What can a scholarship do for me?
There are many types of scholarships which offer different amounts of funding to help you in all sorts of ways. They may cover your tuition fees, accommodation costs, living expenses, relocation fees (if you have to move for study) as well as things like your textbooks.
You may receive your scholarship as a one-off lump sum payment or in smaller instalments over the course of your studies. This is because scholarships last for varying amounts of time, from a single semester to the full duration of your course.
Why are scholarships important?
A scholarship is an award of financial assistance given to students to help pay for the costs associated with studying. Scholarships are awarded for a number of reasons and can support you achieve your goals and maximise your success in higher education.
How can I get a scholarship?
Every scholarship comes with its own criteria which you will need to satisfy to be eligible for the award. Some are merit based and consider your academic results; others on your involvement in your school, community, and extracurricular activities, such as leadership, sport, volunteering, and arts.
Some scholarships are also awarded on an equity basis – to support students who have had their studies or lives impacted to access financial assistance. Relevant factors may include where you come from, your personal experiences, and challenges you may have had to overcome.
Some scholarships are also available only to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These scholarships are designed to support Indigenous students overcome any financial constraints that act as a barrier to Indigenous students’ access to university and a negative impact on students’ opportunity for success. They also aim to increase the number of Indigenous students applying for, attending, and completing higher education so that students are better able to achieve their education and career aspirations.
Receiving any kind of scholarship is a recognition of your unique talents, potential, and circumstances. The application process is often competitive, and a scholarship award is in every instance a fantastic achievement.
Which scholarship is right for me?
Because so many scholarships exist, it can often be hard to know which one is right for you. First of all, it can help to think about your own circumstances and situation. You can filter scholarships on Aurora’s Indigenous Pathways Portal based on a number of criteria, such as by age, gender, background, location, academic merit, and financial equity. Thinking about your own situation can help ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for each scholarship you are interested in and give you the best opportunity to win a scholarship.
You should think carefully about your options, what you might enjoy, and where you want to study.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
Each scholarship has its own application process. You may have to write a personal statement, provide references, or prove that you meet certain eligibility criteria. Some scholarships may also require you to attend an interview so that the decision-makers can get to know you a bit better.
Once you have applied for a scholarship, you will have to wait until a decision has been made. This may take a few days, weeks, or even months. Although this can be nerve-racking, it’s important to stay patient until the decision has been made. You can also usually apply for multiple scholarships at once.
What are some useful tips on applying for a scholarship?
Finding and applying for scholarships can often be a daunting and tricky process. We’ve collated a number of useful tips and tricks below for you to follow to ensure that you have the best chance of receiving a scholarship award:
- To be considered for a scholarship, you must meet its selection criteria. Only apply for the scholarship if you think you are eligible.
- Have a look at the eligibility criteria in detail. If you are unsure about your eligibility, how to apply or what to include with your application, speak to the scholarship provider by telephone or email. It will prevent you from wasting time on applications for which you are not eligible.
- Apply to every scholarship for which you are eligible. Most scholarships allow you to have more than one scholarship.
- Tailor your application to the provider’s goals. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Find out who is offering the scholarship and how they look to support the community. This can be particularly useful if the scholarship provider is a corporate body, foundation or company and will help you to determine the right approach to take in your application.
- Personalise your essay and be passionate. Write about something of interest to you. Make your application stand out from the crowd. Talk about your impact on other people. Give examples and be specific.
- If you have difficulty writing essays, try recording yourself as you answer the question out loud, and transcribe the recording later. Most people can think and speak faster than they can write or type. Create an outline afterward to organise your thoughts.
- Proofread a printed copy of your essay and the application for spelling and grammatical errors.
- Complete your application in full, making sure EVERY question is answered!
- Print or make a copy of your application for your internal records and keep answers to your questions on a central document, so you can re-use and tailor your answers for other applications.
- Allow yourself plenty of time to complete a scholarship application. You must submit your application before the due date – you don’t want to miss out because you were late!
There are plenty of individuals and organisations that may also be willing to help guide you through the steps needed to successfully win a scholarship. When applying for a scholarship don’t hesitate to ask your parents, guardians, and teachers for help.
You are welcome to get in touch with the Aurora team for support. We can also connect you with Aurora alumni in your area of study or those who have studied at a university you may be interested in.
You may also reach out to the respective Indigenous Higher Education Units (IHEU) in the university within Australia for which you are applying. These units provide support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and will gladly assist you in preparing your application. If the scholarship is offered by a university, you can also contact the university’s Scholarship Office for additional support.
What happens if I receive a scholarship?
Once you have been awarded a scholarship, you will generally receive the money directly into your bank account, although some scholarships offer a direct discount or reduction to certain fees and costs.
In return for receiving a scholarship, you may be asked to achieve satisfactory grades, complete a certain number of courses, or submit regular reports to continue receiving funding.