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Why you should explore scholarships

If you’re planning on further studies after high school, no matter if you’re thinking about uni or vocational training, there’s probably a scholarship for that.

No joke, there are literally thousands of scholarships available for Australians who are seeking to better their education and/or career prospects.

Lots of people think that scholarships are only there to benefit a very specific bunch of people. But that’s not the case. Most scholarships are aimed at a certain category of applicants that’s true. But there’s a huge list of categories to choose from.

Some of the most common scholarship categories you might come across include:

  • Specific subjects studies
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Institution specific scholarships
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • Rural or remote
  • Academic Excellence
  • Leadership
  • Volunteering or community involvement
  • Sporting, musical or performing ability
  • Financially disadvantaged
  • Disability

 

What are scholarships

Scholarships are usually money that you receive from a provider, that you aren’t expected to pay back – they’re not a loan.

The money could be given as a one off payment, or as small amounts annually or each semester.

There may be terms that you have to agree to, like mentor others, maintain a certain grade, be involved with specific activities, or write a thank you letter.

Scholarships can cover a variety of costs from tuition fees to living and accommodation costs, moving away from home & travel to get back home.

The money comes from lots of different places. From the government, businesses, and universities, to organisations or individuals with a little goodwill and some money to spare.

 

How to find one:

Searching for scholarships can get a bit overwhelming and time consuming. Try starting with the Study Work Grow Scholarships page. If you can’t find what you’re after on there yet, keep checking back, we add new ones each week.

Otherwise, you can go to the holy grail of searching – the internet – and spend some time searching on there.

If you know where you’ll be studying, check out what scholarships the institution have listed and see if you’re eligible to apply for anything.

When you have decided what course you’ll be doing, search for scholarships that could cover that subject.

You might be eligible for more than one category of scholarship, so check all that apply to you and your study choices.

 

How to apply

Unless you apply, you’re not going to get awarded a scholarship.

  1. Once you’ve done your searches, make sure you read through all the eligibility criteria to make sure you definitely can apply.
  2. Read all the terms and conditions and make sure that you’re happy to sign up to them.
  3. Familiarise yourself with the application process. Make sure you note down and deadlines, interview days and other key dates.
  4. Triple check your application and make sure you’ve attached any necessary supporting documents.

 

Why you should apply

If the only reason you’re not considering further studies is because you’re not sure how you’ll afford it, you should definitely see what options are open to you, and apply.

Looking for a way to boost your studies and get ahead of your cohort of graduates? Scholarships that involve you in additional activities from networking and mentoring, to work experience and workshops, will be fantastic on your resume.

If you’d just like to leave uni with the least amount of debt possible, scholarships could be the way forward.

You might think that scholarships are highly competitive and you don’t think you’ll stand a chance. Lots of popular scholarships are competitive – but that’s ok, as long your application is in, you stand a chance too.

And let’s not forget the scholarships that aren’t oversubscribed because people just don’t know about them, or they also think they won’t stand a chance – so don’t apply.

Each year there are thousands of dollars’ worth of scholarships that go unclaimed, simply because students don’t know they’re there, or that they’re eligible.

 

What if your application isn’t successful

Make sure you have a back-up plan.

Find out what loans you can apply for. Is there financial assistance that you’re entitled to from Centrelink?

Check out grants and bursaries too, these are less merit based but more need-based.

See what part time jobs you could do while you’re studying.

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