Breanna's Story

Breanna has overcome some big challenges in her early life; as a teen she experienced complete hair loss through Alopecia, teen pregnancy and then finished her HSC while also beginning her new life as a mother.

She did it by being resilient, believing in herself and having a supportive family, friends and school.

Now she is a Stellar Ambassador and full time uni-student; inspiring school students to chase their dreams and take up opportunities as they come.

What inspired you when you feared you might fail:

“I met a woman who was studying at uni full time, she also worked and was a mother of three. I thought, if she can do it, then so can I. She was my inspiration!

Support at uni

 

If you are thinking about uni, you might be wondering what is costs, how you can pay for it and if there are services available to support your needs.  Universities strive to be inclusive, safe environments and offer a large array of support services to help students achieve their goals. Depending on your personal circumstances the Government may also provide some financial support, particularly when considering course costs.

Click on the tabs below for more information about some of the support available at uni.

WELLBEING

Many universities will offer services that can support your wellbeing, these might include:

  • On-campus health clinics offering services such as:
    – General practitioners
    – Mental health support
    – Allied Health
  • Gyms
  • Social and competitive sports teams
  • Clubs and other social activities
  • Wellbeing is also supported by the promotion of student safety
EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Universities will usually have a team of staff who are dedicated to promoting equity within the uni environment. Some of their initiatives might include the following:

  • Raising awareness and sensitivity to matters of culture and diversity by holding special events or providing education.
  • Assisting students with disability or who experience hardship caused by other conditions to overcome barriers to study.
  • Coordinating initiatives to improve the access, participation, retention and success of students who are proportionally under-represented in higher education.
  • Supporting an Inclusive University including an LGBTIQ+ Ally network.

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

HOW IS UNI PAID FOR?

When you attend university or an approved higher education provider, you can get a HECS-HELP loan to pay for your studies from the Government. A HECS-HELP loan allows you to pay off your course fees gradually once you start to receive a certain level of income.

Get more information here: Study Assist Website

SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarships fall under a variety of different categories so it is definitely worth checking if you might be eligible to apply for one.

Financial support for regional families. The Clarence Valley is a regional area, so you may be eligible for bonus financial support, away from home allowances, relocation assistance, scholarships and fare allowances, on top of regular Centrelink support.

Here is a brief list of the types of groups scholarships might target…

· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
· Academically Exceptional
· Athletically Elite
· Financial Disadvantage
· Institutional (for a specific University)
· Non-English Speaking Background
· Physical, Medical or Psychological Disability
· Regional/Rural and Isolated area resident
· Students who want to study non-traditional careers paths (eg Men who want to study nursing, Women who want to study Engineering)

Remember- any experience you can get while you’re still at school, will help build an awesome portfolio to include in scholarship applications. If there is a community event you can get involved in, volunteer or be part of an existing school activity or even part time work that shows you have initiative and drive. These will be major contributors not only for scholarships, but any other special considerations or programs that may come up in your future.

If you’re in Year 12, the type of scholarship you will be looking for is an ‘undergraduate’ scholarship.

Here are some other websites that are useful when looking for scholarships:
· Australian Government Education and Training
· Australian Universities
· Indigenous Scholarships
· Make Your Mark: Scholarships
· Country Education Forum – CEF
· The Good Universities Guide

LIVING EXPENSES

With the independence of university comes responsibility, especially the need to organise your cash flow. Most students find ways to reduce the costs of study. For example:

  • University study is often very flexible allowing many students to take up part time employment
  • Sharing housing/ living costs with other students makes living costs much cheaper.
  • Living expenses in regional Australia are often lower than in a city, but there are often more work opportunities in the city, which can help buffer the extra costs, if you do decide to move.

 

If you know how to manage your money there is really no need for stocking up on two-minute noodles. It is possible to eat well. I am lucky enough to have worked ever since I’ve been old enough, and still work at Coles during my uni holidays. With my hard-earned savings and a little bit of help from Centrelink, I’ve never had to ask my parents for a single cent! The cost of tuition can all go onto HECS-HELP – and that’s the most expensive part taken care of!”

Tegan

Grafton Local & University Student