Are you thinking of applying for a scholarship on behalf of your child? Don’t know where to begin? For many schools, the scholarship application and testing process is just around the corner so now is the time to start researching. Here are our tips to help you in your scholarship journey:
Find the right fit
Choosing a school for your child is one of the most important decisions you can make as a parent and there is good reason that parents feel anxious about getting the decision right. Your child’s needs and interests, the school’s location, staff, facilities, programs, size and academic results all need to be considered. Developing a short list of schools that you would like your child to attend before even thinking about scholarships is our suggested first step.
Once you have a basic idea of the schools you are interested in, you will be in a much better position to investigate scholarships that are on offer. Search online and discuss openly with the Enrolments team at your schools of choice. Many schools will offer different types of scholarships, each with different requirements, eligibility, testing and subsidies. Make sure you read the fine print and avoid unnecessary paperwork and pressure by focusing your applications on the scholarships that best suit your child’s strengths and your family’s needs.
Determine if your child is ready
The biggest misconception about scholarships is that they are only ever offered to ‘genius’ students. At Toorak College, we look for students who dream big, set high goals and expect great things of themselves. We consider a range of qualities when offering scholarships, including academic potential, active participation in a range of co-curricular activities and the ability to contribute to school life.
Applying for a scholarship usually involves a combination of testing, interviews and an audition if it is relevant. Make sure you understand the application and testing process before deciding if your child is ready. Consider not only your child’s academic readiness but also their physical and emotional readiness. Are their grades consistently strong? Can they sit and concentrate during multiple tests? How do they manage stressful situations? All of these questions should be considered before applying so you can ensure your child has the best chance of receiving a scholarship.
Ask questions and apply early
Many schools run scholarship testing over February or March and in October or November. It is crucial to be aware of application and testing dates. Toorak College recommends adding any key dates to your diary to avoid double booking. It goes without saying that each year we receive an influx of queries in the days leading up to applications closing. The advice is to ask questions early, in person or via phone or email.
Completing our scholarship application form should take no longer than 15 minutes, so if you have decided that you are going to apply for a scholarship there is no good reason to delay your application.
Preparing for the test
When it comes to the testing day, it is important that your child understands what they are doing and why they are doing it. At Toorak College, we want to avoid students putting unnecessary pressure on themselves. While there are many scholarship tutoring programs and practice tests available for purchase we find the best preparation is a good night’s sleep, a hearty breakfast and lots of positive encouragement.
If at first you don't succeed, try again
Each year, many students and families are not offered a scholarship. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try again. We know that every student is unique and that children develop at different times so we always encourage those who have missed out previously to apply the following year.
At Toorak College we believe scholarships enrich our School and help students follow their dreams. We offer a range of scholarships for remarkable girls across different year levels. We welcome applications from current students attending Toorak College and external students looking to join Toorak College.
Mrs Sarah Becker is the Enrolments Manager at Toorak College