It’s no myth or legend that there are numerous costs associated with going to university. Whilst course fees, textbooks and other expenses are encountered by students along their academic adventure, you don’t need a lucky horse-shoe or four-leaf clover to make these costs disappear. Besides working a part-time job whilst studying, this year I was able to cover the cost of textbooks and course fees thanks to receiving a scholarship – my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!
For many students, both those yet to commence university study and those continuing their academic journey, scholarships are often thought of something mystical, elusive and often out of reach. Unfortunately, this perception could not be further from the truth because scholarships are not as out-of-reach as some may think.
All the colours of the rainbow
Just as there are many colours of the rainbow, there are many different kinds of scholarships available to both students commencing and those continuing university study. Some of these scholarships include:
- Academic – arguably the most traditional form of scholarship, academic scholarships are awarded to a student who has met a certain level of academic achievement based on specific requirements and criteria.
- Community involvement – Whilst most scholarships are awarded on some form of academic achievement, scholarships can also be awarded to reward outstanding community involvement (and can range from a leadership position in high school to being involved in local sporting clubs or even participating in community events).
- Equity – Equity scholarships are awarded to assist students in accessing the necessaries one needs to successfully undertake university study (USQ offers textbook bursaries, relocation assistance and rural scholarships). Commonwealth scholarships might also be available to students who receive welfare support.
- Special – This category embraces the remaining scholarships on offer including sporting scholarships, scholarships for students of genders in non-traditional areas of study, and much more.
Reaching the pot of gold
So now that you know about the kinds of scholarships on offer, the next question is how do we get one? USQ accepts scholarship applications throughout the year until the application closing date usually around mid-October. Applications are not difficult to put together and are a worthwhile investment in your time (considering the fantastic financial reward you may receive).
This year I was awarded the City of Ipswich Scholarship which is donated by the Ipswich City Council to reward a continuing student with a consistent level of academic achievement in addition to community involvement within the city of Ipswich. Not only did this provide financial support for myself, I was able to attend the council meeting and was introduced to the local councillors and the Mayor of Ipswich. Another benefit of receiving this scholarship was being able to attend an awards ceremony where I was able to meet some of the other talented scholarship recipients.
Overall, I strongly encourage all students currently in university or considering university study to apply for scholarships. Hopefully this post has shown the financial benefits of scholarships, quashed the myths surrounding scholarships and demonstrated the array of scholarships available to students for a variety of achievements – scholarships aren’t just for the A+ students anymore.
What scholarships are you eligible for? To find out what scholarships USQ have available, check out www.usq.edu.au/scholarships.