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Co-op scholarships made easy for high school students

Want financial support, industry training, and networking opportunities before you’ve even finished university? Look no further than a co-op scholarship.

Sure, you could apply for a regular scholarship, or just go straight to uni and pay back the loans later – but why not let a co-op scholarship take care of it all? Many co-op scholarships have a high success rate for employment post graduation, remove the financial barrier of attending university – and on top of all this, you will leave as an already seasoned professional. With opportunities in leadership, professional development, and monetary gain, a co-op scholarship could be your answer to a headstart in life.

What’s the difference between a scholarship and a co-op scholarship?

“Co-op” stands for co-operative; it enables you to combine career development and further study at the same time.

A regular scholarship may just fund your university experience – with a co-op scholarship, monetary support is supplemented with invaluable opportunities such as:

  • Work experience
  • Paid internships
  • Mentoring
  • Leadership development
  • Accomodation
  • Workshop and special events access
  • Networking opportunities

What are co-op scholarship selectors looking for?

While co-op scholarship requirements vary according to where you’re applying, there are some factors most universities tend to look for. Remember to always check the eligibility requirements on the university website or contact the institution directly for current information before starting an application.

Academic aptitude

Because of the competitive nature of these programs, a high academic standard is generally expected and a minimum ATAR is often first up on the list of requirements. Students are also expected to maintain or exceed this standard for the duration of their degree. Don’t be discouraged though; some scholarships prioritise elite athletes or performers, rather than academic merit.

Initiative and leadership qualities

Universities tend to highly value leadership potential, so there are often opportunities tailored specifically for those who have already demonstrated lots of leadership experience. Bond University, for example, is currently offering a 2024 Leadership Scholarship, which includes “proof of leadership, initiative and service” in its application criteria.

Extracurriculars and community service

Passionate, well-rounded individuals are the types of people universities want to give scholarships to. If you were applying for an IT co-op scholarship, for example, extracurriculars such as computer-science clubs, tutoring programming, attending coding competitions and other IT related activities would likely be looked upon favourably.

Additionally, participating in community services such as volunteering can show that you are passionate about making a positive difference in real world situations.

Communication ability

Universities want to promote students with transferrable skills that are valued by employers, such as communication, so it’s important you showcase your excellent communication skills if you want an edge over other applicants.

Skills and experience

If you are someone who excels at balancing their academic, extracurricular, and social pursuits, then you will be a perfect fit for a co-op scholarship. By demonstrating achievements outside of the classroom such as work experience, or showcasing skills gained from engaging with your community, assessors will be able to easily determine your suitability.

The early bird gets the worm

Don’t leave your application too late – in fact, the earlier you get started, the higher chance you have to submit a phenomenal application and get that interview. Whether you’re in Year 10, 11, or even below, it’s never too early to refresh your resume, start accumulating experiences, or begin practising your interview skills.

How to apply for co-op scholarships

If you’re thinking this sounds right up your alley, what now? Your next step is to look into the application process.

Luckily for you, we have already done tonnes of research to kickstart the next phase of your journey. Keep an eye out for our updated version of the SWG Scholarships Guide, coming soon to our Bookstore.

Don’t want to wait? Get started on your applications today by browsing our database, or check out some other articles on how to maximise your scholarship search.

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