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Scholarships - Guidelines

What Scholarships Cover

Unless stated otherwise, scholarships are fees-based. This means that they cover course fees only. They cannot be redeemed for cash or transferred from one programme to another.

Student levies and course-related costs are not covered by scholarships unless stated. Scholarship recipients are still required to cover student levies and any other course-related costs. Not all courses are eligible for a fees-based scholarship. If you are unsure about the eligibility of your course, please contact us.


Ara scholarships are available to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents only (unless stated otherwise in eligibility criteria).

All scholarships are available for students entering into any year of study at Ara (unless stated otherwise in eligibility criteria).

All scholarships are available to students at any Ara campus, providing the associated programme is offered there.

Scholarships are for full-time students unless stated otherwise.

Students eligible for the Governments fees-free scheme or Trades Training and Apprenticeship Funding are not eligible for a scholarship during the time of their fees-free study.

Unless otherwise stated, students must be studying directly with Ara. Programmes offered through partnerships and subcontracting arrangements are not eligible. These include:

  • TANZ eCampus
  • Road Transport programmes
  • Bachelor of Nursing (Articulated with University of Canterbury Master of Health Science)

For the purpose of scholarships, ‘of Pacific descent’ refers to citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand who are of indigenous Pacific descent from any of the following islands: Sāmoa, American Sāmoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Fiji, Rotuma, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Wallis and Futuna, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Nauru and Rapanui (Easter Island).

Fee discount scholarships are not available to Ara staff and/or their immediate family members if they are eligible for the staff discount.

Scholarships are not available to Ara staff and/or their immediate family members for high-demand programmes that don’t qualify for the staff discount.

Scholarships Offered

Equity Scholarships and Ara Values Scholarships provide discounts off course fees.

Experiential Scholarships are funds that can be used to pay for conference fees, travel expenses and accommodation costs related to attending an event or experience related to a student’s area of study.

Completion Grants and Hardship Funds may be available for students experiencing financial hardship. This is at Ara's discretion.

Ara renews its portfolio of scholarship provision on an annual basis. Ara reserves the right to withdraw scholarship provision (in year).

The Application Process

To apply for a scholarship, you must first meet the entry requirements for the programme associated with the scholarship.

Scholarships cannot be awarded until you have been offered a place and confirmed your enrolment.

As a scholarship applicant, you may be required to attend an interview.

You can apply for multiple scholarships, however, only one fees-based scholarship can be awarded per applicant per year. If you are eligible for more than one scholarship, the Approval Panel will award the highest value scholarship that you are successful for.

Decisions made by the Scholarships Approval Panel are final, however you may request feedback on an unsuccessful application if desired.

Tips for Applicants

Writing Your Personal Statement

Think of your personal statement like a job application; you need to put your best foot forward and convince us that you are the best candidate for this scholarship.

  • Start by introducing yourself; tell us about your background, where you’ve studied and/or worked and what your interests are.
  • Tell us why you want to study this programme.
  • Describe any experience you have in this area (paid or volunteer work, study etc).
  • Explain what your intentions and career aspirations are once you complete your studies.
  • Tell us why you believe you are a good candidate for this particular scholarship (be sure to read the entry criteria thoroughly and give examples of how you meet the criteria).
  • Describe how this scholarship will help you to achieve your goals.
Selecting Your Referees

As part of your application, you will be required to provide the names and contact details of two people to be your referees. Your referees will also need to fill out a referee report (see application form).

The best referees are:

  • teachers, tutors, trainers or lecturers
  • employers or work experience supervisors
  • sports coaches
  • volunteer work organisers
  • community leaders or religious leaders
  • people you’ve worked closely with from other agencies

Referees must not be immediate family, friends or flatmates.

Ensure your referees are aware of the scholarship you are applying for so they can include comments on how you meet the criteria for that particular scholarship.

Responsibilities of Successful Applicants

We encourage all scholarship recipients to attend the awards ceremony to celebrate your achievement with your friends and family.

You may be asked to allow your name and photo to be used in the promotion of scholarships.

If you choose to change from full-time to part-time study during the year, Ara reserves the right to end or adjust the scholarship arrangement. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

If you withdraw from your programme of study, Ara reserves the right to end the scholarship arrangement.

If you switch to a different Ara campus after your programme of study has commenced, the scholarship will remain with you.

You may be required to pass the courses you undertake in order to continue to receive scholarship funding. If you don’t pass or complete your programme of study, you cannot use your scholarship funds to pay for repeating a course.