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Eligibility

Question:

I am a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, but I have been at a high school overseas recently. Can I apply?

Answer:

Yes, so long as you meet other eligibility criteria.

Please refer to the eligibility criteria of each scholarship you wish to apply for.

Question:

I am not a New Zealand Citizen, New Zealand Permanent Resident, Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Resident. Can I apply?

Answer:

Possibly. If you have completed Year 12 and have completed, or are in the process of completing, Year 13 at a New Zealand school (or an equivalent foundation level course at a New Zealand tertiary institution) you can apply.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you MAY be invited to apply for a New Frontiers Entrance Scholarship. Please do not ask to apply, as an "Apply Now" button in eVision will only appear for those nominated by the International Office after enrolment to the University of Otago.

We recommend contacting the International Office about the process of enrolment at the University of Otago:
International Office online form.
Visit the International Office website.

Question:

I am an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident. Can I apply?

Answer:

Yes, so long as you meet other eligibility criteria. A reciprocal agreement between the New Zealand and Australian governments enables Australian citizens and permanent residents studying in New Zealand to be classified as domestic students.

Question:

I left school some years ago. Can I apply?

Answer:

Yes, so long as you meet other eligibility criteria.

Please refer to the eligibility criteria of each scholarship you wish to apply for.

Question:

I am part of an accelerated programme at my school and have been studying some university papers this year. Can I apply?

Answer:

Yes, so long as you have not gained admission to a degree programme at the University of Otago.

If you studied papers at the University of Otago you will not get the scholarships "Apply now" button automatically so you will need to contact us with your full name and Otago student ID number by email to entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz when you have completed the Educational Background questions in your eVision portal. 

Question:

I am a Foundation Studies student affiliated with the University of Otago. Can I apply?

Answer:

Yes, so long as you meet other eligibility criteria (Foundation Studies is considered to be prior to the first year of University study).

Please refer to the eligibility criteria of each scholarship you wish to apply for.

You may not get the scholarships "Apply now" button automatically so you will need to contact us with your full name and Otago student ID number by email to entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz when you have completed the Educational Background questions in your eVision portal. 

Question:

I have previously completed tertiary study at a Polytechnic, but now wish to embark on university study. Can I apply?

Answer:

Possibly. Applications are not normally open to those who have studied more than 0.4 EFTs at any University or tertiary institution at degree-level or higher. If you have not studied at degree-level or higher then you may apply, so long as you meet other eligibility criteria.

Please refer to the eligibility criteria of each scholarship you wish to apply for.

Question:

I have previously completed tertiary study at another university, but now want to complete further undergraduate study at the University of Otago (I have not studied at Otago before). Can I apply?

Answer:

No. The intention of these scholarships is to support students who are coming to university for the first time and are studying at first-year, 100-level. Applications are not normally open to those who have studied more than 0.4 EFTs at any University or tertiary institution at degree-level or higher.

Question:

I have previously completed tertiary study at another university, and now want to enrol at the University of Otago for the first time in order to complete a postgraduate qualification. Can I apply?

Answer:

No. See here for further information on postgraduate scholarship options.

Question:

Do I need to prove eligibility for the Māori Entrance Scholarships or the Pacific Peoples' Entrance Scholarships?

Answer:

Yes. You must complete the University's ancestry verification process to be eligible to receive payment for these scholarships.

But, you do not need to have your ancestry verified by the time that applications close. We do, however, recommend that you start this process as soon as possible and aim to be verified by the time you start at the university.

Question:

I am not from a particularly disadvantaged background, but I know university is going to put some financial strain on me. Should I apply for the entrance scholarships for those whose financial circumstances make going to university difficult?

Answer:

No. While we recognise that tertiary education can be expensive, these scholarships are particularly for students whose financial circumstances present a much greater barrier to tertiary education than is usual for the majority of students.

Question:

Is there an income limit for the entrance scholarships for those with financial hardship?

Answer:

No. There is no income bracket for students wishing to be considered for scholarships such as the 150th/Alumni Appeal etc.

Question:

I wish to apply for an entrance scholarship with high performance in sport of cultural involvement as the criteria, but I won’t be studying in my performance area at university. Can I apply?

Answer:

Yes. You don’t need to be studying your area of performance to apply, although this can be an advantage in some areas (for example performance music), where it can demonstrate an on-going commitment to your area of performance.

Question:

Do I have to enrol in a course before applying for scholarships?

