Financial Assistance Preview reveals scholarship and loan opportunities

Wednesday, 20 February 2008 – The annual Curtin University of Technology Sarawak’s (Curtin Sarawak) Financial Assistance Preview that will be held on 22 February 2008 (Friday) at Mega Hotel, Miri from 6.30pm to 10pm will reveal more scholarship and loan opportunities from various organizations.

Dr. Adeline Wong, Academic Registrar of Curtin University of Technology, shares some tips and her views for those who are interested to apply for a scholarship or loan to further their studies in Curtin Sarawak.

A conversation with Dr. Adeline Wong
Q: Are scholarships only awarded to those at the top of their class?
Dr. Adeline: Yes, scholarships are usually awarded to those who excel in their studies as most scholarships are based on merit.

Q: If I’m at the top of my class, will I have to look very hard for a scholarship? Shouldn’t organisations be pounding at my door for the opportunity to pay for my education?
Dr. Adeline: Yes, scholarships are very competitive. There is always a better student out there even by a fraction of a percentage. Students’ results overall seem to be getting better and better each year so never take it for granted when you do excel in your studies. There is nothing free in life. You have to work hard for it.

Q: Are there billions of ringgits worth of unclaimed scholarships every year? Or is this just another cruel myth created to torture scholarship applicants?
Dr. Adeline: No, it is not true. Although there are plenty of scholarships offered each year, it is so competitive that someone is always next in the line. That is why it shouldn’t be taken for granted. The competitiveness often ensures that students with strong academic qualifications will outnumber the scholarships available. For example in Curtin Sarawak, we have offered more than what we expected to offer last year which exceeded RM800,000 because there were too many good students and we did not want them to miss out the opportunity to further their studies.

Q: Can I lose my scholarship, after it is awarded?
Dr. Adeline: Yes, students must perform and achieve at minimum 80% course weighted average to maintain the scholarship. They must be responsible and abide by all the rules and regulations of the university. This is only applicable to CSM scholarship. Most scholarship providers will have their own agreements with the students in terms of what their expectations are to maintain their scholarship.

Q: Should I apply for more than one scholarship? Should I apply for more than a hundred? A thousand?
Dr. Adeline: Be realistic in narrowing down your choice. Apply only if you meet the criteria. Realistically apply for only 3 and choose the best scholarship that suits you and that it is offering you the course that you are interested in not because it is free. Remember that the more well known the scholarship scheme is the more applicants and the more competitive it is. Therefore you should build your own strategy wisely.

Q: Applying for a loan will have an adverse effect on your chances of winning a scholarship or will result in an already-won scholarship being reduced.
Dr. Adeline: No, the two are not related. You can be on a scholarship and loan at the same time. Scholarship is given freely and loans must be repaid. However, when you are on a 100% scholarship scheme, you are not usually granted a loan because loans are meant to help those who have financial difficulties to further their studies. Again, I really want to stress that students will need to take initiative and be self-reliant that they should check with their scholarship providers to determine if there are any conditions attached.

Q: What is the scholarship application procedure like?
Dr. Adeline: It is very simple and straightforward. They can download the forms on the Curtin Sarawak website which is or get the forms from the Loan and Scholarship Department in the Student Services Building on the campus.

Q: Is scholarship only granted / guaranteed for parents with low income?
Dr. Adeline: No. Not all scholarships are granted for parents with low income. The emphasis is on merit unless stated otherwise.

Q: Do I send in my application of enrolment first before I apply for a loan/scholarship or is it the other way round?
Dr. Adeline: I would say that most scholarship/loan providers will need a letter of offer from the university before the students can proceed to apply for any scholarship. Any students applying for the Curtin Sarawak scholarship will need to enrol with the university first before they can lodge a scholarship application.

Q: Am I bonded to the organisation that offers me a scholarship?
Dr. Adeline: It depends on the scholarship agreement between the student and the scholarship provider. With the Curtin Sarawak scholarship, there are no post completion obligations.

Q: Can a student send in for another appeal once the scholarship/loan application has been rejected?
Dr. Adeline: The students may send in another appeal if there are certain extenuating circumstances that were not readily available during the time the committee makes the decision. However, the committee’s decision normally is final once made unless if it is a very special case.

Q: Is it possible for the student to apply to further their studies in the Bentley campus if they are a sponsored scholarship student by either one of the scholarships offers?
Dr. Adeline: All Curtin Sarawak scholarship does not have a provision to cover the studies in Perth. However, there may be others that would allow for it. Students may check with their own scholarship providers. Final year of Curtin Sarawak students do have the opportunity to compete for the Western Australian Government Premier Scholarship that is given to 5 top students to complete their final year in the Bentley campus where all accommodation, travel and tuition fees are provided by the Western Australian government and Curtin university.

Q: I didn’t get any scholarships. Where do I go from here?
Dr. Adeline: Loans. There are plenty of loans available. You can get loans from the bank, EPF withdrawal, PTPTN, Yayasan Sarawak or the Sarawak Higher Education Fund Charitable Trust.

Q: Any last advise that you would like to add on?
Dr. Adeline: There should be no reason why students can say that “I can’t study because I can’t afford it” because there are so many loans and scholarship available. If you want something hard enough, you find a way to make sure it happens.

If you have more enquiries and would like to know more about the different scholarship and loan schemes offered this year, make your way to the Financial Assistance Preview this Friday. Counsellors from Curtin Sarawak will be present to answer to all your questions. For more information on the event, kindly call Felecia Ngalih at 019-8856076 or Klaus Sim 0138308998.