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Confused about what an academic scholarship entails? You're not alone. Choice Education Group offers Scholarship-specific educational programs and tutoring to set your child up for success.
Academic Scholarships are scholarships to independent schools across Australia. It is an award of recognition or financial aid that a student may study at a particular high-achieving school.
Students will sit a Select Entry Test to enter into a selective school, or a Scholarship Test to be accepted into a school’s accelerated program, or to be awarded a scholarship to cover tuition.
Schools that offer scholarships will propose them on the basis of particular criteria; this often includes academic merit, but may also include financial need, diversity or a specific skill in a different area, such as athletics. Notably, scholarships often reflect the values of the founder presenting the award, so it is necessary to research your selected schools and scholarships before applying to see whether you are a prime candidate.
Financial assistance offered as part of a scholarship will vary: some require no repayment, while others cover only part of the student’s tuition. Regardless of the scholarship, most schools will require the student to meet their academic expectations from entry to completion, with top-end grades and grade point averages maintained throughout their study.
Test dates will vary at the discretion of the school, and are not isolated to one particular month. If you are unsure when your preferred school is testing, visit ACER or edutest and click on your respective state for a full list of testing dates, Australia-wide. However, if your child is sitting a cooperative scholarship test, a common examination date is typically set.
You will need to note the closing date for Scholarship applications at your chosen school, which is often 1-3 weeks prior to the test itself.
Cooperative scholarship testing allows a student to sit one examination, for which can be submitted to a number of schools. The program is open to students entering Year 7 or 8; Year 9 or 10; and those entering Year 11 or 12.
Your child will nominate their order of preference, and their results will be shared between the participating schools. They will also be required to take the scholarship test at their first preference school.
If you live in Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia or Queensland, you are in luck, as the cooperative scholarship testing program runs in each of these states.
Some schools will only consider your child if they have placed said school as their first preference.
Students applying to sit the cooperative scholarship test for example should be aware that doing so does not make acceptance to one of your preferred schools automatic. Some participating schools feel strongly about only accepting students who have nominated their institution as first priority on their application.
Tests are not only curriculum-based and will rather test your child’s ability to interpret, infer, deduce and think critically.
Unlike the content-based summative tests most students are used to taking in their respective schools, Scholarship Tests are known as proficiency or aptitude tests, which are designed to assess your overall knowledge, skill set and ability in numeracy and literacy.
Many schools will insist that such tests cannot be learned. While this is true, our online tutors at Choice Education are ready to assist. Our Scholarship Preparation Courses help students build upon their foundation knowledge and strategies for learning the necessary transferable skills that are not only applicable to every day life, but will help them to perform better in the Scholarship Test.
Navigating the scholarship journey is complicated enough without the added confusion of alternating jargon between schools. While we have listed some key facts above, when in doubt, it is best to research the website of the school or schools your child will be applying to. Luckily, ACER is a fantastic source of scholarship information, and provides further details on the various programs on their site.
Alternatively, our Scholarship Courses at Choice Education will prepare your child with the information and skills they need to understand the scholarship process and perform to the best of their ability during the test itself – and beyond.