Aspire scholarship students

Aspire scholarship

The Aspire scholarship is a four-year scholarship targeting students with demonstrated financial need, good academic results, leadership potential and an interest in serving their communities. This scholarship offers financial assistance for students in Years 10 to 12 and the first year of university, should they choose to study at CDU. This program is funded by the Australian Government's Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP).

Recognising that financial hardship is just one barrier that prevents students from educational attainment, the Aspire scholarship is designed to support students' progression into tertiary study through a range of activities that build and strengthen students' personal and educational development, grow their leadership potential and nurture in them a sense of social responsibility for their community.

Financial support

The Aspire scholarship will provide selected students with $1,000 per annum in Years 10 to 12 and their first year of university.*

Students may use their funds toward any of the following:

  • School and tuition fees
  • Course-related materials/text books
  • School uniforms or safety equipment for classes
  • Volunteering SA & NT membership
  • Educational equipment hire, purchase or repairs such as laptops, iPads, tablets, calculators or software
  • Study materials including a study desk or chair
  • Face-to-face tutoring
  • Fees for UMAT exams, practise tests or UMAT preparation
  • University application fees
  • School excursions, camps or trips
  • Year 12 formal ticket and/or jumper
  • Travel for educational forums/workshops or CDU events.

* Awarding of a scholarship does not bond a student to university studies at CDU, however the fourth year of scholarship support will be available only to those who take up university study at CDU in the year following completion of their year 12 studies, or after a gap year.

The Aspire student experience

In addition to financial support, students will have the opportunity to take part in a range of activities and support programs that help them develop goals for the future and connect them to CDU students, staff, alumni and the broader community.

Activities may include:

  • An orientation event in Year 10
  • Social gatherings where scholarship recipients meet their peers and members of the CDU community
  • Community service projects
  • Speaker forums
  • Admissions support (for students and parents/guardians)
  • Parent/Guardian information sessions
  • Campus tours
  • Reflective practice through digital storytelling and e-portfolios
  • Tutoring support.

Aspire scholarship requirements


To be eligible for a four-year Aspire scholarship, applicants must:

  • Be a Year 9 student at the time of nomination and enrolling in Year 10 for the following academic year in a senior school partnered with CDU in the Aspire Program
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Be an Australian citizen or the holder of a Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • Have an average or above average academic record sufficient to be considered on a viable pathway towards tertiary education as determined by the school staff member or Principal
  • Not already be receiving a Commonwealth scholarship.

Selection criteria

  • Demonstrated academic sufficiency and application to studies
  • Demonstrated interest and involvement in community groups or activities
  • Demonstrated leadership potential and/or good social skills
  • Demonstrated motivation towards education and personal development
  • Reliable school attendance
  • Good behaviour and attitude
  • Aspires to attend university
  • Preference given to students who will be the first in their family to attend university.

Characteristics of an Aspire student

A good candidate for the program will have the following attributes:

  • Aspires to attend university
  • May be the first in their family to attend university
  • Is motivated and willing to work hard to achieve their goals
  • Wants to assist and serve their local community
  • Attends school regularly
  • Has average or above average school grades and possesses academic potential
  • Has a positive and respectful attitude towards teachers, peers and self.

Maintaining an Aspire scholarship

  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress for the duration of the scholarship
  • Attend compulsory Aspire events and participate in Aspire activities.

Ongoing requirements

  • It is the responsibility of the scholarship recipient and the senior school to advise CDU regarding any changes to the scholarship recipient's circumstances that could affect their ongoing eligibility*
  • If the scholarship recipient does not meet the ongoing scholarship requirements, CDU will issue a warning letter after being notified by the participating school. The student will be provided with one academic term to fulfil all the eligibility requirements. If the student is unable to meet these requirements, the scholarship will be terminated.
  • If the scholarship is terminated within the first year of receipt, the school may provide an alternate nominee for consideration by CDU. If the scholarship is terminated after the first year of the its receipt, the school is unable to reallocate the scholarship.*

*Possible circumstances that could result in the scholarship's termination may include: the student moving interstate, overseas or to another school; serious misconduct by the student; inability to maintain the participation and academic results required. Where a student moves to another school partnered with the CDU Aspire Program, transfer of a scholarship may be considered on a case by case basis.

Application Guidelines

Applications for the Aspire scholarship open in August each year.

Participating schools will promote the funding opportunities to students, assist students in completing their applications and submit shortlisted candidates to CDU for the final selection process.

Applications must have all relevant sections completed by the applicant, the partner school and the applicant's chosen referee before being submitted.

Successful applicants will be notified by the end of October each year and officially awarded their scholarship during end of year school award ceremonies (Nov / Dec).

You can obtain an Aspire scholarship application form from the Aspire school contact at participating schools.