A GROUP of Invercargill students are heading into tertiary study next year with a welcomed financial buffer, after being awarded Invercargill Licensing Trust Tertiary Education Scholarships.
From more than 100 applications, 65 students were awarded the annual Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT) scholarship at a function at the Ascot Park Hotel on Monday night.
The scholarships are valued at $6000 over three years.
Scholarship recipients Brie Casson and Alisha Gerken, of James Hargest College, said they were grateful for the financial assistance.
Brie, who is going to do a Bachelor of Nursing degree at Otago University next year, said it was an honour to be selected.
“They recognised my potential in the future… It showed the hard work has paid off.”
The scholarship would give her some security and take the hassle out of her study, she said.
“It gives me more independence. When starting out, you don’t want to be in debt, which is quite stressful.”
Alisha is going to undertake a Bachelor of Teaching degree at the Otago/Southland College of Education campus in Invercargill.
Alisha said the scholarship meant she would be able to purchase more resources for her course than she would have been able to do otherwise.
“[Without the scholarship] I may have had to take out a larger student loan or work longer hours, which would interrupt the course.
“It is a huge amount of money in the big scheme of things.”
The ILT Tertiary Education Scholarship was offered to secondary school leavers and adults seeking second-chance learning, as well as five staff scholarships for applicants who have a parent or guardian working full-time at the ILT.
The money could be used for tuition and accommodation fees associated with the recipient’s course of study.
ILT marketing and sales manager Angee Shand said the scholarship was designed to make further study more accessible to as many people as possible.
The scholarship provided the students with a “nice safety blanket” during their three years of study, which would take financial pressure off the students and their parents, she said.
“By supporting our residents who are keen to study further, we’re looking towards the future of the city,” she said.
To be eligible, applicants must reside in the ILT boundary, undertake full-time undergraduate degree course or equivalent three-year level of study at an approved university or tertiary institute in New Zealand or abroad, and be New Zealand-born citizen or have permanent residency in New Zealand.