Answer:

Yes. You must have completed the first stages of enrolment at the University of Otago to access the online entrance scholarship application. We do not require you to have picked your major or minor, but you do need to be enroled in a valid undergraduate programme.

Even if you do not know exactly which course you wish to study, as long as you choose a valid programme of study, you can access the scholarship application portal and change your course at a later date

Apply for study at the University of Otago now.

Information on how to apply for entrance scholarships.

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Referees

Question:

Which sections of the application require referees?

Answer:

Referee details are required for the Māori, Pacific, Financial circumstances, Family circumstances and Disability sections.

Information on what to prepare for your scholarship application.

Question:

Who should I ask to be my referee?

Answer:

It is important to choose referees who know you well and can comment on the qualities and characteristics required for the scholarship in question.

Question:

Can I use the same referee for each section of my scholarship application?

Answer:

Yes, although please check the specific referee instruction in each section.

Question:

I am at school or completed school in the last two years, but I want to choose my own referees for the scholarships where you would usually contact my school directly. Can I do this?

Answer:

No.

Question:

I changed school recently and I am worried that the person providing references at my new school won’t know enough about me to be able to comment accurately. What should I do?

Answer:

We recommend making an appointment with your [new] school’s Careers Advisor to talk through this issue with them, and let them know about your accomplishments. Note too that referees get to see the statements you have provided along with your application, so your achievements will be known to the person making the reference.

Question:

I want to seek references directly myself, or I already have letters of reference – can I upload these as part of my application as well as (or in place of) naming referees to provide references?

Answer:

No. The references we require need to be confidential. We will not use any other written references provided in the decision-making process for scholarships.

Question:

Do I need to ask my referee to send their reference to you?

Answer:

No. Reference requests will be sent by email after scholarship applications close. The University of Otago does not follow up with individual referees for scholarships. We recommend you check with your nominated referees that they have provided references as the due date approaches. Failure to receive references may see your application disqualified from further consideration.

You must ensure that you have asked the person you intend to have as a referee for their permission to provide us with their contact details before doing so. If you provide the name of a referee who has not agreed to provide a reference for you, this will likely disqualify your application from further consideration.

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Transcripts and grades

Question:

Why is Year 12 the significant year for the academic component of Entrance Scholarship awards?

Answer:

This is because it is the last complete year for all New Zealand high school students. By the time you apply for entrance scholarships in the middle of Year 13, we are able to compare the full academic year of results from Year 12 with the other applicants, and do not have to be concerned about the variability in how schools upload results and when they are available to the University of Otago.

Question:

I am doing much better academically in Level 3 than I did in Level 2. Will you take my internal assessments at Excellence in Level 3 into account?

Answer:

It is very unlikely that your Level 3 work will be taken into account for the entrance scholarship applications that close on 15 August. Level 3 results are very important though for the University of Otago New Frontiers Entrance Scholarships. (Please note that the University of Otago New Frontiers Entrance Scholarships cannot be held concurrently with the other Entrance Scholarships that close on 15 August).

Question:

I am not studying towards NCEA – how do you compare my grades to those people studying under NCEA?

Answer:

The University has grade conversion tools and guidelines it uses for this. As a general rule, applicants who receive Academic Excellence Scholarships would generally be in the top 1% of all students academically.

Question:

Will I be able to upload my academic transcripts into my application?

Answer:

No. You will not be able to upload documents into your application for entrance scholarships, however you can still upload documents into eVision as you go through the enrolment process.

We can view these documents, but they will only be referred to if necessary and may not be used in the decision making process for scholarships.

Question:

I am studying towards NCEA (or my last completed qualification was NCEA) – do I need to upload my transcript?

Answer:

No. But please also ensure your NSN number is entered correctly when applying to the University of Otago. We will have access to view your NZQA record and view your results.

Question:

I am studying (or last studied) at tertiary level; what transcripts should I upload?

Answer:

Primarily your tertiary-level (i.e. your most recent) transcripts. You will not be able to upload documents into your application for Entrance Scholarships, however you can still upload transcripts into eVision when you enrol.

Question:

I am on exchange; what transcripts should I upload and which system should I record as my primary educational system?

Answer:

Please record your educational system as ‘other’ and note both your New Zealand and exchange systems of study. Similarly, you can upload both your New Zealand transcripts and any transcripts from your exchange when you enrol at the University.

Question:

I am studying overseas – how do you compare my grades to those people studying in New Zealand?

