FAQ - Rutherford Scholarship

Frequently Asked Questions about the Rutherford Scholarship 

How to Apply

1.  Can I apply using a temporary Social Insurance Number (999 xxx xxx)?

No. You must have a valid Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN) before applying for the Rutherford Scholarship.

For Government of Canada information on applying for a SIN, visit:

2.  I am an Alberta resident and I will attend a post-secondary school outside of Alberta or Canada. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can attend a post-secondary school anywhere in the world as long as it is an eligible post-secondary school as defined under the:

Course Eligibility

3.  Should I apply even if I am unsure I meet the required average? 

Yes, you can still apply.

Alberta Student Aid does an automatic assessment of your academic average for all three grades. You may qualify for Grade 10, Grade 11 and/or Grade 12.

4. Can I upgrade or re-take a course through an Alberta high school 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 official Alberta Transcript of High School Achievement.

In the event of a mark change, send a letter indicating the appeal with your grade, mark change and course to Alberta Student Aid - Attention: Alberta Scholarships:

5.  Can college preparation or upgrading courses be used in the assessment for the Rutherford Scholarship?

Only upgrading courses that are recorded on an official Alberta Transcript of High School Achievement are accepted. GED (General Education Development) exam marks are not eligible.

6.  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.

7.  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.

8.  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.

9.  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 the following:

  • Course evaluations and recommendations for credits from a high school principal, and
  • An official Alberta Transcript of High School Achievement.

If you have questions about the Alberta Programs of Study curriculum, go to:

10.  Are Open Studies or Unclassified Programs eligible?

Yes, providing you are enrolled in full-time post-secondary studies (60% of what your school considers a full course load), or an apprenticeship program of at least one semester in length.

Making Changes to My Application

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

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

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

You can submit documents using the Upload Electronic Document option in your personal account.

Log in to your Account:

OR

Call the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre at:

Receiving Your Scholarship

12.  How many Alexander Rutherford Scholarships can I receive?

You may only receive this scholarship once.

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

Once your official high school transcript marks are available (around Mid-August) and your application has been processed, you will be notified in writing of the results of your assessment.

Note: Alberta Student Aid must confirm your full-time enrolment at a post-secondary school before your award can be paid.

14.  How will my post-secondary enrolment be confirmed? 

There are two ways in which enrolment is confirmed:

Apply for the Rutherford Scholarship 
AND have an existing Alberta student loan. 

Apply for the Rutherford Scholarship 
AND do not have an Alberta student loan.

Your school can automatically confirm your enrolment for the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship.

Note: Your school/program & dates of study cannot change during the current funding period.

Alberta Student Aid will send a request directly to your school and ask them to confirm your enrolment:

  • When your application is processed before you start post-secondary studies - your school will be asked to confirm enrolment by the end of your first month of studies.

  • When your application is processed after you start post-secondary studies – your school will be asked to confirm enrolment one month after the date your application is processed.

Your school will be given 30 days to confirm your enrolment. When Alberta Student Aid does not receive confirmation within 30 days, a confirmation of enrolment form will be sent to you to take directly to your school. The completed form must be submitted to Alberta Student Aid within 30 days.

Confirmation of your enrolment must be received before your cheque can be issued. Student Aid will mail a cheque to you approximately 1 month after confirmation is received.

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

If your enrolment has not been confirmed prior to withdrawing or switching to part-time studies, your application will be cancelled.

Lost Cheques

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

Call the Alberta Student Aid Service Centre 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 Alberta Student Aid. For telephone and address info, visit:

Scholarships and Income Tax

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

To learn more about scholarships and income tax, see: