Scholarship support is worth the effort

Scholarship support is worth the effort

29 Sep 2008

In 2008, La Trobe University offered scholarships valued at more than $3.3 million to commencing and current students. The Vice Chancellor's Regional Scholarships (VCRS) are an excellent example of the scholarships that are on offer for regional students, with up to five Albury-Wodonga campus students being able to benefit to the value of $3,000 dollars for each year of their degree.

The VCRS are also available for students commencing first-year, full-time undergraduate studies at each of La Trobe's other regional campuses at Shepparton, Bendigo and Mildura. The focus for the scholarships is financially disadvantaged students who are both community-minded and committed to their studies.

This year's Albury-Wodonga VCRS recipient, Shannon Cross, and 2007 recipient, Sean Gleeson, say the money will help to pay for the 'hidden' costs of studying.

First year Arts student, Shannon, says she found out about the scholarship at the campus Open Day. "I feel very lucky - it's a big help," she says. "I work part-time in retail, and even though my bosses are very flexible and understanding, it is still hard juggling full-time University and work."

While she has a few years to go before she completes her degree, Shannon's ambition is to work as a journalist at a regional newspaper once she is qualified.

"The scholarship is really helping cover books at the moment, and I am saving the rest of this year's money for when other costs come up," she says.

For 2007 recipient, Sean Gleeson, the scholarship has been a godsend. Last year, Sean was required on campus four days a week, and 'just to pay the rent' and buy food, had to work each day he wasn't on campus.

"Pretty much, with out it, (the scholarship) I would not have been able to afford to stay at University. When I started University, I wasn't eligible for Austudy because I wasn't classified as 'independent', but I was still living out of home, so things were really tight on my three-day-a-week wage."

Originally, Sean didn't think he would be eligible to apply for a scholarship.

"The people at the Open Day display said I should try my luck. You know, I thought there were many more people much more deserving then I was. It was fantastic to be selected!"

Now in his second year of Environmental Management and Ecology, Sean hopes that he will get a job working in water management. "This year is much easier, I get Austudy now, and with the scholarship I don't have to work every day I'm not at Uni. It's good to have a day off!"

Sean recommends that anyone considering studying at La Trobe to apply for scholarships "Even if you don't think you will 'win', as you never know. And it is a big help, even just to put it towards a computer, or books, even petrol money, it really makes a difference."

Leo Whyte, Future Students Adviser at the Albury-Wodonga campus, said, "I recommend that Year 12 students carefully research all the scholarships on offer for 2009, including campus-specific options, via La Trobe's scholarship website - and take particular note of the application closing dates which start as early as October 10th for some scholarships. It is also important to consider the application pathway, with some scholarships now able to be applied for through the VTAC and UAC systems."

Visit La Trobe Scholarships and Prizes for further information.

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