Scholarships, Grants & Awards

Interest free student loans may be a really handy way to fund your studies…. but imagine if you didn’t have to pay that money back?  

That’s the deal with the large number of scholarships, grants and awards up for grabs in New Zealand (and overseas). So if you think studying for free would be pretty sweet, read on… 

Too many students miss out on opportunities to get their tertiary study partially or even completely paid for because they don’t know about all the scholarships available to them. 

There are literally thousands of different scholarships, grants and awards available for New Zealand students, it's definitely worth dedicating some time to look into what you might be able to apply for.  

Would you be eligible to apply for a scholarship, grant or award? 

The short answer is: YES, go for it!  

The range of scholarships, grants and awards in New Zealand are open to a really wide range of students, not just the super high achievers, because not all scholarships are based on academic achievement.  

You will need to meet certain criteria but this can be based on things as varied as: 

  • The subject/topic you want to study  
  • Academic merit 
  • Community service or involvement 
  • Ethnicity  
  • Gender 
  • Financial hardship 
  • The industry or trade your course relates to 
  • Leadership roles  
  • Disabilities 
  • The region you grew up in, or where you plan to study. 

There are different scholarships, grants and awards for different types of education levels (e.g. a certificate, diploma or Bachelor’s degree) and they all differ in terms of what they cover. For instance, some scholarships will cover a portion of your course fees while others might cover course related costs as well as living expenses. 

There are literally thousands of different scholarships, grants and awards available for New Zealand students so it’s worth dedicating some time to thoroughly look into what you might be able to apply for.  


givME is hands down one of the best resources for searching for scholarships and yet surprisingly few students know about it.  

It is essentially an easily searchable online database of nearly 4,000 funding opportunities covering everything from study, research, arts, sports and more.  

You can access this database for free at any public library as well as most universities, polytechnics and community centres. Many high schools also have access to givME so it’s worth checking with your school as you will need a login.  

Check in with unis, polytechs and wānanga 

Many universities, polytechs and other education providers offer their own scholarships, grants and awards. Most have scholarship departments you can get in touch with to find out more or check on their website first.

Also check out the website, they have links to all of the NZ university scholarships available.

What about a sports scholarship

If you're keen on sport you might want to have a look in to sports scholarships. NZ has some great organisations that offer financial support to budding athletes, here are a couple of websites to check out:

Ever thought about trying for a sport scholarship in the USA? Take a look at this website to find out more:

Ask your careers advisor 

If you’re in high school, go see your careers advisor. They're a great source of knowledge, and they can also help you with putting together your applications. 

It takes a bit of time and commitment to research scholarships and apply for them, however, the rewards are awesome and the odds of being successful may be a lot better than you think!

Find out more about managing your money

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