Scholarships help to break down barriers for Australian students
This year, 89 students from across Australia have received financial support under Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's Scholarship Program.
Taking into account the second and third year students who were also awarded continuing scholarships, more than 200 young people from across Australia shared in $1.25 million in funding to help meet the costs of tertiary study.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Chairman, Robert Johanson, said financial stresses and travel related factors seem to be the biggest barriers for students taking up their place at university.
"Young people from non-metropolitan areas defer their university offers at twice the rate of their metropolitan counterparts, with nearly 40 percent failing to take up the offer after a year of deferment*.
"All of these young people have successfully qualified at Year 12 and have received an offer from a university but have not been able to take up the offer.
"Our scholarship program makes a significant difference to these hard working and talented students by helping them cover some of the costs of living and studying at university."
Former Trafalgar High School student, James Matheson, secured a place studying Law and Commerce at Monash University.
Mr Patterson said he was concerned that financial pressures on his family would be detrimental to his changes of attending university in Melbourne.
"It's a relief to be able to start university with the financial security a scholarship provides.
"I'm looking forward to learning more about myself, finding new friends and focusing on my studies."
Partners supporting the 2016 program included Community Bank® boards, Rural Bank, Community Sector Banking, La Trobe University, University of Melbourne and Haven Home Safe.
The program has now supported 450 students, with $5.2 million in funding since its inception in 2007.
Visit www.bendigobank.com.au/scholarships to learn more about the recipients, see their photos, and read a few words about their hopes and aspirations.
*SOURCE: Freeman, B., Klatt, M. and Polese, J., 2014, Deferring a University Offer in Regional Victoria, Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, Melbourne.