How to get that 100% Scholarship to study for free in Australia?


Nowadays Australia is very much on the map for students in India who are aspiring to study overseas. In fact, in a recent study a 7% growth in the number of students from India bound for Australia for higher studies. The Universities are very pro-active in making the application and relocation easier and even the courses and academic programmes at different stages of education in Australia look very enticing indeed. But fact remains that planning to live far away from home on your own and committing a ton of money in course fees as well as living expenses is always a big deal. Worry not, for Australia also wants Indian students to come and study and there is an international demand for Indian academic and research fellows. This is where the numerous scholarships come to the aid of those who have done the hard work and are truly in need and aspiring.

Hritish Kakati, a Vice-Chancellor’s Meritorious Scholar from Deakin University, said, “I feel extremely privileged to have won the Deakin University Vice-Chancellor’s Meritorious 100 per cent scholarship (last year). Being a Vice-Chancellor’s scholar gave me the opportunity to be part of the Vice Chancellor’s Professional Excellence Program (VCPEP), wherein I can meet and interact with achievers from all over the world.”

Getting a scholarship awarded to you is much more than financial aid many a time. It opens a world of opportunities where the best and the brightest students converge and train for creating a better professional result.

Options aplenty, which one to choose

100% Scholarships sound good, and they are not the mythical end of the rainbow that you need to chase forever. There are some that cover 100% cover the tuition fees while others that cover a host of other expenses along with tuition fee pay-out. There is information out there and depending on the course one plans to apply for and the University at which you want to study, one must apply for scholarships. It would be of help to keep the following points in mind to increase your chances of snagging it.

  1. Apply for as many scholarships as possible – While wanting to study a particular course at a particular university is good, one must increase their chances of getting a scholarship by a larger range of applications. It is good to note that it’s not just the Universities but also the Australian Government and local and international foundations that grant 100% merit scholarships too, so carefully keeping track of and apply for these scholarships.
  1. Going beyond grades for scholarships – If you are thinking that putting all the effort into books and grades will get you that scholarship then no it won’t. There is a lot that students participate in these days that go beyond the boundaries of home, school and imagination. Community involvement and initiative is a big plus as also participation in intellectual value upgradation such as add-on courses, certification etc. It all adds up to the student cultivating an image of an all-rounder. It carries a good impression on the decision-making authority.
  1. Go through the application process and criteria in detail – Every scholarship application asks for different sorts of information and different sorts of depositions and statements as well as testimonials to support you and back you up. Remember there are many who are vying for them so knowing what you are required to furnish and doing so diligently helps. Get the paperwork, the certificates, work experience if applicable, the endorsements and testimonials. Also make sure your English Language proficiency test scores are in order too. Stick to the deadlines for submission.
  1. Your presentation sets you apart – In most applications for scholarships you are asked to submit your statements of who you are, what is your story so far, what it is you want to do and what sets you apart. They want to know how you add value to them and the community at large and whether you are in genuine need of the scholarship. Clear, precise, and good language goes far when the people who you need to communicate with are sitting far and evaluating your application.
  1. Take help and consult those who know – Many students may approach experienced academic counsellors who will help you through the process of which scholarships to apply as well as how and when to apply. These counsellors have relevant experience and expertise in studies abroad which may be country specific too.  If you are a student who is doing his/her research and application on own or with help of parents and guardians, then be sure to have someone review yours to make sure of proof reading, fluency and flawlessness of content. Teachers or teaching aids can review your English and content style along with attaching letters of recommendations and testimonials for you.

While there are many scholarships, there are different definitions of fully funded and partially funded scholarships. There are scholarships that cover 100% of your tuition fees while others may offer 100% funding which include both tuition fees as well as living expenses. There are many that cover additional expenses of relocation, return travel, research grants etc. The type of scholarship and the funds allotted vary from one institution to another and the student desirous of being awarded must have a look at all options available. The competitiveness in this field is very high and applying well ahead of time and preparing for it is essential.

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The right fit at the right university

Australia boasts of many premier institutes to which students make a beeline every year. Universities such as Carnegie Mellon University, Deakin University, The University of Melbourne, etc have funded scholarships for International Students who need a little help in fulfilling their dreams for studying in Australia. The student intake is on the rise in the post-pandemic international education scene. There is high demand for international talent and research and Australian universities are rolling out programs that can help you apply and pursue your choice of course. These Scholarships are for students at different levels i.e Undergraduate, Post-graduate and Doctoral. 

Shruthi, a student from Delhi who is pursuing her Bachelor’s in Psychology in Australia has a 100% Meritorious Scholarship that funds her tuition. She says – “I consulted my friend who was already studying there. I took a good look at the courses and decided upon the university and applied for the scholarship. I prepared and worked for it and got it and now here I’am.”

Many like her have taken the step after doing their research to find the perfect University for what they want to study and applied for the Scholarship that is tailored for their course and academic level. Scholarships give you the ease of managing a study-work-life balance in a country where you decide to live on your own as a student and integrate your studies and other responsibilities.

Government and Non-Government Scholarships

Apart from scholarships offered by universities there are a lot of scholarships offered by various Government and Non-Government Organizations, public and private as well. Some of these are Australia Government Research Training Program Scholarship, Australia Awards Scholarships, Rotary Peace Fellowships, John Allwright Fellowship etc. Many of these scholarships also have different eligibility criteria, with different scope of funding at different academic levels and attention must be paid to these details along with the application and closing dates. Indian students have successfully made use of these scholarships too for pursuing their studies and research fellowships. 

Treating the windfall with caution

All scholarships from universities, college, the Government etc have their specific set of terms and conditions that are listed for information purposes. One must go through these carefully and adhere to them while enjoying the benefits of it. Students and scholars who fail to adhere may incur recovery of costs or incur debts and may even be held liable for paying back the scholarship that has so far been awarded. To avoid any complications during your time of study it is advisable to be completely conversant with these terms and conditions.

Working towards a brilliant future

The process of securing a scholarship is a competitive one and only the most diligent and meritorious candidates get awarded these financial aids. Rest assured that students looking to build a great academic and professional career will a stress-free and supportive space to work with these financial aids. Both the countries of Australia and India want the young people to have a great study and work experience and ensure that valuable asset creation occurs while studying in Australia. 

Ravneet Pawha, Vice-President (Global Alliances) and CEO (South Asia) at Deakin who has years of experience in the field of international education said, – “Both our countries’ prime ministers have recently emphasised the importance of education exchange in the light of the Free Trade Agreement. With (these)scholarships, we aim to nurture future leaders who can make significant contributions in areas of science, technology, arts and more.”

Do your research and work hard. Best of luck for the future. 

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