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Types of Scholarships Brisbane Schools Offer | It’s Not Just Academic!

Gone are the days when getting a scholarship is all about being the smartest kid in the room. Just like education itself, times are a-changing! You don’t have to have inside knowledge or be connected to a particular school in order to be successful at gaining a scholarship. These days many, many schools across Brisbane offer a wide range of scholarship opportunities for kids from all walks of life. This article will tell you exactly what types of scholarships Brisbane schools offer.

Hands Up Who Wants a Scholarship?

If you think that your child might benefit from gaining specialist teaching in a school that caters for their passion, then keep reading, we’ve got the details on which schools in Brisbane offer scholarships, bursaries and selective entry for kids with a variety of talents and needs.

What is a scholarship?

A scholarship is a competitive process wherein students must demonstrate some kind of merit. Your child may have to excel in a particular field and will have the opportunity to prove that during their application.

What is a bursary?

A bursary is a non-competitive process that is usually based on financial need but sometimes can come into play when distance is considered. There are currently Covid related bursaries available at Brisbane schools!

What is selective entry?

Selective entry is the process at certain schools (sometimes known as an Excellence Program) where students from outside the catchment may be granted enrolment into a school and a specialist learning program if they fulfil certain criteria.

Why do schools offer these options?

Scholarships, bursaries and selective entries are great for the school and the student. Not only does it mean that children have access to a wider range of education options, but it also promotes diversity within the student population and culture. It’s a great example of social justice in action and increases the breadth of the school community.

What kind of options are available in Brisbane?

This is the great news… just about everything is available for many families across greater Brisbane & Ipswich. You just need to know where to look and how to apply! It is good to check all the details of the offer to find out it covers the full cost of the school program or partial fees. It may also be a set amount towards the cost of the program. Read the details of each opportunity carefully.

The below information is not a comprehensive list of what is available, but it will give you an idea of just some of the wide range of choices available to Brisbane families!

Academic Scholarships & Excellence Programs

Student about to sit an online Academic Excellence program

Academic scholarships are what most people think of when they hear the word ‘scholarship’. Your child will have to participate in an entrance exam and demonstrate academic capabilities across a range of subjects. These exams can be external or internal, depending on the school and you will need to apply well in advance to sit them. The vast majority are held in February and March each year but can be held throughout the year depending on the school. We wrote about how to apply for a scholarship here.

Some schools across Brisbane that offer academic scholarships include:

Sports Scholarships & Excellence Programs

Members Of Female High School Volleyball Team

Your child may be interested in a sporting scholarship. These are offered in a huge range of sports by schools across Brisbane and include: athletics, cross country, swimming, football, rugby, volleyball, golf, tennis and more. There is even one for chess! Typically speaking, to qualify one would expect that your child has participated in their sport at a high representative level. There would be a similar expectation that your child would continue to participate in the sport throughout their tenure at the school.

Some schools across Brisbane that offer sports scholarships include:

Music Scholarships & Excellence Programs

Young female violinist

Perhaps a music scholarship may be an option. To gain a music scholarship at a Brisbane secondary school a certain level of competency and commitment in the study of the instrument would have to be demonstrated. There would also be an expectation that your child would continue to study their instrument of choice.

Some schools across Brisbane that offer music scholarships include:

Dance & The Arts Scholarships & Excellence Programs

Teen contemporary dancer

As schools look to diversify their intake of applicants, they are beginning to offer more families the opportunity to enrol their children in scholarships and excellence programs that develop the arts. There are scholarships available in debating, speech & drama, visual arts, social justice program and entrepreneurial programs. In performance studies potential students are usually expected to audition as part of their application as well as submit other documentation by a certain date.

Some schools across Brisbane that offer dance and/or the arts scholarships include:

  • Somerville House (South Brisbane)
  • Kelvin Grove State College
  • The Lakes College (North Lakes)
  • Stuartholme (Toowong)
  • St Peter’s Lutheran College (Indooroopilly)

The above information shows just a few of the schools offering scholarships, bursaries and excellence programs. This is just a taste of the ‘educational opportunities’ that exist for kids in Brisbane. Once you start looking you will find a huge selection of ways you can support your child’s passions and develop their love of learning.

There are also scholarships available for:

  • Indigenous students
  • Leadership
  • Languages
  • Technology
  • Diversity & Belonging
  • United Against Covid
  • Boarding

The secret to securing a scholarship at your school of choice in Brisbane is a) researching and b) knowing the deadlines so you don’t miss out. It is something you must plan for well in advance.

You can search ‘scholarships’ on this website and find a range of resources that will help you learn more about these options in Brisbane. There will definitely be something that will pique your interest and help you learn more about your family’s educational opportunities for the future.

You can discover more schools in Brisbane offering scholarships here.

This article was featured in Issue 43 of our printed magazine, published December 2020.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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