Scholarship tips

Scholarships help make studying less costly and less stressful.

While it may seem a lot of effort at first, the time you spend applying for scholarships really pays off in the long run.

We've got some simple tips to save you time so you can focus on putting together your best possible application and increase your chances of getting a scholarship.

Tip 1 - Know what's out there

There are lots of scholarships around, from tertiary institutes, government departments, iwi and hapū trusts.

Luckily, there are many databases with useful scholarship information, so the scholarships are there for you to find.

Now that you're here, check out the Kia Ora Hauora Scholarships Database which focuses on Māori and Health scholarships available.

Other websites that have scholarship information just for Māori secondary and tertiary students include:

When you navigate the database, focus on:

  • Scholarships for your particular studies and level of study. So if you are studying medicine at Auckland University, search what's available for medical students, and students at Auckland University. There may be various scholarships depending on whether you are a first year student, or in your final year of study.
  • Scholarships for your gender, age, or ethnicity - check out any specific scholarships that suit you, for example as a Māori woman returning to study.
  • Scholarships for your iwi - check out what is available from your hapū and iwi. It also pays to check out if there are any scholarships for people who come from your hometown. For example, some scholarships are for people from certain areas who have to leave home to study in other areas.

Don't forget to explore the Māori liaison and support staff at your tertiary institute as well. They can help you identify the best scholarships to apply for and also help put your application together. See our Māori support section on the website for contact details.

Tip 2 - Check if you qualify for the scholarship

Each scholarship is designed for particular groups or studies and have eligibility conditions attached to them. Read over the scholarship information carefully to make sure you meet the requirements, otherwise it's a waste of your time.

Once you know all the scholarships you can apply for, make up a table or list for yourself that will remind you of scholarships to apply for, by when, and what you will need to get ready. For example, it could look something like this:

Scholarship Name:

Contact Details:

Closing Date:

Application requirements:



Tip 3 - Get all your information together

Most scholarships require similar information when you apply.

These can include some of the following

  • Proof of citizenship or residency status (e.g. birth certificate, passport)
  • Proof of enrolment (available from your tertiary institute)
  • Record of learning and evidence of academic achievements (previous exam results, Tohu, awards etc.)
  • Whakapapa (many times this will need to be verified, or you are required to register with your iwi/ hapū organisation)
  • Evidence of community involvement (awards, certificates, referees from community groups etc.)
  • Financial hardship (a copy of your budget with expected income & expenditure for the year)
  • References
  • Bank details (sometimes a verified bank deposit slip is required)
  • IRD number

It pays to compile all this information together in a folder and make some copies, so that when you find a scholarship you want to apply for you have all the information you need to supply.

Tip 4 - Submit a great application

Remember that a lot of tauira are applying for scholarships, and the people who decide who gets the scholarships have a lot to read through before they make their decisions. To improve your chances, make sure you:

  • Submit your application on time - every time. No excuses, they want to know you can spot a deadline!
  • Complete the right form and answer every question. If the question does not apply to you, write N/A - but don't leave it blank, otherwise they may think you just missed the question.
  • Attach all the supporting information requested in the application. Try to keep it to the most relevant and best information. You may be extremely proud of awards you won when you were 12 years old, but if they do not relate to the scholarship you are applying for then leave them out!
  • Put everything in order and either staple or bind the application together. Assessors don't want applications falling apart, or having to search through your application trying to find things. Your application will stand out if it's well put together, has all the information requested and is easy for the assessor to follow.

It may seem a lot to do the first time, but once you have everything together, it becomes easier. Consider it as payment for your efforts.

Receiving a scholarship that helps you and your whānau financially for the year will be worth the effort!