Identify your targets
By your final year of school you'll probably have a reasonable idea of the courses you want to do and where you want to study them. You may not know exactly, because you don't have your final results, but you'll know enough to begin looking for possible sources of funding.
The more flexible you can be about place and course, the more scholarships there may be available.
Some scholarships are designed to enable you to achieve your education and career goals, whatever they may be. Others are more specifically targeted.
Don't sign up for a course just because you can get funding for it, but don't just set your sights on universities where you presently live. Some universities actively seek interstate students. For example, the University of Melbourne National Scholarships offer Victorian students $5,000 per year and interstate students $10,000 per year.
Review all your options.
Explore the possibilities
The scholarship database at ourcommunity.com.
www.ourcommunity.com.au gives you a good entry point for information about scholarship opportunities. If you search the database and follow the links you'll identify most of the scholarships for which you are eligible.
While many important scholarships look only at your final year's numerical results, a lot of scholarships look at other factors as well.
Some that focus on scores will use these other factors as tiebreakers.
Don't assume that unless you're in the top percentile you've got no chance. Criteria can include phrases like "leadership qualities" or "potential to contribute to the wider life of the university". You may be easily able to list evidence of your leadership at school and or in the wider community for example you may have been a House Captain or head of the school debating team.
You might have led a St. John's Ambulance brigade or been the main actor in a range of amateur or professional theatre companies.
It's important to cover all bases. Scholarships are given by all sorts of organisations for all sorts of things. Remember, universities do not only want people with perfect academic records. They want a mix of the population, and . increasingly Increasingly they want to provide opportunities for people whose academic careers may have been held back by disadvantage or disability.
You may be eligible for a scholarship that is designed for people like you. You will have to compete against all the other people in that category, but you're in with a chance.
Think about who you are and what categories might describe your particular circumstances. When you've been as broad as possible while still being accurate - look for scholarships that fit your description.
Most scholarships have several requirements, not just one, they are for people who are both from rural areas and in need, or both doing accountancy and aboriginal,, or both a woman and in an equity group, or from Adelaide and taking sociology and in an equity group.
You must pass all the tests to be eligible. This can mean that you miss out, but it may just mean that you have to consider your application carefully to bring out the less obvious ways in which you meet the criteria.
Consider your situation carefully. F Remember, financial need is not the only kind of disadvantage, so consider your situation carefully. and remember also that you're not asked to be the person in the most need in Australia at large, only to be the person in the most need among the eligible applicants.
You can't assume that the categories you have defined for yourself are going to automatically qualify you for an award, or that it won't. You'll have to check each university in each category.
Remember, don't just stop with your first preference. If there's a chance you may take up another of your options, have a look at what this course offers in the way of scholarships.What kinds of scholarships are available?
Most scholarships are given to attract high-scoring students to the particular university that offers them. These scholarships are given almost exclusively on the basis of your school results. Many of these do not require specific applications, and the University will notify you if you score high enough to be eligible for one but do check this.
This is where the university itself may also wish to attract a special group kind of high-scoring students. For example, the University of Melbourne National Scholarships offer special benefits to interstate students who want to study at Melbourne.
A private benefactor may have a particular loyalty to the university where she received her education and may fund a scholarship to give other women an opportunity to enjoy the opportunities offered at that university.
A corporation may decide that graduates from a particular university make excellent recruits for their workforce. In this way, Coca-Cola Amatil provided a generous scholarship for students doing first-year Business at Queensland University in 2000.
These are generally also attached to a particular university. , Some are offered by the University to steer people into particular courses (for example, the University of Newcastle faculty of Science at Flinders University offers extra scholarships for students who want to take study the Bachelor of Science (Aviation)nanotechnology).
There are scholarships for students in courses ranging from vocationally-oriented courses like architecture or journalism to more specific subjects like Latin.
Some scholarships are offered by private companies business corporations as a contribution to developing capacity in their area of interest. A corporation may decide that graduates from a particular university make excellent recruits for their workforce (For example, Coca-Cola Amatil provided a generous scholarship for students doing first-year Business at Queensland University in 2000).
There are scholarships for students in courses ranging from courses like architecture or journalism to more specific subjects like Latin.
These scholarships support your career choice. A passion for horses, for example, might make you eligible for the Australian Equestrian Scholarship. This scholarship will fund you to do the Diploma of Horse Business Management at Marcus Oldham College.
Generally attached to a particular university, they vocational scholarships can be for careers as diverse as metallurgy, ballet, agribusiness and midwifery.
Elite athletes in any sport can apply for Sports Scholarships at Griffith University.
It is particularly important for applicants to read the fine print when applying for these and in fact many other scholarships. It may be that these scholarships entail post graduate obligations eg q.q
At Special scholarships for people with a disability may be available from a particular university (for example, the Douglas Schneider Memorial scholarship at Charles Sturt University funds a student with a disability) or may be available at a range of universities (for example, the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind offers a Further Education Bursary to support students who are blind or vision impaired to buy adaptive equipment). As these examples also show, some scholarships are for people with any disability, and some are for people with particular disabilities. Many other scholarships are equity-based or for disadvantaged applicants, and people with a disability are also able to apply for these.
If you have a disability you should investigate support services at the university of your choice well in advance; ask about scholarships then.
Some scholarships are geographically based, for students who come from a particular region, shire, town, diocese, or suburb.
To take an extreme example, the Serco Bursary at Flinders is for students living in an area "bounded by Montague Road on the south, and Golden Grove Road on the east"). Most of these scholarships have to be taken at universities with a link to the region, (for example, residents of Dumaresq Shire, NSW, can get a scholarship to the University of New England.). There are also scholarships for people who come from rural areas generally.
All Australian universities have committed themselves to supporting a range of disadvantaged groups, described as 'Equity groups'. The groups coming under this heading are
As well as the Universities, other groups give scholarships to equity groups.
Some scholarships are given on the basis of financial need alone. Some are given for financial need coupled with academic merit, and many others are given for being in need and a member of a particular target groupp - descendants of Anzacs, say - and being in financial need. .
Other scholarships do not absolutely require applicants to be in financial need but give preference to those who are.
**Remember, though, that coming from a low socio-economic background is not exactly the same thing as being financially disadvantaged now. If your family was short of money when you were going through school, that may have disadvantaged your education even if your family has since become more prosperous. This would be very unlikely to get you a scholarship on its own, but if you could make a case in other areas it might be enough to push you over the top
There are also privately endowed scholarships for women. A private benefactor may have a particular loyalty to the university where she received her education and may fund a scholarship to give other women ana similar opportunity. to enjoy the opportunities offered at that university.
As well as Abstudy, all Australian universities offer special assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. There are also scholarships from other organisations (for example, the Australian Youth Foundation offers Minerals Council Scholarships for secondary and tertiary students).
Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders
People There are few scholarships specifically directed towards people from non-English speaking backgrounds; however, it may be possible to use
Some scholarships are interested supporting particular groups, or the children of particular groups for example, the Australian Vietnam Veteran's Trust offers money to children of Vietnam veterans, Students from Guyra Central School, Children of Goulburn Teachers' College graduates and Mature age students
Some scholarships are interested in supporting people based on need, generally at a particular university (for example, the First Year Undergraduate Equity Scholarship at Edith Cowan University). 'Need' generally includes such things as financial need, cultural disadvantage, remoteness or disability.
Many other scholarships are either for people who are both within the terms of the grant and needy - descended from Anzacs, say, and short of money this year or at least give extra points for need.
Some scholarships are interested supporting particular groups, or the children of particular groups. (f For example, the Australian Vietnam Veteran's Trust offers money to children of Vietnam veterans). These are so various that it is impossible to list all of them here, or even to classify themScholarships can be offered to - examples include such very distinct groups for example as students from Guyra Central School, descendants of AnzacsAustralian Vietnam veterans, mature age students, and South Australian stategovernment school students, members of Nelson Bay RSL, and children of Goulburn Teachers' College graduates - so read your university's scholarship list carefully and with an eye to detail.
Not all of the scholarships are given out every year. Some of them cover particular expenses such as university hall of residence costs or computer equipment. Some of them cover the first year of the course only. Some of them carry responsibilities. Some of them are very specific indeed, covering university and course and career and geography. They all have in common, however, that they don't give money to people who don't apply.
Get your basic search done in good time. You may need to prepare, and it never hurts to lay out your timetable enough in advance to be absolutely sure you're not going to miss any closing dates.
Not all of the scholarships are given out every year.
Some of them only cover particular expenses such as university hall of residence costs or computer equipment.
Some of the others cover the first year of the course only or are only for short courses held during the holidays.. Some of them carry responsibilities after graduation, or for holiday employment (the CSIRO Mathematical Sciences Vacation Scholarship, for example, is basically a holiday job). Some of them are very specific indeed, covering university and course and career and geography.
So read your university's scholarship list carefully and with an eye to detail
One thing in common
They all have one thing in common, however, that they don't give money to people who don't apply.
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