Financial circumstances shouldn’t be a barrier to post-secondary education. That’s why the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta offers a range of student awards to help students with financial need achieve their post-secondary goals.

Our student awards help you reduce the amount of debt you take on, whether you’re just getting started or are halfway through your program. Since 2003, we have provided $198,635.00 to 257 students.

Applying for student awards can be confusing and intimidating. We have put together some handy tips to consider before you apply for one of our student awards. Make sure you read these thoroughly before submitting an application.

Getting Started
  • • Start early. Give yourself enough time to find the awards that are perfect for you — there could be more than one. Complete list of student awards.
  • • Ask parents and others about awards offered through employers or service clubs.
Register an Account

We are pleased to have an online application process this year.  Follow the steps below to set up an account:

  • • Visit the registration page and register an account to apply online. Apply Here
  • • Log in and select the student award you wish to apply for.
  • • Please complete the application and submit no later than September 30, 2018 at 4:00pm. The Community Foundation Grants Selection Committee will review all submitted applications. Applicants will be advised of the selection committee’s decision mid November 2018. An awards ceremony will be held on December 5, 2018 for award recipients.
Completing the Application
  • • Read eligibility requirements carefully. Apply only if you are eligible, and make sure you demonstrate how you meet the criteria.
  • • If you have questions, ask.
  • • Follow instructions.
  • • Don’t leave items blank. Include all requested attachments.
  • • In your long answer questions, go for quality, not quantity. These are usually your best opportunity to make your application stand out, so give them the attention they deserve. Be personal and be specific. The selection committee wants to know who you really are. Be authentic and honest in your essays. We are looking for students who are genuine about their interests, accomplishments and struggles. We encourage you to remain true to yourselves throughout your essays. Be sure to include information about your goals, ambitions and what you hope to achieve through your education.

The answers you submit are given to the selection committee to help determine your eligibility for an award. Prior to review by the committee, names are removed from essays so that selection can be made based on content alone.

For your long answers we have requested information about you and your community service. There are many important ways students contribute to community. Please ensure that you give yourself credit where credit is due.

  • • Do you have something in your life that prevents you from taking part in a lot of extracurricular activities?
  • • Do you work to help support your family, do you babysit younger siblings to help run your parents while they work?
  • • Do you help take care of a family member or friend in need?
  • • We value all contributions to the community, no matter the size.
  • • Proofread your application and any long answer questions. Have someone else proofread them too.
  • • Choose references carefully, and make sure they can describe why you are a good candidate for that award. If possible, choose individuals who can speak to different aspects of your qualifications. For example, one letter of reference should be from a teacher, agency, or employer – this letter should highlight your future plans, strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments and what it is like to work with/coach/teach you. The second reference letter can come from a family member or close friend. This letter is a character reference that should discuss your current financial situation and how you are involved in their life, future plans, goals and ambitions.

The reference letters are to include the reference name, email and phone number. Please advise your references they may be contacted with questions to follow up.

  • • Apply on time, or better yet, early.

Awards will be paid directly to the institution of study and will be applied to the recipient’s tuition and book fees. There are no exceptions to this rule.


This Student Award Program would not be possible without the contribution of our many donors. The Community Foundation does its best to thank and recognize the supporters of our awards program however, the most powerful acknowledgment is the expression of appreciation made by you. Please take a moment to forward a note of thanks to our office; a copy will be sent to the donor.

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