FAQs for future undergraduate students

These are some frequently asked questions by students who are completing their Year 12 or IB and may wish to apply for a scholarship.


How are scholarships awarded?

Scholarships are awarded according to the selection criteria for each scholarship which includes ATAR, most recent school transcripts and other factors (such as leadership, creativity, self-motivation and communication skills).

Only the University of Sydney Scholar Chancellors Award is awarded on the basis of ATAR alone.

Applications for the Sydney Scholars Program for Year 12 students are assessed and shortlisted for conditional offers before the ATARs are released. Once the ATARs are available they are checked against the short listed applicants to ensure they have reached the minimum required level of 95 or above 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 IB, international or NZ student?

The University of Sydney Scholars program is for school leavers and are open to IB, international and NZ students who are applying for admission to The University of Sydney through UAC.

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

Can scholarships be deferred?

Scholarships can be deferred for up to one year (once awarded). Please note however that the application must be lodged in the year that you are 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 the Sydney Scholars Program 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?

Once you have completed and submitted your online application form, you will receive an email from us with details about your application and details about when we will contact you with the results of your application. A copy of your application form will be included in your email so you will have a summary of what you submitted.

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

Offers for scholarships are emailed to students once the ATAR results have been released, which is in December each year. Please note that if you do not have the University of Sydney as a preference you will not be assessed for a scholarship.

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 the Sydney Scholars Program is 95, but the cut-off for many courses is even higher than this. However, your 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 to apply for based on performance during your degree, written submissions or general applications.

What if I am away when scholarship offers are made?

If you know that you will be away during December and January, and may not have access to the email you nominated in your application, you may need to make alternative arrangements.

Please note that we can only discuss the outcomes of your scholarship application with you.