Nearing the end of your High School Certificate (HSC)? Want to apply to scholarships but not know how it works? There’s no doubt that applying for scholarships can be hard and confusing if there is so much research to do, so many forms to fill out and different deadlines to meet. Here we have created a 5-step guide for you to apply for as many scholarships as you can!
Have you Researched your Options?
The first step in applying for a scholarship is to research your options. After this, you should have an idea of the different types of scholarships available, who offers them and what they cover and for how long. There are three sources of scholarships:
- Education Providers e.g. Universities (UTS)
- Federal Government and
- Private Organisations
Many scholarships are awarded for:
- Academic merit
- Students in specific fields of study
- Community involvement
- Encouraging educational participation from certain groups such as women entering non-traditional fields, students from low socio-economic backgrounds or those who attended schools that are underrepresented in tertiary education.
All of these aside you must pay attention to scholarship requirements which may include a certain ATAR/OP; scholarship durations; and any specific conditions that may affect continual eligibility. Examples would include needing to maintain a specific academic average.
Create a list of scholarships you are interested in and are eligible for in terms of requirements. Make sure that you have explored all the options available to you.
Once you have compiled a list of scholarships you are interested in, you will need to do some research for each individual application and make sure you understand what is required of you as well as the process of applying. In most cases, you can apply online or by post. If you are applying for scholarships through your education provider make sure you find out whether your application needs to be submitted directly through the provider if through the University Admissions Centre (UAC).
Some education provider scholarships don’t require an application (it is automatic when you apply for a course in their institution). You might need to supply additional documents, such as an academic transcript, a scholarship cover letter etc. Some might even require you to attend an interview. Check that what you have documented and ready to bring to the interview is a certified copy or the right document.
Note The Scholarship Deadlines
Scholarships attract large numbers of applicants every year and you will not be granted any second chances if you miss a closing date. This is crucial especially when you have multiple applications to submit according to the different methods required by each institution. Therefore, make sure to write down the scholarship closing dates somewhere like, your phone, notebook, calendar, journal etc to remind you when to finalise and submit your final applications. Remember to also allow time for collating your documents and files required for increasing your chances of receiving the scholarship. You should also ask them for an approximate date for the expected outcome.
Double Check Your Application
It is easy to make mistakes when the closing date is around the corner and you have a whole mass of questions to answer. Therefore, you should take some time to recheck your answers as you go, after you completed the first time and probably get someone to double check it for you. Be sure to have finalised any final changes to your application where necessary. Look out for mistakes such as: spelling and grammar issues, lack of detail, poor presentation and failure to follow instructions such as sticking to the word limit. It is unfortunate but it is possible for your application to fail if a single mistake is spotted. It is highly recommended to hand over your application to be proof read by someone else.
Back up plan?
Scholarships are highly competitive and although you might think that you are eligible for it and that you have the best explanations or reasons for receiving the particular scholarship, don’t rely on this. You just might not get the scholarship! You need an alternative plan if you are looking to apply to a scholarship. Since scholarships are usually in the form of a monetary grant, you could always find other ways to earn some money while studying at university. Such as getting a part time job, taking out a student loan from your institution or bank. However, there will probably be conditions you will have to abide by e.g. only for essentials such as laptops, unexpected utility bills etc.
Best of luck to all applicants
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