Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply for a scholarship?
There are two types of Western Chances scholarships: one for new applicants, and the other for scholarship renewals. All applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for a Western Chances Scholarship:
- Display demonstrable talent and commitment to an education or career pathway
- Attend a government school, TAFE, university or Community Service Organisation
- Be aged between 12 and 25 years when applying for a new scholarship
- Demonstrate need for financial assistance e.g. AB Study, Youth Allowance, or a Health Care Card
- Live in one of the following municipalities in Melbourne’s west:
- Hobsons Bay
- Moonee Valley
The only exception to the above criteria is for renewing scholarship applicants who have had to move out of the western suburbs to pursue further study.
Who can nominate applicants?
A nominator is a person who knows the applicant well in a professional capacity. This person could be a school principal, teacher, school welfare coordinator, or school career guidance counselor. A nominator can also be a TAFE or university lecturer or tutor; a music, dance or drama instructor; or a professional from a community or welfare organisation.
Who cannot nominate an applicant?
Parents, guardians, family and friends do not qualify as nominators for Western Chances Scholarships. Tertiary students wishing to renew their scholarships nominate themselves; all other applicants must have a nominator.
How do I submit an application?
The nominator or renewing tertiary student must complete the appropriate Western Chances Application Form. Western Chances uses an online application system. Application forms can be found in the scholarships section of this website when scholarship rounds are open.
Once I get a Western Chances Scholarship, can I get another one?
Scholarship recipients can apply to renew their scholarship each year should their need, motivation and talent continue. This process can continue until the scholarship recipient completes their studies or training. You can only receive one Western Chances scholarship in any calendar year.
How much are Western Chances Scholarships?
Scholarships are tailor made and based on the needs of each recipient. They average around $850 annually.
What are the additional benefits of having a Western Chances Scholarship?
Being a Western Chances Scholarship recipient enables young people in Melbourne’s west to take part in other Western Chances programs to encourage leadership and personal advancement. Please refer to the Western Chances Links Program and keep your eye on your email for our regular Opportunity Alert emails.
What can money from a Western Chances Scholarship support?
Western Chances Scholarships can support a variety of areas including, but not limited to:
• Art materials
• Computer software
• Internet connection fees up to $300 per year
• Laptops and specialist computers
• Lecture notes
• Maths calculators
• Specialist lessons
• Stationery, printing and photocopy costs
• Specialist study camps
• TAFE and VET/VCAL subject fees
• Transport costs
• Tutoring and private lessons
• Uniforms related to VET subjects (general uniform costs will not be funded).
Are there items that a Western Chances Scholarship will not fund?
Yes, these include:
• HECS debt
• Living costs (food, electricity etc)
• School fees/levies
• School uniforms, including Year 12 blazers
• Travel or moving costs for recipients moving interstate or to rural areas for study
• Upfront university fees
• Year 12 graduation costs.
How is the money for scholarships paid?
For recipients attending secondary school, scholarship money is paid to the nominator’s organisation and used directly by that organisation to fund the items provided in the scholarship. For tertiary students, funds are paid to the recipient directly.
Do Western Chances Scholarships expire?
Scholarships will expire after 12 months. Any unspent scholarship funds must be returned to Western Chances.
When can I apply for a Western Chances Scholarship?
Scholarship applications in the new scholarship round (first-time scholarship applications) can be submitted from the first week of school term three until the closing date six weeks later. Scholarship applications in the renewal round can be submitted from the first week of the school term one until the deadline six weeks later.
Do you accept applications outside of the specified application rounds?
Who decides if my application is successful?
Scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the Western Chances scholarship selection committee to applicants who best meet the criteria and demonstrate their motivation to develop their talent, passion or pathway. The selection committee reserves the right to seek additional information in respect of the application if it deems this to be necessary.
When will I hear if my application has been successful?
New scholarships are assessed and paid in October/November. Your nominator will be notified in writing of the outcome of your application. Renewal scholarships are assessed and paid in May/June. Your nominator (or you if you are a renewing scholarship applicant attending university) will be notified in writing of the outcome of your application.
Do I receive a certificate for my scholarship?
All new scholarships awarded and paid in October/November are publicly awarded at a ceremony the following March to which all first-time scholarship recipients, school representatives and families are invited. At these ceremonies, a certificate is presented to each scholarship recipient, and then the recipients and their families have an opportunity to meet with Western Chances representatives and supporters. Please note that certificates are not awarded for renewal scholarships.
Can the funds be paid to my parent/guardian instead of my school/organisation?
No. For governance reasons all scholarship funds for secondary students are paid to the nominating school or organisation who are responsible for administering the funds. If you are a tertiary recipient the funds will be paid directly to your nominated bank account.
My needs have changed since my application was submitted; can I change what I spend my scholarship on?
If you need to change one of the items you have been awarded , you must contact Western Chances to get approval before you buy the new item. In most cases you will be allowed to reallocate your funds. However, before you call us or choose your new item, make sure you look at the list of items (above) which will be approved for funding.
Can my scholarship be cancelled?
If you are not keeping up with your work habits or putting in enough effort at school, your nominator may cancel your scholarship and return all the unspent money to Western Chances.