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The University of Otago Richard and Diana Somerville Commerce Entrance Scholarship

Value NZ$10,000 with a 1-year tenure
Number offered 10
Opening date 1 July
Closing date 15 August*

* If no suitable applicants are found, the due date for submission of applications may be extended.


Established in 2022 from a generous gifting of funds from Richard and Diana Somerville, this Scholarship supports students who face significant financial and life challenges in attending university to pursue a degree in commerce at the University of Otago.

General eligibility criteria

Application for this Entrance Scholarship is normally open to students who meet the requirements of 1 AND 2. Those who fit within 3 are ineligible.

Application for all Entrance Scholarships is normally open to students who meet the requirements of 1. 1 OR 1. 2, AND 2. Those who fit within 3 are ineligible.

  1. 1 Are a New Zealand citizen or a New Zealand Residence Class Visa Holder;


  1. 2 International students who 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.


  1. Are intending to enrol or have enrolled for the first time for first-year (100-level papers), full-time degree-level, undergraduate study at the University of Otago.


  1. Those who have studied more than 0.4 EFTs at any University or tertiary institution at degree-level or higher are not normally* eligible.

*Exceptions to 0.4 EFTS or less are considered when all previous University- or tertiary-level study has been undertaken whilst concurrently enrolled at secondary school.

Specific eligibility criteria for this scholarship

In addition to the above eligibility criteria, applicants must:

  • Be intending to enrol in their first year of a programme of study for one of the following degrees at the University of Otago:
    • Bachelor of Commerce
    • Bachelor of Arts and Commerce
    • Bachelor of Commerce and Science
    • Bachelor of Entrepreneurship
  • Have attended a secondary school with a low decile or a high need equity index rating.

Application process

All applications for Entrance Scholarships are done through eVision, the University's student management system. In order to apply for a scholarship, you will be required to go through the first stages of enrolment at the University of Otago to access the Entrance Scholarship online application.

In the Entrance Scholarship application, it is recommended that to be considered for this scholarship, you should have completed the Financial and/or Family Circumstances sections. For more information on the application process, as well as step-by-step instructions, please visit the ‘Apply for a scholarship’ webpage:

Apply for a scholarship

Before going through the application process, it is important to ensure that you are adequately prepared to begin the application. The things you will need to prepare for your application, including information you will be asked to provide and reference requirements, are listed on the scholarship application preparation webpage:

Scholarship application preparation

Selection of recipients

The Selection Panel, consisting of the Head of Schools’ Liaison, the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships, and the Director of Development and Alumni Relations, or their nominees, shall consider the following factors in awarding the scholarship:

  • Academic ability (a minimum of NCEA Level 2 awarded with merit, or equivalent, is normally required for consideration).
  • Financial need.
  • Life circumstances which present significant barriers to studying at university.
  • Potential and motivation to succeed at university.
  • Intended programme of study

Scholarship detail

The Scholarship terms and conditions can be found here:

Scholarship terms and conditions

In addition, the following information applies to this scholarship, subject to the specific provisions of the offer letter for the recipient:

  • Standard value of NZ$10,000.
  • Standard tenure is one year.
  • For those accepting a place in a Residential College as listed at the link below, it will be paid as an accommodation fee waiver of $10,000, paid directly to your Residential College (the scholarship is not able to be used for payment or part-payment of Residential College placement, deposit, activity or equivalent fees due prior to studying).
  • For those living in the local community (boarding, flatting or living at home), it will normally comprise of $10,000, firstly towards tuition and student services fees, if applicable, then as a monthly stipend or lump sum, or you may be able to have the value of your scholarship credited against your tuition fees for your second year of study.
  • Recipients are required to write or record a message of thanks to the donors. Payment of the scholarship may be withheld until the message is received by the Development and Alumni Relations Office to pass on to the donors.
  • This scholarship may be held concurrently with any other University of Otago Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship at the discretion of the selection panel.