7 tips for acing your scholarship application

12 Aug 2020

Scholarships are available to help you to study and excel during your time at UQ, and they can take the financial stress out of university. And you don't have to be at the top of the class to be awarded a scholarship.

But applying for scholarships can seem daunting.

To help you on your scholarship journey, we asked our resident guru in all things engineering, information technology and computer science scholarships, Gail Smith, for her top scholarship application tips.

Gail is the Scholarships Officer for the Faculty, and is always happy to answer any scholarship questions.

1. Know what’s out there (keep an eye on UQ scholarships – it’s the best place to get the most up-to-date info).

Check the UQ Scholarships website frequently because new scholarships are becoming available all the time. Your eligibility may also change throughout your studies, so it’s a good idea to double check the website and what is available to you every semester.

Take a careful look through the different categories – you might be eligible for more than you think, for example, academic merit-based, residential college or financial need scholarships, or scholarships for specific study areas.

Don't know where to start? Browse some of the Scholarships available to UQ engineering, information technology and computer science students on our Faculty Scholarships page.

2. Get organised early (definitely don’t miss the deadline.)

Some scholarships require references or recommendations or evidence of financial hardship, like proof of income, government assistance or ATO notices. There are lots of ways to show this (see tip #6) – ask us and we can talk you through it.

All scholarships require a resume with current study and work experience – factor extra time in to develop these and present them professionally.

It’s also great to include a cover letter that addresses the selection criteria for the scholarship you are applying for. Let us know how this scholarship could help you. Make an impact here – this is a chance for you to stand out from the other applicants.

The employability website has resources to help you create a stand-out resume and write a great cover letter.  

3. Do the research – all the info you need to ace the application is there in the scholarship rules.

If you’re shortlisted for a scholarship, do some research on the scholarship before your interview.

This may include reading up on the organisation or donor that is supporting the scholarship, as well as reviewing the content you have submitted for your application and familiarising yourself with the interview panel members.

Obviously, you need to make a good impression – dress to impress. Business attire is recommended (even if it’s just a Zoom meeting).

4. Ask questions – that’s what I’m here for.

Email me, Gail Smith, on scholarships@eait.uq.edu.au.

I can especially help with questions around scholarship rules and whether you are eligible.

5. Pay it forward – tell your friends and classmates about UQ scholarships.

Sometimes we have multiple recipients each semester and you could help a friend by sharing what you know.

Your peers and teachers may also be able to offer some advice regarding your application – ask around for tips.

6. Many students don't realise they are eligible for financial need scholarships.

Many of EAIT’s scholarships are based on assessing your financial need and awarding funds that can support you during your time at UQ.

We need you to help us build a picture that shows a UQ scholarship could support you while you study. This can be achieved in many ways, some of the information that you might like to provide could include:

  • Your living situation:
    • Living at home supported by parents?
    • Independent and working part time to support yourself while studying?
    • You may have a large family with several dependants that impacts your ability to support yourself.
    • Are you from a rural or regional location and have had to relocate?
    • Has your family been drought, flood or fire-affected?
  • Are you receiving government assistance (via Centrelink)?
  • Show us proof of income like pay slips.
  • Show us bank statements that indicate financial need.
  • Share your Australian Tax Office (ATO) Notice of Assessment.

Everyone’s situation is unique, and demonstrating financial need can be a sensitive issue. You can be assured that all information provided during the scholarship application process remains confidential.

If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible or how to demonstrate your financial need, ask us for help at scholarships@eait.uq.edu.au

7. Once you have a scholarship…

Make the most of this opportunity and build a relationship with your donor or supporting organisation.

Graduate opportunities, vacation work and strong network connections are all amazing perks of receiving a scholarship at UQ.

Stay in touch, keep your supporters up to date with your studies and your life – donors love to hear more about you and the impact they’ve been able to have on you. Even after graduating, you might like to stay connected.

Explore the scholarships available on UQ Scholarships and apply online.