Answer:

The University has grade conversion tools and guidelines it uses for this. To assist us in assessing your transcript, please provide any information on the transcript relating to the grading (for example a ‘grading key’). Information on your rank or relative position in your class, if available, is strongly recommended.

Question:

I am currently studying towards the International Baccalaureate (IB) and don’t have final grades yet; what should I do?

Answer:

You will be asked in your application to provide the name and contact details of the IB teacher in charge. The University will then seek further information on predicted IB grades from your school.

Question:

I am studying (or have studied) a mix of NCEA and another system (such as IB or CIE); which of these systems should I record as my primary educational system?

Answer:

If you are primarily studying towards IB or CIE, please identify that system and then provide more information on an Individual Education Plan, if you have one, along with your IB/CIE results when you enrol. If you are studying a mixed system, select “Mix of NCEA and other system” or “Other” as your educational system and specify all systems under which you are studying.

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Declaration of income (for the Family circumstances section)

Question:

How do we declare our income and assets?

Answer:

In the application, you will be asked to provide information on any full-time or part-time paid employment you may have had within the last 12 months.

You will then be asked to provide contact details for a parent or caregiver in order for us to collect income and asset information from them directly. Only one parent/caregiver is required to complete this declaration.

Question:

Will having been in paid work affect my chances of being awarded an entrance scholarship?

Answer:

No.

Question:

My parent/caregiver's income varies each week. What should they put when declaring their weekly income?

Answer:

If their income varies each week, they should calculate the total they earned in the last 12 months and divide by 52 to give an average weekly income.

Question:

Should my parent/caregiver include any income from benefits when declaring their income?

Answer:

Yes.

Question:

My parents/caregivers have accountancy statements detailing our financial position – can I upload these as well as (or instead of) declaring their income?

Answer:

No. You will not be able to upload documents into your application and if your parent/caregiver does not complete the declaration survey, your scholarship application is unlikely to be considered.

Question:

I don't feel comfortable providing financial information - can I be considered for scholarships for financial hardship without this information?

Answer:

No. We do appreciate the sensitivity of this information and assure you that it will be treated with the utmost care and confidentiality. Only selection panel members and those involved in the administration of these scholarships will have access to this information, and only for the purposes of selecting the scholarships. Collection of such information is necessary however, in order to ensure that these scholarships are awarded to students with genuine financial need.

Applying online

Question:

Can I apply for more than one entrance scholarship?

Answer:

When applying for entrance scholarships you will not be required to apply for individual scholarships. Instead, you will be asked to answer a series of questions and this will be used to filter down to the best scholarship fit for you.

Question:

Can I apply for entrance scholarships for study in 2021?

Answer:

No, system limitations mean that this is not possible. However, you can apply for 2020 then, if your application is successful, request a deferral of your scholarship for up to 1 year (see the deferring a scholarship section below).

Question:

What do I need to prepare for my application?

Answer:

Application requirements are different for each scholarship. You should check what is required for each of the scholarships you want to apply for.

Question:

I've completed step 3 on this webpage and I can't see an apply now button. What should I do?

Answer:

Have you applied for a 2020 programme of study? If you have applied for a 2019 programme you will not see the entrance scholarships apply now button. You will need to cancel your 2019 programme application and apply for a 2020 programme. If you are interested in studying Physical Education please visit this webpage for further information on the programme options available for 2020.

Have you applied for an Honours programme? I.e. Bachelor of Commerce with Honours. If so, this is a one-year postgraduate programme that you can complete after your undergraduate degree. You will need to apply for an undergraduate programme (i.e. Bachelor of Commerce) to be able to apply for entrance scholarships.

Have you applied for the Health Sciences Undergraduate Professional Programme? If so, you will need to do the Health Sciences First Year before you can enter a professional programme. After applying for the Health Sciences First Year you will be able to apply for entrance scholarships.

Have you completed a paper at the University of Otago while at high school? If so, you won't automatically get the apply now button. After you've completed step 3 on this webpage, email us at entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz and include your Otago student ID number in your email.

Are you an international student who has completed, or is in the process of completing, a Foundation Year programme? If so, you will not get the apply now button automatically. After you've completed step 3 on this webpage, email us at entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz and include your Otago student ID number in your email.

Are applications open yet? Applications for the University’s main undergraduate entrance scholarships open on 1 July 2019 and close at midnight (NZST) on 15 August 2019.

Did you indicate that your occupational status as of 1 October 2019 will be a university student? Students who have studied more than 0.4EFTS at any University or tertiary institution at degree-level or higher are not normally eligible for entrance scholarships.

