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).


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

So if you think studying for free would be pretty sweet, read on… 

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 

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. There's likely to be a scholarships department you can get in touch with to find out more but this information will also be available on their website so maybe check there first. 

Ask your careers advisor 

If you’re in high school, make it a point to go see your school’s careers advisor. Not only will they be a great source of knowledge about what you might be able to apply for, they can also help you with your applications. 

It does take a fair bit of time and commitment to research scholarships and then apply for them, however, the rewards are pretty great and the odds you’ll be successful may be a lot better than you think!

Find out more about managing your money

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