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Understanding scholarships

Frequently asked questions to help you find all the information you need when applying for scholarships.

How do I find a scholarship which I can apply for?

  • Search the scholarship webpage.
  • Visit GivMe, a national database of funding, available free at most public libraries or with secondary school careers advisors.
  • Talk to other students or your tutors.
  • A quick Google search will usually give you an idea of what you are eligible for.

How do I apply?

  • Read the regulations carefully, especially the eligibility criteria, to ensure you are eligible to apply for the award/scholarship.
  • Check for any gender, age, nationality or other special group restrictions on applications and only apply if you meet the criteria.
  • When writing your application, carefully read the selection criteria as this will give you an indication of the attributes the selection committee will be looking for when they award the scholarship.
  • If an external organisation is offering the scholarship, gather as much information as possible on that company, its philosophy and its goals.
  • Check the closing date and make sure that your application arrives in time.

Where do I find the application form?

  • If it is a Wintec scholarship, you can download the application and regulations from the scholarship page.
  • If it is a scholarship offered by an external organization, a link will be available to their website where you can find details of how to obtain an application form. Most applications are available online.
  • Follow instructions as to whether you can only apply online or whether you need to submit a hardcopy.

What is the difference between a scholarship, grant, or award?

  • Scholarships are often awarded based on academic achievement; however, many aren't. This means that you do not always have to be an 'A' student to win a scholarship. The committee may look at your community involvement or extra-curricular activities.
  • A grant is similar to a scholarship. It is a sum of money to fund something such as education.
  • Awards can be given as a prize or reward for different criteria. You may be nominated or can apply yourself.

Can I apply for more than one at a time?

Unless the scholarship regulations specifically mention this, you can normally apply for more than one scholarship. You will need to check the conditions/regulations of each scholarship that you apply for.

I don't meet all the criteria, should I still apply?

  • If you have any questions regarding your eligibility, write, call or email the provider of the scholarship to ensure you have the full details of application procedures and what is expected of a successful applicant.
  • Do not give up if you can not find a scholarship that fits your status right now, keep checking back, as new scholarships may be offered during the year, or you may become eligible in other years of study.

Do you need help to research your whakapapa?

Visit the Wintec library, public library or alternatively contact your Māori Trust Board.

How do I make my scholarship application stand out from the rest?

  • Make sure you give yourself enough time to write and organise your application. Please do not leave it until the closing date.
  • There are often different forms for different scholarships, so ensure you are completing the right form.
  • If you can, type the application and spell-check before submitting.
  • If you are handwriting your application, write neatly and spell correctly. The first impressions of the selection panel will depend on this.
  • Complete the form in black pen. Scholarship application forms are photocopied for the selection committee, and a black pen is the most visible.
  • Complete both sides of the application form and make sure that you answer all questions properly- do not skip any questions.
  • If there is not a question on the application form strictly related to extra-curricula activities, try to include these in a covering letter or personal statement. This could be information about other activities you are involved in, ie, peer- tutoring, coaching, or community involvement.
  • Provide your full and correct address (if this is likely to change during term time, make sure that this is updated).
  • Have someone else proof-read the application before you send it away.
  • As each scholarship has its own particular requirements, make sure you apply for each scholarship separately.
  • Ensure your applications are single-sided and A4 size. Staple once only in the top left-hand corner. Do not bind or submit in a folder.
  • All applications are photocopied for the selection committee, and this will make it easier to be processed.

How do I write a personal statement?

  • Most applications ask for personal or supporting statements. Use this opportunity to tell the selection committee why you should be awarded the scholarship. It is your chance to speak about yourself and provide the selection committee with information that allows them to become acquainted with who you are your study, and your career aspirations, with any relevant work experience, interests and community work, and achievements.
  • This should be typed, but if this is not possible, use neat, legible handwriting.

Who would make a good referee or write a good reference?

  • Only provide references if they are asked for.
  • Make sure your referee has adequate time to prepare a good reference and submit it on time.
  • If references are requested, give your referee a copy of the scholarship regulations so they can be written with a particular focus.
  • Make sure that your referees know about every scholarship you have applied for in which they are listed as a referee.
  • If you are applying for more than one scholarship, please ask your referee to write the relevant scholarship name on each reference.

Have I provided all the required information?

  • Check that you have provided all documents as requested, eg your CV or birth certificate. If you require certified copies of your original documents, you can drop into the Student Enrolment and Information Centre, and they can make certified copies.
  • When documents are requested, supply the documents in the order in which they are requested. If, for some reason, you cannot provide a particular document, please explain why.
  • Attach only the documentation requested.
  • If the scholarship is awarded on academic merit, make sure you attach all academic records.
  • If the scholarship is awarded partly or wholly on factors other than academic merit (such as community involvement, or sporting achievements), make sure you include as much relevant supporting documentation that you can as evidence of your achievements in these areas.

Are there any scholarships available for international students?

  • Wintec does not currently have any scholarships open to international students.
  • For information on scholarships available to international students, please refer to www.education.govt.nz.

I study part-time, are there any scholarships I can apply for?

  • You will need to check the regulations or conditions of each scholarship.
  • Most scholarships will specify whether you have to be enrolled as a full-time student, or if they will accept applications from part-time students.
  • If it does not specify this on the criteria, email the scholarship provider to confirm.

The closing date has passed can I still submit a late application?

  • Scholarships closing dates and times are very strict, and are date-stamped upon receipt.
  • If a scholarship closing date has been extended, this will be advertised.
  • Should you wish to submit a late application- you must first check with the provider, or sponsor, to see if it will be accepted.

What happens if I am short-listed and asked to attend an interview?

  • Congratulations - if you have made it to through to this stage, then you are a finalist, and this is the last stage in the scholarship process.
  • Make sure you are on time, and you know where the interview is to be held.
  • Dress appropriately. Personal presentation is important to consider, and it will be your chance to impress the selection panel.
  • Do some research into the goals and philosophy of the external organisation, or sponsor of the scholarship.
  • Prepare for the interview and write down some possible questions and responses, for example, relating to your study and career aspirations or perhaps positive role-models in your life that have influenced you to pursue this direction of study.
  • Do not be afraid to talk about yourself or ask for clarification of any question that you do not understand.
  • It is normal to be nervous, so try to stay calm and take a few moments to think about the question before responding.
  • Thank the selection panel for the opportunity for the interview and seek clarification if you don't know how, and when you will be informed of the outcome.

I missed out, can I re-apply next year?

  • If the scholarship is offered on an annual basis, check that you will still meet the criteria before you re-apply.
  • Complete a new application and personal statement. Do not recycle a previous application.
  • It may be worthwhile going back to the scholarship provider to ask for any feedback on how you could improve your application, or for any relevant feedback.

I need some further help - where do I go to from here?

  • Seek guidance from a teacher or careers advisor if you are still at secondary school.
  • Get someone else, preferably someone who writes well, to proof-read your application before you submit.
  • Check who is the contact person on the application form of any external scholarship to seek any clarification or questions you may have regarding the scholarship.
  • Email scholarships@wintec.ac.nz.
  • Drop into the Student Life office and speak to the Student Experience Advisor for scholarships advice.

Good luck - we wish you all the very best with your applications. If you have any further questions or need help, please send us an email.