Scholarships Application tips

Application tips

All students could do with a little extra money in their pocket; but how do you make your scholarship application standout from the rest? Check out our tips below on how to best approach the application process so you can be in pole position to secure that scholarship.

This may sound obvious, but we can’t stress it enough, you really do have to be in it to win it. Don’t talk yourself out of applying by focusing on others or comparing your achievements or circumstances to your peers – focus on you and why you deserve to win. You have nothing to lose and you might just surprise yourself and win.

JCU currently has over fifty scholarship awards available, so take the time to explore your options and see which scholarships you are eligible to apply for. In fact, why not apply for multiple scholarships? There are no rules limiting the number of scholarships you can apply for and the more applications you submit, the greater your chance of winning.

Application is free and easy and once you have a template for your written statement you can easily tailor it to future applications.

You don’t want to waste your time writing a standout statement and collating your documentation only to later realise that you don’t meet a scholarship’s eligibility criteria.

To determine your eligibility visit the Scholarships page and use the filter criteria to view all scholarships that match your academic and/or personal situation. From here, click into one of the scholarship(s) you are interested in and scroll down to the ‘Am I eligible’ dropdown; ensure that all the statements in this section describe you and your current situation before you begin the application process.

There are no extensions for late scholarship applications so don’t miss the deadline date to submit your statement and supporting documentation. Some scholarship applications will require written references, proof of ATAR score, or even statements from the ATO, so aim to have your application(s) submitted well in advance of the closing date to allow time for any unforeseen delays in receiving documentation. If you are applying for multiple scholarships take a note of the closing date for each as they may differ.

Similar to a job application many scholarships use a written statement (or essay) as part of their selection criteria to short-list the best candidates. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the Scholarship Panel and convince them that you are the ideal candidate for the award, so it’s important that your application stands out.

A few key points to consider when writing your statement:

  • Adhere to the word limit.
  • Tailor your statement for each scholarship application you submit and be sure to address the key criteria / questions as set out on the application page. Do not leave any questions unanswered as this will lose you points when the Panel scores your application.
  • If the scholarship is based on meeting certain criteria (e.g. study area or merit) ensure you touch on how these relate to you, especially if there is not an opportunity to address this anywhere else in your application.
  • Address your current circumstances and outline how winning the scholarship could help you achieve your goals or positively affect your university life.
  • Talk about your achievements both academic and extra-curricular. The Scholarship Panel will read through a lot of similar applications so don’t be afraid to talk yourself up and standout from crowd.
  • Proofread. It is essential that you take the time to proofread your application and check i, spelling and grammar; and ii, that you have addressed all the necessary points succinctly and within the word limit. It often helps to get a friend or family member to look over your application with fresh eyes – they may even think of something to add to your application which you hadn’t thought of.

If English is not your first language or you aren’t confident in writing essays don’t fret, the Scholarship Panel aren’t assessing the composition of your statement, they simply want to know about you and your motivations for applying for this scholarship.

For more tips on writing a good written statement click here.

Some scholarships may ask you to take part in an interview so they can get to know you a bit better. If your application is shortlisted you may be invited to meet with a Scholarships Panel and will have the opportunity to discuss with them why you are the ideal scholarship recipient. Think of this as an opportunity to build on the great work you put into your statement and to provide further detail to the Panel.

In advance of your interview you may wish to think about:

  • Learning more about the scholarship; who is company/family behind the scholarship and why was it initially set-up? How can you relate to this?
  • Reflecting back on the initial criteria/questions and the answers you submitted in your statement - be prepared to expand on your answers and provide greater detail.
  • Considering what sets you apart from other candidates.
  • How would winning the scholarship positively impact your life and learning.

If you have any questions regarding scholarships or the application process don’t hesitate to contact the scholarships office or book a call.