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Scholarships help to break down barriers for Australian students

11 March 2016 |Media centre

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 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.

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