Scholarships, the who and how
04 Sep 2020
Think scholarships are only for the high achievers? Think again.
Scholarships are available for a range of criteria and circumstances, for example:
- Access scholarships like rural and remote and equity
- Academic or Sport scholarships
- Residential scholarships
- Travel/study grants
- Placement grants
For some, a scholarship could mean the difference between studying… or not. For others, it just helps with the cost of living, and also provides an opportunity for placement experiences.
We have put together some tips for applying for scholarships, including places you might look.
- Do your research
The first step is finding the scholarships that you are eligible for. Do your research and be prepared. Look at your university, they will provide a list of options but be sure you understand what criteria you fit in. For example, Equity scholarships are awarded to help disadvantaged students with costs associated with higher education. Equity scholarships can be awarded to students from low socio-economic backgrounds, students living in rural and remote locations, students with a disability, those who are first in their family to study and Aboriginal students.
Your CUC Centre Manager is an excellent resource for sourcing scholarships.
- Look beyond your University!
Your university is a great place to start, so are your tertiary admission centres like UAC but make sure you look beyond the obvious! You can find scholarships from industry bodies such as Teach. NSW for Education students, NSW Health for those studying in health-related fields or look to those dedicated for regional and rural students and local community scholarships. Another great place to search is government organisations and philanthropic foundations like the Country Education Foundation (CEF). CEF offers four scholarships annually to the value of $84,000 to university-bound local students and other grant money for Western Riverina students.
You may also find scholarships by visiting the Grow Our Own website
- Know your audience and what they are looking for so you can tailor your application.
It’s obvious, but make sure you address all criteria and include all the necessary evidence. Ensure you keep it concise and stick to any word limits. Think of it like a job application, you need to sell yourself, ensure they know why you want and need their money.
Think outside the box and come up with some creative ways to demonstrate your suitability!
Pro tip: Research the organisation you are applying to and include the things that are important to them, make it personal but keep it relevant.
- Consider your competition
What sets you apart? Why do you deserve or need the scholarship more than your peers?
If your scholarship is aimed at a specific course, consider that you’ll be up against other applicants in the same field. What sets you apart? Why do you deserve or need the scholarship more? Think about how you will demonstrate this and stand out from the crowd, include things like extra-curricular activities, volunteering, academic achievements, and highlight what inspired you to study in your chosen discipline.
- Proofread everything!
Remember someone is reading a lot of applications if you are not concise have grammatical errors; it might be the difference between success and failure. Before sending off your application, ask a friend, classmate or family member to proofread your documents to catch any mistakes you might have missed.
- If at first, you don’t succeed – apply, apply again!
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just miss out through no fault of your own. There is also a common misconception that scholarships are for first-year students only… wrong.
The secret is: keep applying! If you’re dedicated, thorough and passionate enough to try again, with persistence comes reward.
For more assistance in finding and applying for suitable scholarships, please reach out to our Centre Manager and Good luck!