FAQ - Rutherford Scholarship

Frequently Asked Questions about the Rutherford Scholarship 

When to Apply

  1. When can I apply?

Submit your application when:

      • Your final high school marks are available, and
      • You are planning on attending full-time post-secondary studies between August 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017

AND

      • You have completed high school on or after September 30, 1980.
  1. Should I apply even if I am unsure I meet the required average?

Yes, you can still apply.

Student Aid Alberta does an automatic assessment of your academic average for all three grades. You may qualify for Grade 10, Grade 11 or Grade 12. Apply even if you do not have your final Grade 12 transcript.

How to Apply

  1. How do I Apply?

    To find out more about applying online for the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship, visit:

When applying online in Students Finance System (SFS: Login), please select the following option:

      • Apply for the Alexander Rutherford High School Achievement Scholarship
  1. Do I need to submit my high school transcript?

Only if you attended high school outside of Alberta must you submit an official copy of your high school   transcript to Student Aid Alberta.

For more information on how to request high school transcripts from another province, visit:

Post-secondary students must contact their school to request their official transcripts. Your transcript must have an official signature or seal indicating that the transcript paper is issued by your school/institution. Photocopies and/or faxed copies will not be accepted.

Course Eligibility

  1. Can I attend an institution outside of Canada and still be eligible for the Rutherford Scholarship?

Yes, you can attend an institution anywhere in the world as long as it is an eligible post-secondary institution as defined under the Alberta Heritage Scholarship Regulation.

  1. Do I need to complete all my high school courses before entering post-secondary studies?

Yes, all high school courses must be completed before starting post-secondary studies. Only marks earned prior to post-secondary study can be used.

  1. Can I retake or rewrite a course to have my Rutherford Scholarship re-assessed?

Yes, retakes or rewrites are permitted as long as they are completed before taking a higher level course and before entering post-secondary studies.

Any revised mark or course should first be submitted to Alberta Education in order to be recorded on your Alberta Transcript of High School Achievement.

You can submit an electronic copy of your revised Alberta Transcript of High School Achievement or a Detailed Academic Report through the Student Finance System (SFS) using Upload eDocument option, or mail a revised copy to Student Aid Alberta, Attention: Alberta Scholarships.

  1. Can I take a lower level course after completing the same course at a higher level?

Courses must be completed in order of sequence: Grade 10, 11, 12. Grade 10 Math must be completed before taking a Grade 11 Math and a Grade 11 Math must be completed before taking a Grade 12 Math.

  1. What are CTS Courses and can I use them for the Rutherford Scholarship?

Career and Technology Studies (CTS) courses are one credit courses and can be used as options in Grade 10, 11 and 12. CTS courses can be combined, but they must be from the same level, e.g. Introductory, Intermediate or Advanced:

    • Three one credit modules can be combined and used as one option course at the Grade 10 and/or Grade 11 level.
      • Grade 10 Introductory 1000 or 4000 series
      • Grade 11 Intermediate 2000 or 5000 series

    • Five one credit modules can be combined and used as one option course at the Grade 12 level if you graduated from high school after April 1, 2006.
      • Grade 12 Advanced 3000, 6000 or 9000 series

        Note: Courses can be from different streams or subject area, e.g. computer courses with welding courses, and marks will be averaged at the appropriate level.
  1. Can college preparation or upgrading courses be used in the assessment for the Rutherford Scholarship?

No, college preparation or upgrading courses are not eligible. Only courses that are recorded on an official Alberta Transcript of High School Achievement are accepted.

  1. Are International Baccalaureate (IB) courses eligible for the Rutherford Scholarship?

Yes, IB courses can be used as either core or option courses for Grades 10 and 11 and 12.

  1. Can Green Certificate Courses be used towards the Rutherford Scholarship?

Yes, Green Certificate courses are accepted as options for Grade 12.

These courses are not sequential and may be taken in any order. Each Green Certificate course is coded as a 33 Grade 12 level and all credits earned in Green Certificate courses count toward Grade 12 graduation requirements.

The Green Certificate Program allows students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 to participate in an agriculture-related apprenticeship, earn credits and complete the Technician Level of a Green Certificate in any one of nine specializations. It consists of 21 courses in seven primary agricultural specializations.

  1. Is Alberta's Home Education program eligible?

Yes, home education may be eligible as long as your program follows the Alberta Programs of Study curriculum. Students in home education must obtain course evaluations and recommendations for credits from a high school principal.

  1. If I am educated at home how do I find out if the courses I am taking are eligible?

Your program must follow the Alberta Programs of Study curriculum in order to obtain an official Alberta Transcript of High School Achievement and to be eligible for the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship. If you have questions regarding this curriculum, go to:

  1. Are Open Studies or Unclassified Programs eligible?

Yes, providing you are taking post-secondary courses and meet the full-time enrollment requirement.

  1. Which courses are not used in the assessment of the Rutherford Scholarship?

Courses listed on an official Alberta Transcript of High School Achievement excluding any Driver’s Education courses are used in the calculation of the award.

Making Changes to My Application

  1. I need to make changes to my original application, what do I do?

    You should notify Student Aid Alberta of any changes such as:

      • Change of address
      • Delaying post-secondary study, or
      • Change in choice of educational institution

    Call the Student Aid Alberta Service Centre (SAASC) at:

Receiving Your Scholarship

  1. When do I find out if I will be receiving a Rutherford Scholarship?

Once your final high school marks are available and your application has been processed, you will be notified in writing of the results of your assessment.

  1. What happens to my scholarship if I withdraw from post-secondary study or become a part-time student?

Nothing, as long as your school has confirmed your registration in full-time study, or your registration in an apprenticeship program has been confirmed, prior to your award being issued. If your registration has not been confirmed, your application will be cancelled.

  1. How many Rutherford Scholarships can I receive?

You may only receive this award once.

Lost Cheques

  1. My cheque is lost or I have misplaced it. How do I get a replacement?

    Call the Student Aid Alberta Service Centre (SAASC) to request a stop payment and request that a replacement cheque be sent to you. 

    If you find or receive your original cheque after requesting a replacement, you must return it to Student Aid Alberta. For telephone and address info, visit:

Scholarships and Income Tax

  1. Do I have to declare the amount of my scholarship on my income tax?

    You will receive a T4A from Student Aid Alberta if the scholarships, bursaries or fellowships you received are more than $500.  The amount is printed in Box 105 of the T4A and must be declared on your tax return. 

    To determine the status of your awards, see Line 130 – Other Income of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) General Income Tax and Benefit Guide or contact CRA for more information.

    For CRA information about taxation of scholarships and bursaries, and completing your tax return, visit: