Hilltop Awards and Bursaries

Edmonton Community Foundation has a long history of providing student awards to help students achieve their educational dreams. Hilltop Awards and Bursaries (previously known as ECF Awards and Bursaries) was launched in 2009 to help students from Edmonton and/or Northern Alberta who have a history of community involvement with the costs of post-secondary education.

Each year typically 150 students receive awards ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. The size and number of awards may vary.

Critical Dates for the application

  • Application Opens: March 15
  • Application Deadline: May 15 at 11:59 PM.
  • Award decisions released: approximately early July.

Hilltop Awards and Bursaries Eligibility Criteria

  • You will be pursuing studies in Alberta or Canada in the upcoming school year.
  • You are living in the greater Edmonton area or northern Alberta. By northern Alberta, we mean north of Red Deer.
  • You have been a resident of the greater Edmonton area and/or northern Alberta for (at minimum) the last six months, prior to applying for the award.
  • Financial need: Funding your studies is a challenge due to your financial situation.
  • Community involvement: You are involved in your community in a role with responsibilities (as a volunteer, an artist, on a sports team, etc.). You want to apply what you learn towards working in and improving the greater Edmonton area or northern Alberta.

What do we mean by community involvement?

We define community involvement broadly. Some examples include:

  • Volunteering for a community league, food bank, or theatre
  • Working as an artist who contributes to the community
  • Coaching a soccer team as a volunteer
  • And more – other community involvement examples include public arts organizations, social justice, child or elder care, mental health, environmental advocacy, Indigenous organizations, social enterprises, and community interest groups.

What schools are eligible?

Hilltop Awards and Bursaries can be used at most post-secondary institutions in Canada. This includes universities, colleges, technical institutes, and some private/vocational schools.

If you are studying outside of Alberta, you should tell us in your application why you are studying out of province. If you’re not sure if your school or program qualifies please contact us and we will let you know.

What programs are eligible?

These awards go towards almost all programs, including:

  • Academic Upgrading and College Preparation programs
  • Diplomas, Certificates, and Licenses
  • Bachelor, Graduate, and Doctoral Degrees
  • Professional Degrees like Law or Dental School

A limited amount of support is also available for non-credited learning opportunities for people working in the not-for-profit sector. This includes conferences, workshops and training programs. If you are applying for this kind of opportunity you will need to tell us how it will enhance your work within Edmonton’s not-for-profit sector.

Required Documents to apply

  • Reference letters: from someone (not a family member) who can speak to your community involvement and why you should get an award. One reference letter is required to apply, but applicants can submit an additional letter if available (maximum two letters).
  • Statement of Grades from your most recent studies: Don’t worry, high grades are not part of the criteria. We just want to see that you have potential to be successful in your planned studies. Official transcripts are not required. A PDF or scan from a school website is acceptable. For high school grades, you can get unofficial grades from mypass.alberta.ca

Note: If you are working in the not-for-profit sector and applying for a non-credited learning opportunity, please provide a resume with employment history, education history, and past training instead of grades.

Apply for a Hilltop Award

Need help with your application?

We want to make sure that you have the best chance to be successful with your application. Contact Anna Opryshko (Student Awards Associate) for support with your application and answers to your questions.

Phone: 780-426-0015 ext. 107