According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 18-35 year olds living in metropolitan Melbourne (53 per cent) are two to three times as likely as those in regional areas (13-27 per cent) to hold a Bachelor Degree or higher.*
The new Regional Benefits Program will see regional students with a minimum ATAR of 80 guaranteed a scholarship of $2,000 per year for the duration of their course, if they study at one of La Trobe’s regional campuses – Bendigo, Mildura, Shepparton or Albury-Wodonga.
This rises to $5,000 for regional students with an ATAR over 95.
La Trobe will also offer these high-achievers a guaranteed a place in the course of their choice running at any regional campus, subject to course requirements**
The program also gives students access to a range of exclusive opportunities – including leadership development seminars, career support, and priority access to industry mentoring and work placements. Students will also receive support to help take up international study opportunities.
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Regional), Professor Richard Speed, said the program is one of number of La Trobe-led initiatives whose ambition is to reduce the ‘brain drain’ to metropolitan areas, and give students facing financial hardship every opportunity to attend university.
“We believe that financial hardship should never be a barrier to university, and we are doing everything we can to ensure regional students fulfil their higher education goals,” Professor Speed said.
“This new Regional Benefits Program represents a commitment of over $1 million, which will go directly to high-achieving regional students – many of whom might not otherwise be able to attend university.”
“The program complements other initiatives we already have in place to attract students from rural and regional areas, including our successful Aspire program, which recognises community excellence with an early conditional offer and study support.”
Professor Speed said the Regional Benefits Program will also help regional Victoria retain some of the state’s best and the brightest students – to study and then, eventually, to work.
“With rural shortages across the country in professions such as teaching, nursing, social work, medicine, dentistry and allied health, keeping these students in the bush is vital for the future of our regional cities and towns,” Professor Speed said.
This program is additional to a large suite of scholarships, totalling millions of dollars, offered to La Trobe’s regional students who face financial hardship. These scholarships have no ATAR requirements and are funded by the university, philanthropic donation and by La Trobe staff.
The Regional Benefits Program is open to all regional students. Please note that Biomedical Science (Medical) and Dentistry have their own unique benefits programs for regional students.
For more information, visit www.latrobe.edu.au/regional-benefits
Other support available for regional and rural students
The Regional Benefits Program is the second major program La Trobe offers to help regional students attend university. The Aspire Program recognises community excellence with an early conditional offer, and access to exclusive enrichment opportunities.
In Albury-Wodonga, La Trobe has developed a Year 11 Pathways program which has increased the success rate of regional students attending university from around 20 per cent to over 40 per cent. This has also commenced in Shepparton.
*2016 Census data, www.abs.gov.au
** 85 ATAR required for dentistry and physiotherapy
Media contact: Kate O’Connor | T 03 54447415 | M 0436 189 629