Frequently asked questions
We’ve answered your frequently asked questions here. If you’re not able to find the answer to your query below, feel free to contact us via email or give us a call on 1300 248 675 and we’ll assist you as best we can.
1. Will scholarships be given out every year?
Most of the scholarships we support are offered each year. There are several closing dates throughout the year as scholarships become available, so bookmark the Australian Scholarships Foundation website to check every so often. Sign up to our mailing list for regular updates and scholarship alerts.
2. Is there an application fee?
No, we do not charge individuals or organisations to apply for a scholarship.
3. Who is eligible?
Applicants must be either Australian citizens or permanent residents. This is a requirement of the Australian Tax Office in compliance with our DGR Status (see below). Applicants must also be directors, staff, or volunteers of charitable not-for-profit organisations.
4. Why must the applicant be an Australian citizen or permanent resident?
The Australian Scholarships Foundation is recognised as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). The Australian Income Tax Act requires that funds donated to a DGR for scholarships can only be used for scholarships awarded to Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents. The Income Tax Act does not provide for any exceptions to this requirement.
5. I’m a New Zealand citizen but living and working in Australia – do I qualify for a scholarship?
Applicants with New Zealand citizenship are not eligible for Australian Scholarships Foundation scholarships unless they have obtained Australian permanent resident status. New Zealanders are allowed to stay and work in Australia as they are automatically given a “Special Category Visa” (SCV) when they arrive. People who hold SCVs are “Temporary Residents.”
6. Which organisations qualify as not-for-profit in Australia?
Applicants must be from an Australian not-for-profit organisation that, in the opinion of the Australian Scholarships Foundation, generally fits one or more of the following criteria:
- has a charitable, community-public benefit or poverty relief purpose, as indicated by whether the NFP has Australian Tax Office TCC and/or DGR status, or “registered charity” status
- is a social enterprise or business (organisations using a business model to provide a social benefit) and which may not have TCC/DGR
- other organisations with a community or public benefit purpose (generally evidenced by a “formal” governance structure, voluntary participation by members and independence from government) that do not fit the above categories.
7. Are social enterprises eligible to apply?
Australian Scholarships Foundation accepts applicants from social enterprises that meet the following definition:
Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment and use the majority (at least 50%) of their profits to work towards their social mission (Social Traders Australia).
Generally, Australian Scholarships Foundation will exclude companies with a focus on generating commercial profit that doesn’t flow back to the community or to a social cause. We will generally give preference to applicants from charitable not-for-profit organisations when two applicants are considered equal in every other way.
Please contact us if you want to check your eligibility.
8. Who is ineligible for a scholarship?
Australian Scholarships Foundation will generally exclude applicants from:
- small unincorporated entities (informal organisations that provide sporting, recreational and social benefits)
- organisations relying solely on member contributions e.g., mutuals and cooperatives (which provide benefits to members usually via a business activity) and licensed clubs (that provide services for a fee to members as well as grants to community organisations)
- professional associations, self-help clubs, non-secular (religious purpose) organisations, government organisations carrying out the ordinary functions of government, social movements /campaigning organisations that work in the social change space, trade unions and political parties
- schools, hospitals and universities, and government organisations except for their associated entities that have TCC/DGR status e.g., building funds, research foundations
Please contact us if you want to check your eligibility.
9. Why don’t you expand the eligibility criteria?
The eligibility criteria is determined on the basis of government requirements – because we are a charity, we can only make awards to Australian citizens or permanent residents – and on the nature of the awards themselves – it would be inappropriate to award a scholarship to undertake a program of studies, say, to someone not eligible to enrol in the program.
10. I live outside Australia. Can I apply?
These scholarships are only for Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia who are employed by (or volunteering for) Australian charitable not-for-profit organisations. Australian citizens and permanent residents who live outside Australia who are employed by (or volunteering for) Australian charitable not-for-profit organisations are eligible as long as they meet the basic eligibility requirements and are able to meet any attendance requirements of the scholarship.
11. Where can I get an application form?
For Australian Scholarships Foundation supported scholarships we utilise an online application system. The link to each online form can be accessed via the Scholarships section of this site. For all other scholarships, simply follow the links to a separate application form on each scholarship provider’s website.
12. What is involved in the application process?
- Review the Scholarships page on our website and ensure you meet all of the eligibility requirements for the scholarship you are interested in
- Follow this link to our scholarship application portal
- Register an account with Australian Scholarships Foundation
- Go to “My applications”
- Choose the scholarship you’d like to apply for from the list of open scholarships
You will receive an automated confirmation email once you have successfully submitted your application.
Along with an application form, most Australian Scholarships Foundation supported scholarships require you to upload an endorsement letter written by your supporting organisation, i.e., the CEO (or member of the Board if you are the CEO of your organisation). If you are a non-executive director, you may obtain a letter from a fellow board member (ideally the Chair) or the CEO of the organisation.
