Those looking to pursue higher education in 2021 are being encouraged to apply for one of almost 400 scholarships now on offer at Southern Cross University.
The University’s Vice President (Engagement) Mr Ben Roche has welcomed addition Federal Government funding of $1.7m under the Destination Australia scholarship program, designed to encourage students to study in regional areas.
COVID travel restrictions will mean more Year 12 students won’t take a gap year and will instead consider applying for university enrolment immediately.
School leavers who may not be able to afford the cost of a degree may be eligible under one of the three scholarship funding criteria.
“Southern Cross University is providing a record level of financial assistance, which includes the generosity of our donors many of whom are small local businesses that believe in the transformative power of education. These scholarships are awarded based on a mix of equity and merit and it’s important to know that all applications, be they merit or equity based, will be carefully considered,” Mr Roche said
“It’s important for school leavers to consider all university entry options in order to take advantage of learning at a world class institution right here in their own backyard. Now is the optimum time to consider applying for a Southern Cross University scholarship.”
Bachelor of Marine Science and Management first-year student, Evie Lopes, was offered a scholarship based on her high ATAR and even though she could have chosen much larger city universities, Southern Cross was her preference.
“One of the great things about Southern Cross is you’re treated as a person not just a number,” said Evie.
“Having grown up in the Northern Rivers I have a strong connection with the environment and my passion is being able to spend a lot of time on field studies. This year I’ve picked up five high distinctions and three distinctions. The Vice Chancellor’s scholarship gives me the opportunity to have a meaningful career.”
Miriam Stewart of Coffs Harbour comes from an Indigenous background and admits she didn’t do well at high school. Miriam never thought she’d be able to go to university but she successfully applied for a scholarship when she enrolled in a Bachelor of Social Welfare degree and has just completed her first year.
“I just wanted the chance to be able to help people and the scholarship will allow me to achieve that. I picked Indigenous studies as my major and didn’t necessarily seek top marks but last semester I managed three high distinctions,” Miriam said.
Miriam’s financial needs vary from one semester to another but she says every little bit counts.
“The scholarship helps with my fees and other things like books, a laptop, desk and even rent assistance if I need it. Each time I only ask for what I really need and they make the whole process easy.”
The Destination Australia scholarships are worth up to $15,000 per year and other Southern Cross University scholarships can range in total value from $150 to $32,000.
“While our focus is on promoting and achieving excellence across the board, we are mindful that where possible the process of offering a university education should not discriminate,” said Mr Roche.
“Scholarship provisions can be varied, from as small as assistance with text books through to subsidising fees and other expenses. I encourage anyone, young or mature aged, to put their best foot forward before the end of this year.”