Direct inquiries regarding awards to:
Kathryn Schilman, Grants and Student Awards Officer
A few awards have a deadline of May 1 while the majority of awards have an application deadline of May 30. Please review the information for each award carefully to ensure you submit your application by the appropriate deadline.
If I’m taking a year off after high school or not planning to attend post-secondary right away, should I apply for awards now or wait until I’m ready to go to post-secondary?
Students should apply for EducationMatters’ awards in their Grade 12 year, even if they are taking a year off. Once you leave your high school, you will not be eligible to apply for EducationMatters’ awards.
Not necessarily. Each award has different requirements regarding eligible post-secondary institutions. Some awards require you to be attending a specific post-secondary (e.g. University of Calgary); some have restrictions on location (e.g. Calgary, Alberta or Canada); while others have no restriction which allows recipients to attend any eligible post-secondary institution including those outside of Canada. Please review the information for each award carefully to ensure your post-secondary plans meet the eligibility requirements.
Applicants are welcome to use the same reference letter for multiple awards. However, please be sure that the letter is applicable to the award you are applying for as some awards require letters from specific individuals or require the reference to address particular characteristics, qualities or achievements. Be thoughtful in choosing your references and be sure to give them adequate time to complete the letter. Teachers are extremely busy and are often asked to write letters for multiple students. Giving your references plenty of notice will allow them to write a more thoughtful, detailed letter, increasing your chances for success!
Bonus tip: Provide your references with a copy of the award criteria/terms of reference when requesting a letter. This will give them a better idea of what should be addressed in the letter and will give them some background on the award(s) you are applying for.
EducationMatters does not use a specific income level to determine which students qualify with respect to financial need. While applicants are required to provide proof of family income, EducationMatters takes a number of other criteria into consideration including, but not limited to, living arrangements/family size, unemployment, medical situations and other circumstances impacting finances.
If you have not received the “Notice(s) if Income Tax Assessments” in time for the application deadline, you can still submit your application(s); however, for the interim, you MUST provide some other verification of family income, and are required to submit the “Notice(s) of Income Tax Assessment” as soon as they are received. Failure to provide this information could result in your disqualification from financial need awards.
All award recipients will be notified by the end of September or early October. Successful applicants are contacted as soon as possible after selections are made. Due to the number of applications received, EducationMatters is unable to contact every applicant.
The volunteer/school activity form can be downloaded here
If you are unable to fill in the form on Excel please contact our Granting and Student Award Department for an alternate version. Their contact information can be found at the top of the FAQ page.
Most awards administered by EducationMatters are paid by cheque to the student’s post-secondary institution. These funds are then deposited into the recipient’s student tuition account. NOTE: In cases where tuition/fees have been paid or where the value of a scholarship exceeds the amount owed, students should check with their post-secondary to confirm how the school handles these situations. In some cases, the excess funds will be held in students’ accounts and applied to future tuition; however in other cases students will receive a refund. Please also note that the refund process can take some time and, in these cases, the funds will often not appear in students’ tuition accounts. Again, students should check with their post-secondary if they are unsure if the funds have been received or if they have questions regarding the status of the payment.
Unless otherwise specified, to receive an award from EducationMatters you must be registered as a full-time student in an eligible program of post-secondary study according to the Terms of Reference for the award(s) you have received. Once you are registered at your post-secondary institution, to claim your award please send a “proof of enrolment” document to EducationMatters. If you received an award prior to 2022, you may have received a Payment Activation Form which you can also use to claim your award. Please have this form completed by your post-secondary institution and return the completed form to EducationMatters to the Grants and Student Awards Office by email. For renewable awards, where required, please also include an official transcript. Failure to meet this requirement will delay payment.
It can take 4-6 weeks from the time you submit your completed Payment Activation Form to EducationMatters until payment is processed by our office, received and processed by your post-secondary institution and deposited into your student account. As a result, we encourage you to submit your paperwork as early in the semester as possible.
Absolutely! Please note that due to processing cycles both at EducationMatters and your post-secondary institution, there will be occasions when funds are deposited into your account after the fee deadline. It is your responsibility to notify your post-secondary institution that award money will be issued on your behalf. EducationMatters does not provide an advance listing of award recipients to your program.
In most cases you are not obligated to claim an award immediately. Most awards have a claim period of at least one year. Refer to the award Terms of Reference or contact the Grants and Student Awards Officer for further details. Once you have registered at your post-secondary institution, you may claim your award(s) by providing proof of enrolment or, if applicable, completing the appropriate Payment Activation Form and returning it to EducationMatters as per the instructions above.
Awards are tenable at eligible post-secondary institutions as defined by the award Terms of Reference. Normally, award recipients must be registered as full-time students in a post-secondary program of study leading to a baccalaureate degree, diploma, apprenticeship, or certificate.
If you withdraw from your studies the award will be terminated as of the effective withdrawal date. Some awards have restrictions around acceptable programs and/or post-secondary institutions. If you are planning to change your program or transfer to a new post-secondary institution, please advise EducationMatters right away to confirm whether the award(s) you received will still be honoured.
Income tax is not deducted at source and therefore payments represent the total value of the award. Payment of tax is your responsibility and not that of EducationMatters. The 2006 Federal Budget proposed to fully exempt scholarship, fellowship and bursary income that is received by you as a student, from all tax payable under the Income Tax Act. Effective for the 2006 and subsequent taxation years, if you enroll in a program that entitles you to claim the education amount, check with Canada Revenue Agency for full details.
Some awards are renewable and are paid over multiple semesters or years or study. If your award is renewable for multiple semesters/years, you will be asked to provide proof of enrolment (or a completed Payment Activation Form for students who received an award prior to 2022) each semester along with a copy of your most recent transcript starting in year 2 (where required). Renewable awards are not issued automatically and it is the responsibility of award recipients to contact EducationMatters each semester to arrange for payment and to ensure that all required documentation is provided. Please note that some awards require maintaining a certain grade point average (GPA). Be sure to read the Terms of Reference carefully. Failure to maintain a required GPA may result in termination of your award.
Yes, however, some awards have restrictions around students holding multiple awards, awards of a set value or a combination of awards valued in excess of a set value cumulatively. The Alexander Rutherford Scholarship and, in some cases, University entrance awards, are exempted from this restriction. If you have been offered an award from EducationMatters and the Terms of Reference indicate such restrictions, you must inform the Grants and Student Awards Officer at EducationMatters, in writing, of additional awards won concurrently with an EducationMatters award.
Awards administered by EducationMatters will not be recorded on your school transcript.
Some awards administered by EducationMatters for students in Junior or Senior High School are paid by cheque to the student or program, as specified in the Terms of Reference of the award.
EducationMatters encourages all recipients to thank the donor(s) responsible for the award(s) they receive. Recipients may choose to express their gratitude by sending a letter or greeting card (you may wish to include a photo of yourself on campus or in a classroom setting), creating a ‘thank you’ video or by any other method they wish. Be creative! Thank you’s can be sent to EducationMatters who will ensure that they are received by the donor(s).
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