I feel like we’ve reached that the time in the year where you start wanting more helpful information from me as you begin to prepare for external exams, those of you doing NCEA anyway (I am seriously lacking in knowledge on IB and Canebridge sorry!)

The biggest barrier to University and what I would say is the second biggest worry for students is money.

The unavoidable costs of University are astronomical and I promise I am not trying to deter you from attending and pursuing your dream careers because hope is available in the form of scholarships!

Course Fees

Obviously while you are attending University your primary concern will be how to pay for the degree you are intending to study. This is the major hurdle for most students and while it can be put straight onto a student loan, first year course fees are typically $7000-$8000!

Books, resources and what not

Yes your course fees are going to be expensive and whilst they do cover almost everything, some classes have additional textbooks that you are required to purchase. Say hello to extremely heavy and expensive textbooks between $140-$190. Fortunately, you can find most of these books second hand on Facebook, trademe or past students. Another way to save money is by getting a slightly older version of the textbook provided content hasn’t changed much (don’t worry your lecturer will tell you). On top of this some classes have course guides which are basically your bible for the course and absolutely essential.


If you are reading this you are most likely interested in applying for the University of Auckland. Regardless of where you choose to go to University, accommodation is going to be one the biggest choices you make and in most places (especially Auckland)- a huge cost. One of the best decisions I have made was choosing to come live in University Hall one of the residential halls here and is an experience I would strongly recommend it to anyone. Although the benefits greatly outweigh the costs the cost sadly remains at $351 each week which covers washing, accommodation, food, water, power, internet.

But don’t worry just yet there is hope. This hope is in the form of scholarships and trust me a lot of scholarships are available.

What can you do?

Sadly you do actually have to apply for the scholarships in order to get them and they can be quite time consuming. There are so many scholarships out there that there literally multiple applicable to every single person, it just takes time to find them and apply. To make this easier there are different categories and websites you can look on. The best thing you can do is work the hardest you can in year 12, level 2 NCEA or equivalent as this is the results used. Also start making a CV of literally everything you think might put you in favour over another applicant.

I promise you that although it may seem tedious and you may feel like you have no chance, you will be surprised. Someone has to win them, why not you? I was lucky enough to get awarded the University of Auckland Scholarship which is the biggest scholarship available and it has made such a difference, covering course fees, a mentor, $5000 cash and money for two fares home. Like most scholarships this was awarded not on academics alone but also on leadership, sport, cultural activities. At the time I applied for this I was so busy and I almost missed out on submitting my application but now I am so glad I didn’t!

So while it may all seem pointless now, keep on keeping on!