What most people don’t know is that not only can a scholarship help you financially, they can also deliver additional opportunities such as chances to network, mentoring relationships, overseas exchange and can even lead to employment opportunities.
Starting a scholarship application can be daunting, so we’ve enlisted the help of scholarship assessors Associate Professor Tracy Wilcox, (Academic Director, Postgraduate Programs) and Associate Professor Christine Mathies (Academic Director Undergraduate Programs). They read through the thousands of applications submitted to the UNSW Business School, and have offered to provide some handy tips and tricks.
Not reading the application correctly or simply missing questions, are just some of the common mistakes seen in applications.
"Basically, we have to rank them as zero if they have missed a section or they just answer it in five words. They are basically pulling themselves out of eligibility for the scholarship," Tracy said.
Applications that stand out reference both academic and co-curricular achievements. Applicants need to tie in their own personal experience and give the reader a sense of who they are, what experiences have shaped them and what they truly want to accomplish with their degree in the future.
There can be a lot of overlap in the applications, many students have held leadership positions or excelled in sport; so Christine suggests applicants go beyond only listing those achievements. Applicants should think about what they have done differently to stand out from the crowd.
“What's your why? What’s pushing you? … And why are you taking the next step in terms of studying in Australia, studying at UNSW, studying the degree that you've chosen out of all the options that you've had?” she said.
Tracy says when it comes to post-graduate applications, she looks for well-rounded students who are open to change and are passionate about their prospective careers.
“They (applicants) have exercised some leadership in the past. They have given back to the community in some way. They have a real growth mindset, so are interested in growing, learning and contributing, and they have a global outlook,” she said.
UNSW Business School also provides a wide range of Equity Scholarships, awards and grants to assist students from disadvantaged and under-represented groups, including, indigenous students and students from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Some scholarships can include additional benefits such as mentoring from industry professionals, work experience or overseas exchange, so do read the fine print.
Being too selective over scholarships can also be a detriment to applicants.
“You cannot miss out on the scholarship that you haven't applied for,” Christine said.
“What we're really looking for is high achieving students that kind of live and breathe the ethos of the Business School.”
Tracy said awarding scholarships is a way of recognising students who they believe are exemplars of the UNSW community.
“We’re really proud of them. They represent us and they embrace the best of what coming to UNSW is all about,” she said.