FAQs for future undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students

These are some frequently asked questions by students who are completing their HSC/IB and wish to apply for a scholarship.


How are scholarships awarded?

Most scholarships are awarded on a combination of school examination results, ATAR and other factors (such as leadership, creativity, self-motivation and communication skills).

Only the Outstanding Achievement Scholarship is awarded on the basis of ATAR alone.

Applications for University of Sydney Scholarships for school leavers are assessed and shortlists are compiled before the ATARs are released. ATARs are checked when available to make sure that the short listed applicants have reached the minimum required level (95) for the scholarship.

Equity scholarships are assessed on the basis of 'equity criteria' such as financial disadvantage, physical disability etc as well as academic merit. Commonwealth Scholarships are awarded on the basis of equity criteria alone.

What if I'm not a top student?

While most scholarships that are awarded for achievement in secondary studies are for top students (ATAR of 95 or above) a number are awarded for other reasons. Equity scholarships, sports scholarships and scholarships for Indigenous students are assessed on a needs and merit basis.

What if I'm an international or NZ student?

University of Sydney scholarships for school leavers are open to international and NZ students who are applying to The University of Sydney through UAC.

For details of all other scholarships available to international students, see International Student Scholarships.

Can scholarships be deferred?

University of Sydney Scholarships for school leavers can be deferred for up to one year (once awarded). Please note however that the application must be lodged in the year of completing high school.

Most other scholarships for school leavers must be taken up in the year they are awarded.

For information about taking a gap year, or if you are currently in a gap year, visit the page on Taking a gap year?.

What if I finished school last year?

You can only apply for a University of Sydney Scholarship in the year you finish high school. You can defer the scholarship once awarded but cannot defer the application.

You can still apply/qualify for a University of Sydney Access Scholarship. Online application forms are available from UAC in August-September each year.
You may also qualify for Commonwealth Income Support.

Can I apply for more than one scholarship?

You can apply for as many different scholarships as you like. However, you can only receive one primary scholarship ($6,000 or more) from the University of Sydney at any one time. A primary and secondary (less than $6,000) scholarship may be held at the same time.

If you are awarded a scholarship from outside the University of Sydney, you can hold it in conjunction with a primary or secondary scholarship.

How do I know if my application has been received?

For the main scholarships you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

When do I find out if I've been awarded a scholarship?

Most scholarships are announced prior to the commencement of semester one.

What if I don't get into the degree that I want to do?

Receiving a scholarship doesn't guarantee a place in your preferred course. The ATAR cut-off for Merit and Entry scholarships is 95, but the cut-off for many courses is even higher than this. However, your University of Sydney Scholarship is valid for any degree you are offered in the faculty you nominate on the form.

What if I don't win a scholarship?

There is keen competition for all of our scholarships. If you are not awarded a scholarship when you commence University, there will still be other opportunities. There are many scholarships and prizes for ongoing students based on performance during your degree, written submissions or general applications.

What if a scholarship offer letter arrives while I am away from home?

If you know that you will be away for longer than two weeks, it is a good idea to arrange for someone to check your mail in your absence. We advise that you provide that person with a letter signed by you giving them permission to accept the scholarship on your behalf. A copy of this letter should then be sent together with your scholarship acceptance form.