Top 8 Activities that can Earn Students FREE Money

posted Mar 6, 2013, 8:44 PM by Powell Jones, Department Head   [ updated Mar 6, 2013, 8:50 PM ]

Top 8 Activities that can Earn Students FREE

With the variety of cost in tuition fees, mandatory fees, books and supplies, not including living expenses it is a good idea for students to consider how they will pay for their schooling. Scholarships are a great way to supplement a student’s income.  But when Scholarships are mentioned, many of them struggle in knowing where to start. This article is written to provide a quick summary of the Top  8 Activities students should be doing to earn scholarships. 

1. Students should definitely look at achieving the marks in the courses eligible for the Alexander Rutherford Scholarships in Grade 10, 11 and 12. The eligible courses vary for each grade and the dollar amounts awarded depend on a 75% up to 79.9% (Junior Alexander Rutherford) or 80% and higher achievement.  The scholarship is automatically assessed for students and awarded through the Government of Alberta, but they just have to apply for it. Students should apply for these scholarships during the summer after completing Grade 12 or the summer before they start their post-secondary program.  For more information and an application please go

Note, if students have graduated already, or are just becoming aware of this scholarship and are already in post-secondary, or have completed their program, they can still apply for the award. Several closing dates for applications happen throughout the year.  So our philosophy is, just apply!

2. Students should also check out are 2 databases that link students to various scholarships.

 Alberta Scholarship Programs – lists awards that are administered by Alberta Scholarship Programs. Search alphabetically, by keyword or by audience.
• Scholarship Connections – lists awards that are administered by various companies and organizations. Search by keyword, deadline or category.

Scholarships are also available for under-represented groups such as Aboriginals and students with disabilities, and for cultural diversity as well as for many other unique needs and situations. Check out the high school students section in Alberta Scholarships & Bursary Programs booklet and the various databases.

3. Students should check with any part-time employer, if they are working while attending school, for scholarships or bursaries the company offers their employees. Students should also ask their parents to check with their employer, union, etc. to see if they have any scholarships or bursaries they can apply for. 

4. Another avenue students can pursue for potential scholarships is community organizations they or their family are involved with. These diverse organizations may have scholarships available for individuals who have demonstrated leadership or are involved in some manner with the organization, could even just be membership in the organization.  Academic Invest – lists grants, scholarships, bursaries from many industries and organization.

5. Does the institution of choice offer entrance scholarships for their marks, sports or other achievements? Inquire about this and if they do, the student may need to maintain a certain grade point average (GPA) or remain on the team to keep receiving the scholarship throughout their years of study. Different institutions have different rules about these types of scholarship so check out the details on them.  For example, if they lose it one year, they may be responsible for reapplying to receive it the following year based on their marks or team commitment.

6. There are many scholarships through the post-secondary institutions themselves and many students benefit from being proactive and seeking out all of the scholarships, bursaries and grants their school has to offer. This link, Post-Secondary Institutions Scholarships, lists awards that are administered by specific post-secondary institutions across Alberta.

Another great scholarship that is automatically assessed for students is the Jason Lang.  This $1,000 scholarship is awarded to students through the Government of Alberta who are in full-time studies and receive a GPA of 3.2 each year, up to 3 years.  Contact the school's Student Awards Office on how to apply. 

While being a good student is important, scholarships are also awarded for being an engaged citizen in school. This includes involvement with clubs, councils and other citizenship efforts such as leadership and social efforts. 

7. Another great tool to help find free money is Check out this site but know that it requires students sign-up and  then scholarships are sent to them based on their profile. Warn students that they need to be cautious about the promotional aspect of this site as various advertising of loans, contests and coupons will come their way once they sign up.

8. Being an involved student citizen also provides great development, application of skills, and helps students develop the employability attitudes and aptitudes that employers are seeking— plus supports a good fit within the world of work once they graduate. As mentioned, these extra-curricular activities open the doors to a world of scholarships and opportunities. The SCiP internship program is one of those great opportunities. Check an internship that leads to a $1,000 bursary when completed.

Students could also consider Study Abroad opportunities and exchange programs to support their personal and professional development through their institution, Government of Alberta and/or other organizations.  Many of these opportunities are scholarship based and are awarded on student engagement/citizenship and academic achievement, students can check out their campus student award offices for more details. 

Students should also read the 5 Steps to Winning Awards on, have an up-to-date resumé and also identify key people willing to provide references for them.  These references (referees) may have to submit letters on behalf of the students, resulting in the student needing to be proactive in helping the referees get the letters written and sent.

Many students can and do pay for much of their studies with scholarships, bursaries and awards— they just have to put the time and effort into earning them!