February 25, 2024
rutherford scholarship

The Alexander Rutherford Scholarship honors Alexander Cameron Rutherford, who served as Alberta’s first premier from 1905 to 1910. He is credited with creating the University of Alberta in the early 1900s. The scholarship was established in the 1980s by the Government of Alberta to recognize and reward academic achievement and encourage Alberta students to pursue post-secondary studies at colleges, universities and technical institutes within the province.

The Alexander Rutherford Scholarship provides up to $2,500 in funding for Alberta students pursuing post-secondary education in Alberta who achieve a minimum average of 80% in specific Grade 12 courses. The scholarship aims to help cover the costs of tuition, fees, and living expenses. To be eligible, students must meet residency requirements, achieve high academic standing, and enroll full-time at a designated Alberta post-secondary institution. The application is submitted online and recipients are notified in the summer after graduation. Funds are disbursed to the student’s post-secondary institution in the first semester of study.

Scholarship Details

The Alexander Rutherford Scholarship provides up to $2,500 to help cover the costs of pursuing post-secondary education in Alberta. The maximum amount awarded is $2,500, but the actual amount each recipient receives depends on their individual eligibility.

This scholarship is offered annually, with approximately 14,000 – 18,000 scholarships awarded each year. The number of recipients can fluctuate year-to-year based on the pool of applicants.

The scholarship funding is available for students pursuing post-secondary studies between August 1, 2023 and July 31, 2024. This covers the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year at colleges, universities, and technical schools across Alberta.

According to the Alberta Student Aid website, the scholarship application opens annually on June 1st for the academic year starting the following August. The deadline to apply is typically in late September or early October. Specific dates are announced each spring.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be an Alberta resident. This means you must have lived in Alberta for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to attending post-secondary studies (https://studentaid.alberta.ca/scholarships-and-awards/alexander-rutherford-scholarship/).
  • You must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at a designated Alberta post-secondary institution. This includes universities, colleges, and technical institutes in Alberta (https://www.ualberta.ca/admissions/undergraduate/tuition-and-scholarships/scholarships-and-awards/alexander-rutherford-scholarship.html).
  • You must have achieved an average of 80% or higher on the following five Grade 12 courses:
    • English Language Arts 30-1 or English 30
    • Social Studies 30-1
    • One of Mathematics 30-1, Mathematics 30-2, or Mathematics 31
    • One of Biology 30, Chemistry 30, Physics 30, Science 30
    • One of any 30-level language other than English

If you meet these residency, enrollment, and Grade 12 average requirements, you are eligible to apply for the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship.

How to Apply

Students can apply for the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship through an online application on the Alberta Student Aid website. The application opens in mid-August each year for the upcoming academic year. Students will need to create an account to access the online application.

The application requires students to submit the following supporting documents:

  • High school transcript showing Grade 12 course grades
  • Proof of enrollment in a designated post-secondary institution in Alberta
  • Copy of birth certificate or citizenship documents

All supporting documents must be uploaded digitally as part of the online application. The deadline to apply is September 30th at 4:30pm for qualifying full-time studies taking place between August 1st to July 31st of the following year.

Students are advised to apply as soon as possible once grades are available, rather than waiting until the deadline, as scholarships are disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis based on eligibility.

Notification and Receipt of Funds

Students are notified by mail in late July or early August about whether they have been selected to receive the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship. You can also check the status of your application on the Alberta Student Aid website. The scholarship funds are disbursed in two payments:

The first payment is sent in September after Alberta Student Aid receives confirmation of full-time enrollment. For students who apply by the May 1st deadline, the first payment will be $1,250. For those who apply by the July 15th deadline, the first payment will be $625.

The second payment is sent in December once continued full-time enrollment is confirmed. Again, students who applied by May 1st receive $1,250 and those who applied by July 15th receive $625.

According to the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship FAQ page (https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/alberta-student-aid-scholarship-faq.pdf), scholarship funds are made payable to the post-secondary institution the student is attending. The amount is credited to the student’s tuition fees for the current academic year. Any unused portion can be transferred to living expenses or to pay outstanding student fees.

Maintaining the Scholarship

The Alexander Rutherford Scholarship is a one-time award, so there are no renewal criteria. However, there are some conditions for maintaining the scholarship funds:

Students must maintain full-time enrollment in their educational program throughout the school year. Full-time is defined as at least 60% of a full course load per semester.1

Students must achieve a minimum 2.0 GPA throughout the school year to keep receiving scholarship funds. If the GPA drops below 2.0, future payments may be withheld.

Students have up to 4 years to use the scholarship funding towards their studies. Any unused portions after 4 years will be revoked.

If students withdraw from studies or drop below full-time status, they must notify Alberta Student Aid. Remaining scholarship funds may need to be returned.

Scholarship recipients must promptly notify Alberta Student Aid of any changes to their name, address, educational institution, or enrollment status.

By maintaining eligibility criteria, students can receive the full value of their Alexander Rutherford Scholarship over the course of their academic program.

Tips for Success

Here are some tips to help you successfully apply for and receive the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship:

To meet the eligibility criteria:

– Take academically rigorous courses in grades 10-12 and aim for at least an 80% average in core subjects. Focus on getting top marks in English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and a language. The higher your grades, the better your chances.1

– Enroll in full-time post-secondary studies at an approved Alberta institution right after high school. The scholarship can only be used for studies between August 1 and July 31 each year.2

To make your application stand out:

– Apply as soon as possible once grades are finalized. Funds are limited so early applications have the best chance.

– Fill out the online application fully and accurately. Double check that all required documents are included.

– If eligible, also apply in subsequent years up to a maximum of 4 times. Renewing shows ongoing academic success.

Tips from past recipients:

– Start preparing in Grade 10 so you take the right courses and understand eligibility early.

– Don’t underestimate the value – $2,500 can make a big difference in affording post-secondary education.

– Apply even if you think you might not get it – you have nothing to lose!


To recap, the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship is a generous financial award available to Alberta students who achieve high academic standards in high school. Valued at up to $2,500, it can make a big difference in affording post-secondary education.

By meeting the eligibility criteria – especially maintaining an 80%+ average in specific Grade 12 courses – and submitting an application with supporting documents by the deadline, you have a great chance at receiving this scholarship.

Funds are disbursed after confirmation of full-time enrollment, and the scholarship can potentially be renewed if you keep up your academics.

With wise financial planning and strong grades, the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship can help launch your post-secondary journey. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – be sure to apply!

Scholarship Details

The Alexander Rutherford Scholarship is a renewable scholarship awarded by the Alberta provincial government to support high school students from Alberta to pursue post-secondary education in the province. The scholarship is named after Alberta’s first Premier, Alexander Rutherford.

The Alexander Rutherford Scholarship has a maximum value of $2,500 per student. The exact dollar amount awarded is based on your average across 5 specific Grade 12 courses. Students with an average of 80-84.9% qualify for $700, while an average of 95% or higher qualifies for the full $2,500 scholarship amount.

In the 2022/2023 school year, over 18,000 Alexander Rutherford Scholarships were awarded to graduating high school students in Alberta. The scholarship is awarded for post-secondary studies taking place between August 1, 2023 and July 31, 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *