Awards & Bursaries

AUSU’s Awards and Bursaries Programs is intended to promote and acknowledge academic achievement and community spirit in the membership population, as well as to provide aid to members who encounter financial hardships.

Awards and bursaries are available to qualifying AUSU members* who submit completed applications and all required forms by the appropriate award deadline. You can apply no matter where you live. Approval of qualified applications is as the discretion of the AUSU Awards Committee. See below for details on each award or bursary.

*You are an AUSU member if you are currently enrolled in any AU undergraduate course. Your membership ends on the end date of your course, including extensions, or when your final grade is posted, whichever is sooner. For note, AU graduate students are not AUSU members.

Please note that a maximum of one cyclical award and one year-round bursary can be granted to a single student per year in order to ensure the maximum benefit for all AUSU membership. For more information, please review AUSU Policy 7.02. 

AUSU Awards List

Click on any of the titles below to view the full details of that award.

Academic Achievement Scholarships
$1000 each, 5 awards annually

Academic Achievement Scholarships are intended to reward excellence in scholarship to Athabasca University students. Applicants will be required to submit a copy of their transcript to be eligible. A minimum GPA of 3.7 is required for all applications, and the applicants with the highest GPA over the last 30 credits will be selected as the recipients of this award. The number of A+ grades (tallying A+ grades in 6 credit courses as two) will be used to break ties, followed by the number of AU credits completed, followed by the number of A grades (also tallying A grades in 6 credit courses as two).

Scholarships worth $1000 will be awarded at each application deadline (November 1 and May 1) for a total of five awards per fiscal year for AUSU members. Members may only receive this award once. Students must have completed at least 30 AU credits by the applicable deadline to be considered for this scholarship.

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AUSU Bursaries
$1000 each, 10 awards annually

AUSU Bursaries are intended to aid members in financial need and/or with exceptional life circumstances. Members must demonstrate financial need, have completed a minimum of 12 AU credits and have maintained a GPA of 2.00 (C grade) over the most recent 12 AU undergraduate credits. Additional circumstances such as disabilities, single parent/caregiver status, etc., may be taken into consideration.

Five awards of $1,000 each are awarded for each application deadline (November 1 and May 1). No member may receive the AUSU Bursary more than once per 12 month period.

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Balanced Student Awards
$1000 each, 8 awards annually

Balanced Student Awards are intended to recognize and reward the scholastic effort of students who balance multiple commitments, including but not limited to, school, work, volunteerism, and family.

Applicants must have completed a minimum of 12 AU undergraduate credits and have a minimum GPA of 2.00 (C grade) over the last 12 AU credits, though preference will be given to those applicants with higher GPA. Applicants must write a short essay outlining how they balance their commitments, as well as submit a minimum of two reference letters, one of which may be of a personal nature.

Two $1000 awards are available at each application deadline (November 1 and May 1) totalling four awards per fiscal year. Members may only receive this award once.

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Computer Bursaries
14 awards annually – YEAR ROUND APPLICATIONS

Computer bursaries are available to members who demonstrate financial need to provide them with a computer for their course work. Members must have completed a minimum of 12 AU credits and have a GPA of 2.00 (C grade) over the most recent 12 AU undergraduate credits. A total of 14 Computer Bursaries will be awarded per fiscal year. Laptop computers will be purchased by the AUSU office and shipped directly to the recipient. The total cost of each computer will not exceed $800 dollars, and AUSU assumes no liability for usage of the computer or computer maintenance once the equipment is received by the member.

Members may only receive this award once. Applications are accepted at any time of year.

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Emergency Bursaries
$700 maximum each, $4,000 total fund per year – YEAR ROUND APPLICATIONS

Emergency Bursaries are provided to help members pay for course extensions, supplemental exam fees, and late exam fees during times of urgent financial need. Members must demonstrate financial need and unforeseen circumstances leading to the need for an extension or exam rebooking. They also must have completed a minimum of 12 AU undergraduate credits and have a GPA of at least 2.00 (C grade) over the most recent 12 AU credits. Members are allowed to apply for this bursary more than once per fiscal year but may not be awarded assistance greater than $700 dollars. Fees will be paid directly to AU on behalf of the member.

Applications are accepted at any time of the year. Please allow up to 1 week for processing of this bursary and remember that course extensions must be purchased 1 month before your course end date and AUSU cannot alter this deadline. Please inquire with the university first if you are seeking a late extension.

