Scholarships are a great way to kick start your first year at university. Regardless of what year group you’re in, it’s never too early or too late to start making a game plan. 

As a born and bred Wellingtonian, staying in a halls of residence was always on the cards for me. Auckland university was going to be the first step I took on my own two feet, into all new environment, with all new people. Yet there was one thing holding me back – yup, you guessed it, that 16K hall fee. Much to my relief, I was lucky enough to be awared a scholarship to cover that astronomical cost. But then again, I shouldn’t say ‘lucky’, because in my opinion you make your own luck. And when it comes to getting a scholarship, you’ve got to be in it to win it. So here’s a few tips to get you started! 


Tip 1: Start Caring about School 

Being a studious student in my argyle sweater

I know that people always says that “what you do in high school doesn’t matter”. To some extent, I agree, because in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t. But, if you want to noticed by the university it’s a whole different story.  I’m not saying you have to be a straight excellence student, but you should give everything a good crack – not only because you want to score some money further down the track (I mean yeah, who doesnt?!) but also because giving a damn about school from a young age will set you up in good stead for uni (where trust me, you won’t have any teacher nagging you to hand in an assessment). 



Tip 2: “The Holy Trio” 

High school prefect committee !

Now having top grades is all good and well, but UoA is all about balance, which is why scholarships are often handed to those who have emulated this in their high school years. In my opinion, academics, co corricualrs and leadership skills are “the holy trio” that UoA is looking out for in its candidates.

With all that Auckland university life has to offer, from clubs to concerts, its easy to forget that we are actually here to get an education, so it makes sense that universities are looking for people with a great academic record. Your year 12 grades are critical, so I would recommend buckling down for those end of year exams.

Y12 Rotary Science Forum hosted by UoA and AUT (this was a good way to get a taste of uni life!)

When it comes to co curriculars, I would suggest you engage in things that you’re passionate about. Sports were never my strong suit, where instead, I loved getting out and about in the community. I spent time volunteering at the cancer society, taking part in fundraisers, and providing academic mentoring (then again, maybe I should have done a bit more sport, because I am currently writing this article whilst laying flat on my back as a result of my body having gone into shock after I did a singular pushup last night). In my opinion, to get a scholarship you don’t have to be the BEST; you don’t have to be the top sportsperson, or lead in every musical, you just have to give things a go!  The final thing you want to have think about is leadership. Consider coaching a sporting team, applying for your schools prefect comittee, or starting a club – anything that places you in a role where you have to take charge and motivate others.


Tip 3: Have fun with it !

Now in saying all of this, I don’t want you to think that you have to go sign up for everything that I mentioned in this article –  because if you do something just for the sake of it, not because you actually want to, its going to be a long journey. Don’t join the table tennis, badminton and debate team just because you want to look good on paper. Do activities that are fun for you, and take subjects that interest you – because if you’re doing things that you love, it will never feel like work. 

Relay for life <3

Volunteering at the Cancer Society








It’s important to remember that even if you don’t hit the jackpot with one of those 20K scholarships, there are still some smaller ones available. Take a look at the list below to see what you might be eligible for!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but you’ve got to be in it to win it. Getting a scholarship isn’t down to sheer luck. So if you want it, then I say give it your all and go for it. If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below !

Well thats all from me for now ! Talk soon, Aishani :))