If you have indicated your occupational status as of 1 October 2019 will be a university student in error, you will need to go back and correct this information. After this has been corrected, the ‘Apply now’ button should appear.

If you don't fit into any of the above, contact us by email entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz with your Otago student ID number and we'll do our best to help.

Question:

Can I save my online application halfway through and come back and finish it off later on?

Answer:

Yes, but make sure you submit your application before the scholarship closing date as this may affect which scholarships you will be considered for. You will be able to access your application again by using the "Apply now" button you first used. You will be taken back to the start of the application, but all answers you gave previously will still be there and you will be able to view which sections you have completed via the application dashboard.

You must ensure that you save your progress when moving to a different section of the application. This can be done by clicking on either ‘Save & Exit’ or ‘Save & Continue’.

Question:

The entrance scholarship application asks for my high performance activity, but I excel in more than one activity. Can I enter more than one?

Answer:

The application will ask you for one area of performance/discipline in which you excel. You can only select one so we recommend you choose the one you have the greatest achievement in. However, with the 3 statements describing significant performance activities, you can mention all achievements, so you don’t have to write about only achievements from the performance area/discipline you have identified.

Question:

Does the character count for the statements include spaces and punctuation?

Answer:

Yes, both spaces and punctuation are included.

Question:

Will I be timed out of my application?

Answer:

There is a time-out function within eVision, therefore we would recommend typing your statements into a separate document and pasting them into your application. An alert will pop up on the screen to advise you if you will be timed-out.

Question:

I've saved each section of my application. Why is the 'Submit' button still greyed out?

Answer:

You may have missed a compulsory field and left a section incomplete. See if any of the tabs (at the top of the page) still have orange circles and check that you have completed all mandatory fields (*) in these sections. A green tick will replace the orange circle once the section is complete and the 'Submit' button should be available.

Question:

Am I able to get back into my application to make changes?

Answer:

If you have already submitted your application and it is before the closing date for applications, you will need to send an email to entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz and we will reopen your application for you. In order for us to find your record much faster, please ensure that you include your 7-digit University of Otago student ID number in your email to us.

Question:

I’m stuck – help!

Answer:

Don’t worry – just contact entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz and we will help sort things out if we can within the time available.

Question:

How do I know if I have submitted my applications?

Answer:

You will receive an alert in your eVision portal to confirm that you have submitted an application. You will also be able to view the status of your application in the ‘Scholarships and awards’ section of your eVision portal.

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Results

Question:

When should I know whether I’ve received a scholarship or not?

Answer:

For entrance scholarships with a 15 August closing date, we anticipate applicants will receive notification of results by mid-October.

For entrance scholarships with a later closing date, you will receive an alert in your eVision portal to advise you on the outcome of your application. This will only apply to those who have not already accepted an entrance scholarship offer for study in 2020.

Question:

I haven’t received news about my scholarship – what should I do?

Answer:

If you submitted your application before 15th August, and it is now November, and you are sure you haven’t received any message from us, first check your eVision portal, then email entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz and include your University of Otago student ID number. If it is before the end of October, just wait – results should be with you by that date.

Question:

I missed out on a scholarship but I’m a top student – can I ask for reconsideration of the decision?

Answer:

No. Scholarship decisions are final and we will not enter into discussion about these. Unfortunately demand for these scholarships is very high, so even some excellent students miss out and we are unable to provide any information as to why an applicant has been unsuccessful.

Question:

I received a scholarship but have decided to turn it down – do I need to let the University of Otago know this?

Answer:

Yes, please do as we often operate waitlists for some of our scholarships. If you can let us know as soon as possible, we may be able to offer the scholarship to another deserving candidate. Your scholarship offer notification in eVision contains accept and decline buttons for you to communicate your decision with us.

If you have decided to turn down your scholarship offer after accepting your offer in your eVision portal, please email us at entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz and include your University of Otago student ID number in your email, as well as a brief reason for declining the scholarship.

Please note that if you have committed to a Residential College, you may still have financial liabilities with the College if you accept then subsequently decline your entrance scholarship. 

Question:

I have received a scholarship but I’m not sure whether to accept it or not, because I am waiting on other scholarship results, and I won’t know about these till after my acceptance decision is due with the University of Otago; what should I do?

Answer:

Please contact us by emailing entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz and we can advise on the best course of action for you.

