Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today that a total of 402 WHL graduate players have been awarded WHL Scholarships for the fall and winter semesters of the 2019-20 academic year. The 402 WHL Scholarships awarded represents the second consecutive academic year that more than 400 WHL Alumni have accessed their WHL Scholarship.
The 2019-20 season serves as the 26th year of the WHL Scholarship program. Established on a league-wide basis in 1993-94, over 6,400 WHL Scholarships have been accessed, representing an investment of over $28 million by WHL Clubs. This season, WHL Clubs will contribute in excess of $2.8 million to the 402 WHL graduates utilizing the WHL Scholarship.
“The WHL and our Clubs are very pleased to see another year in which we can award more than 400 WHL Scholarships to our graduate players, allowing them to pursue post-secondary education,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Each year, we see a remarkable number of graduates accessing their WHL Scholarships. This clearly demonstrates the commitment of WHL Club ownership to not only provide a world-class hockey experience, but also the most comprehensive scholarship available in North America today.”
Administered by the WHL Office, WHL Scholarships are solely funded by the WHL member Clubs. Every player who plays in the WHL is eligible to receive the WHL Scholarship. For every season a player plays in the WHL, they receive a guaranteed, full-year WHL Scholarship including tuition, textbooks and compulsory fees to a post-secondary institution of their choice. The WHL Scholarship is a fully-guaranteed academic scholarship with no requirement to play university hockey to qualify. The WHL graduate can apply the funding to any post-secondary or career-enhancing program of his choice, including trades schools or professional career training programs.
In addition to the WHL Scholarship players receive upon graduation from the WHL, all current WHL players are encouraged to enroll in post-secondary courses and these courses are also fully-funded by the WHL member Clubs. This season, over 196 current players are taking post-secondary courses while playing in the WHL. The financial assistance received for post-secondary studies while playing does not impact on the WHL Scholarship benefits a WHL player is entitled to upon graduating from the League. The WHL and Athabasca University have partnered to offer, through an online distance education platform, fully-accredited university courses to any WHL player interested in further pursuing post-secondary studies while playing in the WHL. This year, over 72 current WHL players have taken courses through Athabasca University.
This year, 249 of the 402 WHL Scholarship recipients are furthering their education at Universities in Western Canada, with 141 of those playing Canadian University hockey at the U SPORTS level in Canada West (CW) hockey league. In many cases, these student-athletes have combined their WHL Scholarship with additional financial assistance from Canada West Universities to receive the Western Canada Premier Hockey Scholarship.
The University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Sask.) leads all post-secondary institutions with 39 WHL graduates enrolled in full-time studies, while 38 former WHL players are registered at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alta.). The University of British Columbia (32), University of Calgary (26), University of Manitoba (23), University of Regina (22), Mount Royal University (20), and University of Lethbridge (19) also lead the way in WHL graduate enrolment.
WHL Scholarship recipients are enrolled this year as full-time students at 82 different post-secondary institutions throughout North America.
Alberta leads all western provinces, having produced 150 WHL graduates currently accessing their WHL Scholarship, followed by British Columbia (94), Saskatchewan (84), and Manitoba (42). A total of 32 U.S. and international players are accessing their WHL Scholarship.
Among the 2019-20 WHL Scholarship recipients, 153 WHL graduates are enrolled at universities in Eastern Canada, Canadian colleges, trades or technical institutions, or attending post-secondary in the United States.
During the 2009-10 academic year, 274 WHL Scholarships were awarded. With 402 WHL Scholarships awarded in 2019-20 – an increase of 128 WHL Scholarships – this represents an increase in activations by 46.7 per cent since 2009-10.
CLICK HERE for a detailed list of all WHL Scholarship recipients for the 2019-20 academic season.
Summary: WHL Scholarships 2019-20
Canadian Universities, Western Canada – 249
Canadian Universities, Eastern Canada – 72
Canadian Colleges and other institutions – 63
U.S. Colleges, Universities – 18
Total – WHL Graduate Scholarships – 402
WHL Graduates continuing to play hockey at the elite Canadian University or College level:
Canada West Conference – 141
Ontario University Athletics – 46
Atlantic University Sport Conferences – 21
ACAC – 23
BCIHL – 8
Total – 239
Provincial Summary: WHL Scholarships 2019-20
British Columbia – 94
Alberta – 150
Saskatchewan – 84
Manitoba – 42
USA / International – 32
Totals – 402
11-year Review – WHL Scholarships (Full Academic Season)
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.