Studying in Australia may be a dream, but not everyone can afford it.
School tuitions are lower than in the United States and the United Kingdom. However, they are still a substantial investment, ranging from AU $15,000 for a Bachelor's degree to AU $37,000 for a Master's.
The average tuition fee and living costs are around AU $38,000 a year, and you might be one of the majority of students who can't afford that, but you know what?
You can still realise your dream and try to apply for a scholarship. We have a few tips for you below!
1. Apply As Early As Possible
It's like everything in life: the earlier, the better. So don't wait until the last minute to start applying!
Schools have a specific amount of funding available, and the earlier you apply, the more you will receive and the easier it will be to get a scholarship.
2. Research All Your Options
Do not just restrict your scholarship research to educational institutions — the Australian government, residential schools, government departments, and international organisations in your home country may also offer scholarships.
Different departments, like the Science Department, grant scholarships to international students. Therefore, contact the faculty and get more information from them.
Additionally, universities offer special scholarships to students from particular countries entering specific courses—for example, Indian students studying business or Latin American students studying tourism.
3. Apply To As Many Scholarships As You Can
The more potential scholarships you find, the better your chance of getting a scholarship funded!
Also, apply for scholarships with shorter duration or lesser amounts, as it is always better than getting nothing!
4. Participate In Community Life
Even though most scholarships for international students depend on financial need or academic excellence, Universities also offer scholarships for participation in the community. This entails voluntary work or involvement in clubs, society, sports teams, etc.
When granting scholarships, several Australian institutions look for students who demonstrate leadership skills and are active in their community. So when applying for a scholarship, make sure to mention any related activities in your cover letter.
Always remember that community participation will strengthen your application even if you apply for financial needs or academic scholarships.
5. Make Sure You Understand The Application Process
In most cases, you can apply online or by post. Some scholarships don't require any application.
However, you may have to submit other documents like a cover letter and your academic transcript, and you may have an interview.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the scholarship sponsors; they will significantly help.
6. Plan Your Time
Make sure you've enough time to complete your scholarship application before the due date arrives. Always remember that applying for a scholarship usually entails a series of questions that may require you to provide personal statements or submit information about your circumstances in detail.
Therefore, you need plenty of time to complete the application process. Besides, you can save the application online and come back later to finish it. Just make sure to complete it before the deadline.
7. Assess Your Eligibility
In general, measuring your scholarship eligibility usually centres around fulfilling academic standards. It could mean you have to obtain a minimum grade to be eligible for a particular scholarship. Further, you might be able only to complete courses or subjects in a specific field.
To maximise your chances of getting accepted, you must fulfil every condition of the scholarship.
When sorting out all the necessary paperwork for an application, ask a fluent English speaker to check your application and ensure there are no mistakes.
8. Read The Scholarship Criteria Carefully
Before applying for the scholarship, make sure you have submitted everything required. Have you thoroughly answered all the questions? Does your application meet the word limit and deadline?
The supporting documentation may include an offer letter, a personal statement, proof of English language proficiency, references, employment history, and more. It is important to note that specific documents may need to be translated or certified.
Suppose you have any other concerns regarding the application. In that case, you must contact the scholarship provider to ensure that you have made no errors.
9. Double-Check Before Sending And Get Someone Else To Proofread
Scholarship applications are critical and can impact your future. They are often the only way to attain scholarships, so your application must be error-free and precise.
Remember, minor errors like grammar or spelling issues, poor presentation, and lack of detail can lead to the rejection of your application. So ask a reliable source like a parent, friend, or teacher to review your application and give you constructive feedback. This will help to prevent any mistakes when you apply for scholarships.
10. Have A Backup Plan
Getting scholarships in Australia can be very competitive. It always helps to have a backup plan ready, especially if your application is not accepted or you cannot apply for the scholarship successfully.
Consider applying for government assistance (such as Austudy, Youth Allowance, or ABSTUDY) or a part-time job to meet your study expenses. You can also start looking for scholarships available during the upcoming application period.
If you are a first-year student, remember that most scholarships are awarded to students continuing their studies in their second or next enrollment year. Another option is to apply for a student loan through a bank or your institution. However, this may come with certain conditions (for instance, institution loans are usually just provided to cover expenses such as unforeseen utility bills or getting a new laptop).
11. Last But Not Least, Stay Optimistic!
You might receive plenty of rejection letters before you finally get a successful one, which is why it is important to continue applying. Persistence is key!
These tips should help you to apply for a scholarship if you want to study at a university in Australia.
However, you have cheaper options like vocational courses, TAFE being the most famous, where you can study a semester for as low as AU $3,690.
If you want to improve your English, then English schools are also a cheaper alternative.
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