APPLICATION TIPS: How To Write

These tips are for coursework scholarships. Coursework scholarships are for all undergraduate students and any postgraduate students who aren’t undertaking a postgraduate research program.

Generally, coursework scholarships are judged on 3 things:

  1. how well you satisfy the criteria
  2. how your personal circumstances demonstrate your need for the scholarship
  3. your passion for the subject area the scholarship aims to advance.

To submit a great application, keep these guiding points in mind and follow the steps below.

Read and understand the eligibility and selection criteria

Take the time to fully research the aims of the scholarship and its selection criteria.

Submit your application exactly as is asked for. This means paying attending to page or word counts or specific criteria you are asked to demonstrate. Tailor your cover letter to target the aims of the scholarship – don’t use the same cover letter for every scholarship you apply for. This may include demonstrating your passion for the subject area the scholarship is aiming to advance.

Prepare your documents

Usually, this will be a cover letter, your CV, academic transcripts and statements from referees. International students will also need to demonstrate English competency.

Use formal but plain language. Be polite but clear.

Remember that your application needs to stand out among many. Make it easy for the selection panel to read and understand. This means, using consistent formatting (no tiny fonts and squashed margins), white space and heading structures and clear unambiguous language – and no typos! Proofread it thoroughly. A good trick is to read it aloud to yourself to make sure it flows and there are no missing (or extra!) words.

Where you’re providing an example to demonstrate your suitability, try to break it down into:

  • the situation, problem or opportunity
  • your role and what you actually did
  • the outcome, including who was affected.

Likewise, if a referee is writing a statement on your behalf, ask them to follow this format.

If you are submitting your CV, this should also be tailored to target the scholarship criteria. Remove irrelevant detail and consider how your academic accomplishments and the duties of any listed roles demonstrate how you meet these criteria.

When a member of the selection panel is scanning through your application, everything they see should reinforce your suitability for the scholarship – not make them wonder about its relevance.

Submit your application on time

The last thing you want is to put hours of hard work into your scholarship applications, only to find out you’ve missed the deadline. Double check the due dates and mark them in your calendar to make sure you don’t miss out.

Good luck!



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