Accommodation, transport, and textbooks – the inevitable costs that come with study. These fees can add up to an unexpected figure, leaving you with only one option for lunch and dinner: two minute noodles. This is when scholarships and grants come in handy. Scholarships provide financial assistance to help push you over the finish line to graduation. Here a few handy tips to consider when applying for a scholarship or grant:
- Seek from CSU
Start your search on the CSU scholarships and grants page. You’ll find heaps of scholarships varying in value from $1,000 to $10,000. They’re offered through the CSU Foundation for particular courses, campuses and even by year of study. You’ll also find a handy search tool to help you narrow down the options and see what you’re eligible for. There is also FAQs.
- Broaden your search
Go beyond the University scholarship and grant website as many other organisations and individuals offer financial assistance. Your local council might offer scholarships. Simply search online for these opportunities. Even try searching your specific field of study as you’ll be surprised how many local businesses support studying.
- Put in the effort
Applying for a scholarship is hard work. To succeed you’ll need to be dedicated, and put in a lot of preparation and time into your application. Set aside time to research, draft and edit your application. Make sure you take note of the deadline for the scholarship application.
Most scholarships require supporting documents such as your resume, grade point average, and sometimes even a statement of payments from Centrelink. Get organised and keep these documents in a safe place where you can easily find them. Then when you’re applying in the future, you’ll have everything you need in one place.
- Save all scholarships
If the applications have already closed for a particular scholarship, don’t disregard it. Scholarships often re-open on a yearly basis, so find out the details, and add it to your calendar, phone or diary. This way you’ll get your application submitted on time next time.
Take the time to draft and edit your responses thoughtfully and openly, expressing your personal passion for your chosen field of study. In most cases you’ll have to answer a series of questions, so think carefully and re-read your answers.
Another tip is to always draft your responses in a word document or similar, as online applications won’t pick up spelling or grammar mistakes.
- What goes around comes around
Most scholarships will ask if you’ve ever volunteered in your community. If you haven’t volunteered in the past, this might be a nudge towards giving your time to supporting others in the community in the near future. If you’ve volunteered previously, make sure to include all of the details in your application.
- Seek help
Get one of your friends or family members to second read your application as another set of eyes will minimise mistakes. And don’t forget to help out your fellow students too.
- Check twice
Make sure you’ve included all of the requested attachments, you’ve used the preferred format, met the eligibility requirements and, most importantly, submitted your application before the closing date.
- You have to be in it to win it
Think of it this way – if you don’t apply, you won’t succeed. Which means you won’t receive the funds. So apply for every scholarship you’re eligible for.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t succeed either (you’re not alone!). Ask for feedback as it’ll strengthen your application next time around.
Check out CSU’s 7 tips for a winning scholarship application for more helpful tips.