The belief in Alberta that there are many scholarships left unclaimed each year may not actually be the case.

According to several officials who handle awards and scholarships in Alberta, all the scholarships their organizations offer are claimed each year.

“I keep hearing people talking about all these scholarships that don’t get awarded — I don’t know of any,” said Stuart Dunn, the director of scholarships for the Alberta government.

“I’ve talked to institutions and they don’t know of any either. I’m sure it happens; however, the only times I’ve heard of scholarships that haven’t been awarded is because, the criteria has been so bizarre that it is unlikely anyone will meet the eligibility criteria.”

According to Dunn, there wasn’t a single government scholarship that wasn’t awarded last year, which resulted in Alberta students receiving more than $70 million to help them with post-secondary and continuing education.

Claudia Barrett, who is the associate director of student awards for the University of Calgary, also reinforces the point made by Dunn.

“The majority of the awards that we administer and we develop here through the university are given out every year,” said Barrett.

“There’s maybe a small handful — like maybe half a dozen out of thousands — that aren’t awarded,” Barrett said.

“We’re really careful in terms of when we establish our awards that they’re set up so that we can actually award them.”

According to Barrett, the best way to receive an award is to meet the qualifications of the award to the highest standards — this would make that student the best candidate.

Both Barrett and Dunn said the best thing students can do to be awarded a scholarship is to talk to their high school counsellors and student awards offices. They also suggest students keep informed on the scholarships and awards, and what they are eligible for.

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