A wide range of scholarships are available to school leavers to support them to enter tertiary study. The links below will take you to lists of scholarships that you can research and apply for. It is worth spending time finding scholarships that you are eligible for and putting some time into applying.

Before applying for any scholarship, make sure you read the “Top Tips For Applying For Scholarships” at the bottom of this page.

Money Hub

The Money Hub website provides a very useful resource page to access information about a huge range of scholarships in New Zealand.  The site is regularly updated. 

Money Hub scholarship site

Additional scholarship information held by St Mary’s College

Additional information about a range of scholarships is received by St Mary’s College.  You can access information that we have received recently using the links below:

New Zealand University Scholarship information for school leavers

Each university has a range of scholarships designed for school leavers. Check the links below for details.
Auckland University scholarships

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) scholarships

Waikato University scholarships

Massey University scholarships

Victoria University of Wellington scholarships

University of Canterbury scholarships

Lincoln University scholarships

University of Otago scholarships


Studylink provides information to students about funding tertiary study and managing financial arrangements: Studylink website 

Other useful financial information can be found on the Money Hub website:

Money Hub information on student loans 


1. Know what’s on offer, and focus on the most suitable options

Sometimes competition for one particular scholarship is very strong and they are usually judged by panels of people. You can increase your chances of receiving one by applying for as many as you qualify for. But, focus most on those that specifically relate to you. For example, if you're an all-round cricket player and there is a relevant cricket scholarship, put more effort into that in comparison to a general scholarship.

2. Shortlist, and make sure you qualify for what you want to apply for

Make a list of the scholarships that match your eligibility. Be sure to double check the dates and allow plenty of time to complete the application. If you think you meet the requirements but are not sure, contact the scholarship provider well in advance to clarify.

3. Gather your information so you can efficiently complete every scholarship

To apply for a scholarship, you will need to fill out forms and supply documents to support your application. You may also be asked to attend an interview with the selection panel. Some things you may be asked to provide with your application are:

  • proof of citizenship or residency status (eg birth certificate, passport)

  • evidence of community involvement, financial hardship or ethnic background

  • letter of approval from your school

  • list of referees

  • record of learning

  • bank details, IRD number

You need to collect and certify all the necessary documents. If necessary, to certify your documents, take the original and a photocopy to an authorised person* who will check both documents and sign the copy to show it is a true reproduction of the original.

*An authorised person could be a teacher, kaumātua, minister of religion, police officer, registered medical professional, solicitor or Justice of the Peace. This may depend on the individual scholarship, so it is best to check.

Useful links:

4. Make the best possible impression with your written application, every time

Spend as much time on the application as is necessary to get it right.  The competition is so strong for some scholarships that any oversights could see you miss out, even if you were the strongest applicant.   What you write on paper will matter.

To write the best application: 

  • Read widely about the scholarship - know its purpose and background.

  • Get as much information about the scholarship as possible by checking all information on its website. 

  • If the scholarship is funded by a company, gather information to understand that company’s philosophy and goals.

  • Read and follow all instructions carefully.

  • Presentation is very important - first impressions count. Make it professional. Avoid using informal language of any kind.

  • Supply the documents in the order in which they are requested.

  • Use the same style of writing and pen throughout the application;use only blue or black ink if you are hand-writing the application.

  • Use neat, legible handwriting if this is required, but type your application if possible.

  • Do not use the same application to apply for two separate scholarships.  For each scholarship, make a new and targeted application.

5. Select the best referees you can

  • Ensure that your referees are the appropriate people to provide the right kind of information for the selection panel.   For example, if they need to know about your sport or leadership capabilities, ensure the referee you provide has worked with you extensively and can specify your qualities in detail. 

  • Always make sure that your referees know of every scholarship you have applied for so they can provide the appropriate information to each scholarship panel. 

  • Don’t be shy about contacting referees - you need them, and they will very likely be happy to support you, so don't be afraid to ask.

  • Referee’s statements or references have to meet closing dates, so make sure your referees meet the deadlines.

6. Make sure your referees meet your deadlines

  • Give your referees plenty of time to get your reference completed and submitted on time.  You may be under the impression that adults meet deadlines and are never late, but unfortunately this is not always the case.  

  • Ask your referees to have their references completed and back to you at least one week before the closing date.   Set a deadline for your referee that is earlier than the closing date so that you don’t miss out if they run a day late.

  • Stay in touch with your referee and make sure they know when your deadline is approaching.   Your application is very important to you, but it may be less important to your referee, especially if he/she is completing many requests from your different students.

7. Checklist for submitting your application

When submitting any scholarship application, ensure that you have:

  • Completed all the necessary forms.

  • Supplied all the required supporting documents, and that these are signed as authorised copies, if this has been requested.

  • Listed the names of referees and their contact details, and included references (if requested).

  • Make sure that your referees submit their references by the due date. 

  • Meet the closing date and submit on time.

8. Ask someone else to check your application before you submit it

Get someone else to check that you have answered all questions, included all the requested supporting documents, provided documents in the required format, chosen appropriate referees, and provided all the right contact information for yourself and your referees.

2022 University Update

Scholarships for most universities are now open or will be opening shortly. Most close from mid- August to early September. If you are interested in applying for scholarships you need to get started early and spend some time on your application to be successful. There is a personal statement template in the Year 13 classroom. The University of Canterbury has already run a session. If you missed this there is an excellent YouTube presentation including sample applications and what they are looking for.
You can see the video here:

Each university will come back in later in the year to help with course planning, applications and to answer any questions you may have. 

Please note important dates:

Halls of Residence applications open on the 1st August.

Wellington Tertiary Open Day is on 26th August.