Alberta's scholarship application system is back up and running

Government of Alberta

Alberta's provincial scholarship application system is now open, after a months-long delay.

Applications for most scholarships were initially set to open on Aug. 1, but parents and students who visited the website after that date were told work was underway on a technology upgrade.

After CBC News reported on the outage in August, the province worked to make applications for its most popular scholarship — the Rutherford — available, but dozens of others remained inaccessible until this Wednesday.

A government spokesperson said a planned tech upgrade has been completed, and deadlines for award distribution won't be impacted. 

IT contractors told CBC News the scholarship outage may have been related to the government's decision to stop renewing contingent labour contracts. 

One contractor with knowledge of that project said approximately 30 per cent of the team behind the planned scholarship system upgrade didn't have their contracts renewed over the summer.

Those contractors said other websites and programs were likely to be impacted. But Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish said at the time Albertans wouldn't see any gaps in service.

Internship program remains delayed

Scholarships weren't the only provincially funded student program on hold.

The Serving Communities Internship Program, which provides $1,000 grants to students who complete short internships for non-profit organizations, remains delayed for the 2019-2020 school year.

"We have no further details to provide you at this time," the program's website reads. "We understand the difficulty this may cause program participants and we will provide updates here as soon they become available."