Uni hacks: how to ace your scholarship application

Male student at computer looking at camera with coy smile

Are you worried about how you’re going to afford uni life? A scholarship is one way to take the financial stress out of coming to university. At Charles Sturt University (CSU), we have over $3 million in scholarships and grants. And you might be eligible for a piece of the pie just by applying.

Before you get started on your application, you might want to check out the different types of scholarships on offer at CSU – and find out which ones you’re eligible for.

From there, it’s time to start your application. Most CSU scholarship applications involve pulling together a range of documentation. Make sure you read the requirements of your specific scholarships, but you may need to include things like an up-to-date résumé, your ATAR or an essay detailing your academic achievements or community involvement.

The scholarships team spend a great deal of time assessing each application and know from experience that the students who make the short list don’t just meet the eligibility criteria – they also write a compelling application.

Five tips for an awesome scholarship application

You don’t need to be a great essay writer or the world’s best student to be awarded a scholarship – but you do need to apply.

Looking for some inspiration to complete your application? Take a moment to read our top tips for an awesome scholarship application.

  1. Don’t rule yourself out of the running. Many scholarships get left on the shelf simply because people assume they won’t get one, so they don’t even apply. Go for it!
  2. Don’t assume financial hardship doesn’t apply to you. It’s simply about those finding it difficult to provide for themselves or their family while studying. If you’re working to support yourself and this cuts into your study time, that’s financial hardship. The secret is to tell us why it’s tough.
  3. Don’t think it’s too hard or not worth the effort. It’s not as hard or as time consuming as you think – 75 per cent of our applicants say it’s easy! So, what are you waiting for?
  4. Answer the questions. Don’t skip questions just because you think they don’t apply to you. And make sure you take the time to write more than one line – a couple of sentences will increase your chances. The panel is interested in YOU! Tell them about yourself.
  5. Check your application before submitting. Make sure you’ve attached any documents required and give your application a good proofing. Ask family and friends to read over your responses, just to be sure you’ve covered everything.

Scholarship tips from a CSU insider

Insight sat down with Melissa Peake, Scholarships Coordinator at CSU, to get the inside scoop on applying for a CSU scholarship.

Why are scholarships beneficial to students?

There are many reasons scholarships are beneficial.

  • They can be the difference between a student studying or choosing another path due to finances.
  • They alleviate financial pressure on the student and, at times, the family of the student. The relief from financial pressure could mean more time to devote to studying instead of working.
  • They can assist with specific costs relating to your degree.

Are scholarships hard to get?

No. Each student has a unique and individual set of life circumstances. CSU has loads of scholarships and grants. Some are tailored to commencing or continuing students, specific courses, areas you’ve lived, or volunteer or community work.

What advice do you have for a prospective or current student thinking about submitting an application?

  • Research the scholarship and grant opportunities you may be eligible for.
  • Start early, bookmark the web pages and come back to them if they aren’t open or you don’t have all your documentation ready.
  • Complete the application with lots of detail about your circumstances.
  • Back yourself up with documentation that supports the information you’ve put in your application.
  • Sell yourself – put your best foot forward and treat it like a job application.
  • Some scholarships require a personal statement – share your story and tell us how this scholarship could make a difference to you.
  • Edit your application.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed by the process!

What makes a stand-out application?

The best thing you can do is include lots of details in your responses. Also, supporting documentation can make a big difference to your application, as it backs up the claims you’re making.

Ready to get started on your application?

Explore CSU’s range of scholarships to find ones your eligible for. Then apply online!