Skip to main content

Some students are facing uncertainty after changes were made to an application process for Government of Alberta scholarships and awards – although the province’s largest scholarship has now opened for applications.

Applications are normally submitted in early August, but those for the 2019-2020 school year were not being made available for a few more months.

The Alberta Student Aid website says a major technology upgrade expected to be complete by late autumn will streamline the application and payment process for scholarships and awards.

Story continues below advertisement

One of the programs affected was the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship, a $40-million program that recognizes the academic achievement of high-school students and is meant to encourage postsecondary studies.

The scholarship, which is named after Alberta’s first premier and minister of education, can be worth up to $2,500 a student.

After concerns were raised on the weekend, Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides says the Rutherford Scholarship is now accepting applications.

“Students and parents can rest assured that all eligible students will receive their awards on time and as normal without any delay or interruption,” Mr. Nicolaides said in a statement Tuesday. “I want to be clear: the Rutherford Scholarship should never have been affected by the technology upgrade.

“There was miscommunication within the department and when I found out, I took immediate steps to address the issue to ensure that this important service is available to students across Alberta.”

Students heading into their first year of university in a few weeks said the uncertainty was a concern for them.

“This is a really big deal for me because I’ve worked through school,” student Levi Harasem-Mitchell said. “It means I’m going to be working a lot more over the school year. I’m probably going to take less classes.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Opposition NDP also weighed in, describing Mr. Nicolaides as uninformed and incompetent on the issue.

“While we give credit to the minister for clearing up the confusion he created, he needs to do better next time,” NDP Advanced Education critic David Eggen said.

“We will continue to monitor this situation to ensure that students get access to the scholarship money they earned in full and on time.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter