The Western Hockey League announced today that to date a total of 364 WHL graduate players have been awarded WHL Scholarships for the fall semester of the 2017-18 academic year. The 364 WHL Scholarships awarded represent the highest total for the fall academic season in WHL history, improving upon the mark of 355 set in the fall of 2016-17.
This year, 238 of the 364 WHL Scholarship recipients are furthering their education at universities in Western Canada, with 132 of those playing Canadian University hockey at the U SPORTS level in Canada West (CW). In many cases, these student-athletes have combined their WHL Scholarship with additional financial assistance from their institution to receive the Western Canada Premier Hockey Scholarship.
WHL Scholarship recipients are enrolled this year as full-time students at 69 different post-secondary institutions through North America.
Hockey Alberta leads all western hockey branches, having produced 152 WHL graduates currently accessing their WHL Scholarship. BC Hockey (78), the Saskatchewan Hockey Association (74) and Hockey Manitoba (32) are also leaders, with Hockey North (Northwest Territories and Nunavut) and Hockey Yukon combining to produce two WHL Scholarship recipients. A total of 26 players from USA Hockey are accessing their WHL Scholarship.
The University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Sask.) leads all post-secondary institutions with 39 WHL graduates enrolled in full-time studies, while 33 former WHL players are registered at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alta.). The University of British Columbia (31), University of Lethbridge (25), University of Calgary (22), University of Manitoba (20), University of Regina (20) and Mount Royal University (17) also lead the way in WHL graduate enrollment.
Among the 2017-18 WHL Scholarship recipients, 59 WHL graduates are enrolled at universities in Eastern Canada, with 50 playing U SPORTS hockey at the Ontario University Athletics or Atlantic University Sport level. In total, 53 WHL graduates are enrolled at a Canadian College, other post-secondary institution, or in a trades or technical training institution, with 28 WHL graduates playing hockey in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) or the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL). Additionally, 14 WHL graduates are attending a post-second institution in the United States.
Administered by the WHL Office, WHL Scholarships are solely funded by the member Clubs of the WHL. This season, WHL Clubs will contribute in excess of $2.5 million to graduates utilizing the WHL Scholarship.
“The number of our WHL graduates accessing their WHL Scholarships continues to increase every year and we are excited to see these players pursuing a post-secondary education at an institution of their choice,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison, “The WHL Scholarship is fully funded by the ownership of WHL Clubs who remain fully committed to providing the best educational opportunities possible for our players.”
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, and the student-athlete can apply the funding to any post-secondary or career-enhancing program of his choice, including trades schools and professional career training programs.
In addition, current WHL players also receive financial assistance for enrolling post-secondary classes while playing in the WHL, many of whom are taking online courses through Athabasca University. The WHL and Athabasca University have partnered to offer, through online and other distance education platforms, fully-accredited university courses to any WHL player interested in further pursuing post-secondary studies while playing in the WHL.
Full funded by WHL member Clubs, all players currently playing in the WHL are encouraged to enroll in post-secondary courses. 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.
Summary: WHL Scholarships 2017– 2018
Canadian Universities, Western Canada – 238 Canadian Universities, Eastern Canada – 59 Canadian Colleges and other institutions – 53 U.S. Colleges, Universities – 14 Total – WHL Graduate Scholarships – 364
WHL Graduates continuing to play hockey at the elite Canadian University or College level:
Canada West Conference – 132 Ontario University Athletics /Atlantic University Sport Conferences – 50 ACAC / BCIHL – 28 Total – 210
Branch Summary: WHL Scholarships 2017-18
British Columbia – 78
Alberta – 152
Saskatchewan – 74
Manitoba – 32
Northwest Territories / Yukon – 2
USA – 26
Totals – 364