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Scholarship application preparation

Before you apply for any scholarships - you’ll need to get a few things sorted. Use this guide to help you work through the process.

Which scholarship?

Apply for all the scholarships for which you are eligible. If you aren’t sure, but you can supply sufficient eligibility information for the selection panel to make a decision, apply.

A list of available Entrance Scholarships can be found here.

What to prepare?

Alumni Scholarships

Statement

A 500-word (maximum word limit) statement is required to be uploaded into the eVision online application to apply for these scholarships.

  • Make sure your document includes your name, Otago student identification number, name of the scholarship, and date. A template you may wish to use is available here.
  • Tips for your statement – be honest; try not to tell the panel what they already know (that university is expensive or that flights are costly); check for spelling and grammatical errors.

Income and Asset Declaration form

You are required to provide a declaration of personal and parental assets and income.

Referee

A referee's name and contact information (email address) is required during the application process. Please keep the following in mind when approaching a potential referee:

  • Your referee must agree to provide a reference for you. If you provide the name of a referee who has not agreed to provide a reference, this will disqualify your application from further consideration.
  • When entering referee details online, you will need to provide the email address for your selected referee, so make sure you ask for this when talking to your referee.
  • Your referee must be willing and able to provide their reference by the reference due date (TBC for the scholarships opening on 1 November).
  • The statement you provide as part of your application will be provided to your referee to assist them in writing their reference.   

Performance Scholarships

Statements

You are required to provide three to five statements describing significant activities that demonstrate excellence in performance. These may include examinations passed, selection for stage or musical roles, or representative teams.

  • Put your most significant performance statement first.
  • There is a limit of 500 characters for each statement (approximately 50 words), but brief is better.
  • If your performance activity isn’t likely to be well known by the selection panel, it is still really important that you state it, making sure you start the statement with a few key words as a sentence: e.g. “Lead guitarist in NZ winning 2016 Battle of the Bands”. You can then follow up with a further few words such as: “Selected from 120 bands from all over NZ”.
  • Your performance activities do not have to be from 2016 or 2017, but the more recent they are, the more likely they are to be relevant to your future as a University of Otago Entrance Scholarship recipient.
  • You do not have to be intending to continue in your performance activity when you attend the University of Otago, nor do you have to be studying in a relevant discipline.
  • You may upload additional written documents to support your statements, but they will only be referred to if necessary.
  • We recommend writing your statements in an external programme, such as a Word, then copy and pasting them into the online scholarship application as eVision will log you out after 15 minutes.

Referee

A referee's name and contact information (email address) is required during the application process. Please keep the following in mind when approaching a potential referee:

  • Your referee must agree to provide a reference for you. If you provide the name of a referee who has not agreed to provide a reference, this will disqualify your application from further consideration.
  • When entering referee details online, you will need to provide the email address for your selected referee, so make sure you ask for this when talking to your referee.
  • Your referee must be willing and able to provide their reference by the reference due date (TBC for the scholarships opening on 1 November).
  • Statements you provide as part of your application will be provided to your referee to assist them in writing their reference.

Donna-Rose McKay Scholarships

Statements

Two statements are required to be uploaded into the eVision online application to apply for this scholarship. Make sure your documents include your name, Otago student identification number, name of the scholarship, and date. A template you may wish to use is available here.

  • one personal statement of no more than 250 words outlining the circumstances for applying for the scholarship and how the award would assist studying at the University of Otago.
  • one personal statement of no more than 250 words outlining your disability or disabilities.

Supporting documents

You will need to provide a statement from a suitably qualified professional confirming you have a disability.

Income and Asset Declaration Form

You are required to provide a declaration of personal and parental assets and income.

Referee

A referee's name and contact information (email address) is required during the application process. Please keep the following in mind when approaching a potential referee:

  • Your referee must agree to provide a reference for you. If you provide the name of a referee who has not agreed to provide a reference, this will disqualify your application from further consideration.
  • When entering referee details online, you will need to provide the email address for your selected referee, so make sure you ask for this when talking to your referee.
  • Your referee must be willing and able to provide their reference by the reference due date (TBC for the scholarships opening on 1 November).
  • Statements you provide as part of your application will be provided to your referee to assist them in writing their reference.

For all Entrance Scholarships

You will also be asked:

  • About when you were in Year 12 (your second to last year of secondary school in the New Zealand system).
  • Your total numbers of NCEA Level 2 and Level 3 credits, and how many at Merit and Excellence at each level.
  • To comment on your academic achievements in Year 12 – this gives you the opportunity to advise if you were Year 12 Top Scholar at your school, or you broke your arm during the year which affected your internal assessments. You do not need to make any comments.
  • If you have done, or are doing, a foundation level course or something similar.
  • If you have applied, or intend to apply, for a place in a residential college.

These are questions that assist us with the context of your academic achievements. You may (but it is not a mandatory field) upload a copy of your NCEA or other results.

Declaration

There is a declaration that you must agree with before you can submit your eVision online scholarship application. In general terms, the declaration covers:

  • Your application and its privacy.
  • That you have read and understood the regulation for the scholarships.
  • That you have stated and uploaded true and correct information.
  • That you have written original statements.
  • That you accept the decisions made by the University of Otago, and that all decisions are final and that you understand no correspondence will be entered into in relation to the decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may also like to look at the entrance scholarships frequently asked questions.