They need to clearly state their support for you to undertake the study and what benefit it will be to the organisation, as well as any other information they believe may help the success of your application. Endorsement letters should be approx. an A4 page in length and include the employer’s contact details. A variety of Australian Scholarships Foundation assessment panel members and representatives from the education provider will read your endorsement letter so you may simply address it to the “Australian Scholarships Foundation Assessment Panel”.
Applications without an accompanying endorsement letter will not be considered unless the scholarship in question does not require a letter.
Other supporting documents
Some scholarships will require the submission of additional supporting documents, such as academic transcripts or a resume. You will be prompted to supply these documents if they are required.
13. Is the application process accessible to people with disabilities?
The Australian Scholarships Foundation is committed to providing an equitable and accessible experience for all scholarship applicants. We utilise Good Grants for our online application platform, which meets W3C WAI’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, Level AA conformance. If you require any reasonable adjustments please do not hesitate to contact the team at [email protected] or 1300 248 675.
14. What reasonable adjustments are available?
The team at Australian Scholarships Foundation will work with you to understand and meet your specific needs so that you can complete your scholarship application, such as providing the application form in an accessible Word format. Please contact us to discuss any adjustments which you would find beneficial, at [email protected] or 1300 248 675.
15. How are scholarships assessed?
Every year, we award more than 500 scholarship placements and receive close to 2000 applications.
Assessing the applications is an enormous task that requires the rigorous efforts of a collective of independent, industry-based experts, whom we call assessors from across the not-for-profit sector. Without this generous contribution, we would not be able to facilitate so many opportunities for professional development and thought leadership.
Assessment panels are given at least four weeks to review the applications. Applications are reviewed using the eligibility guidelines and scoring criteria provided to us by the education provider who is offering the scholarship/fellowship placement. Eligibility criteria and guidelines can be found on the website landing page for each scholarship.
Assessors are also given set guidelines around any key factors that must be considered such as geographic location or leadership experience.
Once the assessment panels have finished their review the shortlist is provided to the education provider who then selects the winning scholarship recipients.
All discussions and deliberations that occur within the appraisal process are confidential. Due to the incredibly large number of applications received each year we are unable to offer individual feedback to applicants. We do however strongly recommend that if you are unsuccessful one year not to let this deter you from applying again in the future
16. Can I apply for multiple scholarships?
Yes. There is no limit to the number of scholarships you may apply for even if they are available simultaneously. However, please note it is highly unlikely you will be awarded two scholarships at once.
If you are a past scholarship recipient, it is possible to receive another scholarship once you have completed the most recent course or after some time has passed. However, if you are considered to be equal in every other way with another applicant who has not yet received a scholarship, they will be given preference.
17. I didn’t receive a confirmation email when I submitted my scholarship application. What should I do?
- Login to our scholarships application portal and access your profile in the top right-hand corner, under your name.
- Go to ‘Preferences’ and ensure you have allowed ‘Broadcast emails’. This is how the Australian Scholarships Foundation will contact you in relation to the progress of your application, so it is important you allow us access to contact you.
- If you require assistance with this process please do not hesitate to contact the team at [email protected] or 1300 248 675.
18. What’s the deadline for applying?
Your application must be received by the closing date shown for the scholarship concerned, which you can find in the Scholarships section of this site. Application close times are in AEST/AEDT (Sydney) time, unless otherwise stated. You will not be able to submit your application after this time, however you can submit your application before then if it’s ready.
19. I missed the deadline – can I still apply?
No. Unfortunately, late applications cannot be accepted
20. How to make a complaint to the Australian Scholarships Foundation
If you applied for a scholarship or fellowship administered by the Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF), please refer to the relevant program criteria and eligibility as well as our FAQ’s page on this website in the first instance. These may answer your questions.
Please note our scholarships are assessed in confidence by rigorous panels of independent, industry experts, operating within the criteria set out by the education providers This is outlined in the application form and on each individual scholarship page.
If you have a concern regarding a scholarship, the application or the assessment process and wish to inform us please outline this in writing and in less than 500 words and send it to [email protected].
Your letter should detail:
- The scholarship or fellowship that concerns you
- The precise nature of your complaint and your own interest or connection. For example, are you upset with the outcome, the assessment process, or those who were successful.
- Your full name and contact details, including email address, and phone number
If you make a complaint, you must be willing to promptly reply to any requests for additional information.
We ask that complaints be made courteously.
Corrections and other issues
If you notice an error in our communications or have a problem with any other activity of the Australian Scholarships Foundation, please email us at [email protected].
We are committed to investigating and responding, in writing, to your complaint in a timely manner.