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Health Care Bursary
$1000 maximum – YEAR ROUND APPLICATIONS

Health Care bursaries have been established with funds remaining from the discontinuance of the AUSU Health Care Plan. The AUSU Health Care Bursary is intended to aid members in financial need that may have no other reasonable access to personal or group health care benefits. A maximum of $1000 will be provided per successful applicant, at the discretion of the Awards Committee. Members must demonstrate financial need, have completed a minimum of 12 AU undergraduate credits, and have a GPA of at least 2.00 (C grade) over the most recent 12 AU credits. Members must also include one of the following pieces of information with their application form: 1) confirmation of enrollment and proof of payment of a health care plan, 2) quote of enrollment cost from the provider of choice. Single, couple and family plans are eligible for bursary consideration. Applications are accepted at any time of the year.

Members may only receive this bursary once per 12-month period, and the bursary will only be offered until such time as the funds are depleted.

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#Igo2AU Award
$1000 each, 4 awards annually

AU is as diverse as its student membership. This award is designed to embrace diversity and allow students to express their passion for their pursuit of knowledge in the form of an open award. The #Igo2AU Award is intended to celebrate the concept of open enrolment and the flexibility of learning at AU. It is also intended to reflect the entire student population and collectively offer an award that encompasses the openness of AU’s mission. Applicants must be members of AUSU and are required to submit a video of up to 2 minutes long articulating a personal experience in any one, or a combination of the following areas: how does/has AU improve(d) their lives; what is it about AU that fuels their passion for learning; why they chose AU; how does AU inspire them, and/or; what AU means to them. No minimum credits are required. The #Igo2AU Award is inclusive to all undergraduate students; part-time and full-time.

Two $1000 awards are available at each application deadline (November 1 and May 1) totalling four awards per fiscal year. Members may only receive this award once.

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Returning Student Awards
$1000 each, 8 awards annually

Returning Student Awards are intended to recognize the challenges faced by students who return to university after two or more years away from any type of formal education. Preference is given to students who have been away for longer periods of time, are AU program students, and those who have overcome or are in the process of overcoming significant hardship in the pursuit of their education. These hardships should preferably be other than financial as AUSU bursaries are devoted to addressing those needs. Applicants must have completed a minimum of 12 AU credits and have a minimum GPA of 2.00 (C grade) over the last 12 AU undergraduate credits.

Four $1000 awards are available at each application deadline (November 1 and May 1) totalling eight awards per fiscal year. Members may only receive this award once.

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Student Volunteer Awards
$1000 each, 5 awards annually

Student Volunteer Awards are intended to recognize members who have made outstanding contributions to their community. This includes members who volunteer their time to AUSU, AU or to any other community or organization. Members may be nominated by a volunteer supervisor, or may self-nominate as long as an appropriate volunteer reference is provided. Applicants must have completed a minimum of 12 AU undergraduate credits and have a minimum GPA of 2.00 (C grade) over the last 12 AU credits.

Scholarships worth $1000 awards are available at each application deadline (November 1 and May 1) for a total of 5 awards per fiscal year. Members may only receive this award once.

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Travel Bursaries
up to $1000 each, $4,000 total fund – YEAR ROUND APPLICATIONS

Travel Bursaries are intended to aid members in travelling to attend AU convocation, labs, practicums, on-site courses, or related conferences. Members must demonstrate financial need, have completed a minimum of 12 AU undergraduate credits, and have a GPA of at least 2.00 (C grade) over the most recent 12 AU credits. Members must also include one of the following pieces of information with their application form: 1) course or conference description and registration information, 2) lab/practicum confirmation, or 3) confirmation of graduation. A maximum of $1000 will be provided per successful applicant to pay for travel and/or accommodation.

Applications are accepted any time of year; however, they must be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to the date of travel. AUSU will arrange and pay directly all travel bookings.

A maximum of $4,000 dollars is allocated for this bursary per fiscal year. Members may only receive this award once per 12 month period.

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Provincial Awards

Laurence Decore Awards for Student Leadership

Provided by the Government of Alberta. For more information visit Alberta Student Aid here.

The Laurence Decore Awards for Student Leadership honour Mr. Laurence Decore, former Edmonton mayor and leader of the Alberta Liberal party. The Awards are intended to recognize those post-secondary students who have demonstrated outstanding dedication and leadership to fellow students and to their community. Awards are valued at $1000.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Nominees must be Alberta residents who are currently enrolled full-time (a minimum 60% course load) in a post-secondary program at a designated Alberta institution. Nominees must have been involved in either student government or student societies, clubs or organizations, and have been recommended by the institution’s Selection Committee. In addition, candidates may be actively involved in student organizations at the provincial or national level or in non-profit community organizations.

NOMINATIONS: The application form is available online here. Must include a detailed description of your involvement and accomplishments in student government or student societies, clubs or organizations, or student organizations at the provincial or national level or in non-profit community organizations, as well as a related letter of reference.

The application and the required supporting documents must be submitted to [email protected] by January 15.

DEADLINE: January 15

Athabasca University Student Awards Program

Athabasca University also has awards that students can apply for, including a number of new student service awards. Click here to view AU’s offerings.