum of $300. If your average hits 80 percent or more, then you can receive a sum of $400.

For Grade 11:

If your score lies between 75% and 79.9%, then you could be eligible to receive $500. In case your five-course average is 80% or more, then you can be awarded $800.

For Grade 12:

If your average grades fall between 75% and 79.9%, then the award money dedicated is $700. In case it exceeds or touches the 80% mark, then the amount increases to $1,300.

All scholarship rewards will be sent via cheque a month after your university confirms your enrollment.

Other Alberta Student Aid Options

If this scholarship is not the right choice for you, you may want to explore other programs under the Alberta government’s wing such as Alberta Student Aid Programs like Alberta Full-time Grant, Alberta Part-Time Grant, Alberta Disability Grant, and Alberta Student Loan. Striking a fine balance between financial need and merit, the programs offered by the province are ultimately an excellent tool to ease the monetary burdens of post-secondary education.

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Provincial Funding

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*All student funding, whether made available privately or through various government branches, is only approved to those who qualify, by the original source of funding. There are many criteria that each candidate must meet to be approved. Schools can only inform you of what may be available.