Question:

I received a scholarship – do I have to take it up in 2020, or can I wait?

Answer:

See the deferring a scholarship section below.

Question:

I received a scholarship and then was awarded Dux of my school and so became eligible for the University of Otago Dux Scholarship – can I have both awards?

Answer:

Yes, however the extent to which any or all of the full value of the Dux Scholarship is payable will be determined by the success, or otherwise, in securing other University of Otago Entrance Scholarships.

See the Dux Scholarship webpage for more information.

Question:

I received a University of Otago Entrance Scholarship and have also been awarded another scholarship from an external provider. Can I hold both?

Answer:

University of Otago Entrance Scholarships are usually able to be held concurrently with other undergraduate scholarships, see the Entrance Scholarships terms and conditions, however we advise checking the regulations for the other scholarship(s) you have been awarded to ensure they also allow concurrent tenure.

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Payment of scholarship

Question:

How does payment of my scholarship work?

Answer:

First year scholarship recipients

As per point 4 of the Entrance Scholarships Terms and Conditions, the monetary award of the scholarship is normally received in Semester 1 as a contribution to or payment of (in order): a) Residential College fees; b) tuition fees at the University of Otago and c) payment to your bank account made after April in the year of tenure.

If you are eligible for fees-free:

Residential College payment: If you are planning on staying in a Residential College, the Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships team will work directly with the Residential College and the Accommodation Office to transfer the scholarship contribution towards your accommodation fees

Tuition fees payment/Payment to bank account: If you are not staying in a Residential College, and are eligible for fees-free, we will be offering two options with regard to your 2020 entrance scholarship, as follows. We will contact you in February 2020 for your decision on which option you choose to take.

Option 1: Receive your scholarship as a contribution to general living costs, paid in monthly instalments from March 2020 (after course confirmation).

Option 2: Have the value of your scholarship credited against your fees for your second year of study, 2021.

If you are not eligible for fees-free:

Residential College payment: If you are planning on staying in a Residential College, the Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships team will work directly with the Residential College and the Accommodation Office to transfer the scholarship contribution towards your accommodation fees

Tuition fees payment: If you are not staying in a Residential College, and are not eligible for fees-free, then the Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships team will work with the Student Finance Office to ensure your scholarship contribution towards tuition fees is made. The fee rebates for scholarship recipients will be processed by the due date for fees. Once the fee rebate has been processed, the payment will be visible in the Finance section of your eVision portal.

Payment to bank account: If you are eligible for a payment of your scholarship, the Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships team will provide you with more information on how the payment will be applied. Payment will not be made until after April, once the deadlines for changing programme/s and first semester papers has passed.

Second and third year scholarship recipients

If you have met the grade requirements for continuation of your scholarship, your scholarship will be processed as a tuition fee rebate. This will be processed by the due date for fees.

The full amount of your scholarship for this year will be applied to your tuition fee account. Once the fee rebate has been processed, the payment will be visible in the Finance section of your eVision portal. If there is a credit after the deadlines for changing programme/s and first semester papers has passed, we will arrange for the balance to be paid to you. This payment will not be made until after April, and we will contact you closer to this time with further details. Please note that you will still have to be enrolled full-time for full-year study in order to be eligible for any payments to be made.

Question:

When will my Residential College receive the scholarship payment?

Answer:

The Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships team will arrange directly with your College early in the year to apply your scholarship to your accommodation fee account. We suggest talking to your College to discuss payment options, but generally the scholarship will be applied as a lump sum at the start of the year, so usually it can go towards an initial lump sum payment amount.

Question:

Will my scholarship pay for the Residential College deposit?

Answer:

No. Your offer letter will state that the scholarship is not able to be used for payment or part-payment of Residential College placement, entry, deposit, activity or equivalent fees.

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Deferring a scholarship

Question:

I'm planning on taking a gap year, can I defer my scholarship?

Answer:

It may be possible to defer taking up a scholarship for a year. To do so, please apply in writing to the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships at the email address entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz with your reasons for requesting a deferral. Please include your full name and University of Otago student ID number in your email. We recommend you check the regulations for the scholarship you have been offered.

Please note: as per the Entrance Scholarships Terms and Conditions, deferrals will not be granted where a recipient is studying at another tertiary institution at degree level prior to or during the scholarship tenure.

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Other queries

If you have a question that isn't answered above, please contact the Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships team by email:
entrance.scholarships@otago.ac.nz
If you have a University of Otago student identification number, please include this in your email.

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