Life After High School: important things to know for scholarships and studying in 2017 - Part 1
Friday 18 November 2016
It can seem overwhelming, but applying to for scholarships to help you out in with your Uni or TAFE studies could be one of the best decisions you make. Scholarships can make a big difference in providing you with some extra cash to meet your expenses through the year. This guide is designed to help you through, with key information in one place.
Remember, TAI’s Scholarships Team is here to help so, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us at any time! Sometimes just talking to someone can make the process a bit less overwhelming.
- 02 9310 8407
What is a scholarship?
A scholarship is an award given to someone to help them study at a tertiary institution, university or other VET courses (TAFE, other Registered Trainning Organisations (RTO's). A scholarship can offer a range of things including money to pay for the costs of studying, accommodation allowances or support with travel.
Scholarships can be given to students by the institution you’re studying at (your university or college) but can also be awarded by another organisation. Often businesses and groups fund scholarships for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students as a way of supporting the community.
How do I find scholarships I can apply for?
The first step is to find out which scholarships you might be eligible for. This might depend on a number of things, such as:
- What you are studying?
- Where you are studying?
- Are you studying full time or part time?
- Do you live in a remote or regional area?
To find out which scholarships you may be eligible for, check our Scholarships Match Tool.
It lists over 800 scholarships (totalling over $40million) targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. It will match you to “your potential scholarships”, just by answering 9 questions related to your personal criteria. We have also created a quick Hints and Tips tricks handout to help you with using the site here.
We also encourage you to get in contact with the Indigenous Higher Education Units (IHEU) or Scholarship Offices at the institution(s) you wish to study at. You can find their contact information here:
What do I need to apply for scholarships?
Usually there is an application form (online or available on request) and sometimes scholarship providers request some additional documentation, like: transcript(s) of your school or other results, letter(s) of offer, financial statements, references or documents confirming your identity etc.
Requirements for each scholarship vary, so you’ll need to look at the criteria listed for each scholarship.
What information might they ask me?
Often they will ask you to fill in a few questions about yourself. Some scholarships are available for specific groups: for women, for regional students, for Indigenous and/ or Torres Strait islander students specifically (or encouraged to apply), some are awarded based on merit (based on your marks) and some on other grounds (such as financial circumstances or if you have a medical condition or disability).
You might be eligible for more than one scholarship, which is great. Usually you can apply for multiple scholarships and then make a decision on which ones you will accept if you get multiple offers. We suggest that you apply for as many as you can!
When do I need to apply?
Each scholarship has its own closing date, though most closing dates are from October to March, with a lot closing at the end of March (around Census Date – this is the date that unis confirm you are enrolled and your HECS is confirmed) just as most courses through Unis TAFE's or RTO's are starting for the year.
It’s important to check the closing date for each scholarship and make a note of it so you can make sure to get your scholarship application in one time.
Helpful Cheat Sheet
Get matched to scholarships easily
The Aspiration Initiative recently launched our Scholarship Matching Tool. It allows you to get matched up to scholarships that you may be eligible for based on 9 simple questions.
Hearing from a past scholarship recipient
We asked one of the Aurora International Study Tour Scholars, Ashley Walker, to provide some advice to anyone who may be considering studying in 2017.
What advice would you given Indigenous students who may be thinking of higher education (university or TAFE) for 2017?
Ashley: "My advice to Indigenous students who may be considering higher education for 2017" is:
- Back yourself – don’t think that you aren’t good enough to study a particular program. The whole point of higher education is to build your knowledge base.
- Take every opportunity – whether it be a scholarship or internship, apply for everything. Generations before us fought for the opportunities we have today so it would be a shame to let them go to waste.
- Be persistent – higher education isn’t supposed to be easy. Keep working hard and even if you don’t reach your goals, you still may be laying a foundation for future generations of Indigenous scholars."
What help have scholarships been in helping you on your path of study?
Ashley: "I can’t stress enough how important scholarships were in my success as an undergraduate. I was lucky enough to win a number of business and law scholarships which enabled me to cut down on part time work and really focus on studies."
"As a result of this, I had a solid academic transcript which made finding graduate employment relatively easy. Furthermore, the functions involved with scholarships were a great opportunity to build networks within the legal and business worlds."
Ashley belongs to the La Perouse Aboriginal community and is a member of the Walbunga clan of the Yuin Nation. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales in 2012. In 2013, he completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and was admitted as a solicitor. He is currently employed as a solicitor in the corporate advisory team of Gilbert + Tobin where he specialises in mergers and acquisitions. He is interested in pursuing an MBA at an international institution.
Stay tuned for December’s newsletter where we offer some tips on scholarship applications, showcase some exciting new tools on our website and feature more important scholarships that are closing soon.