The Country Education Foundation (CEF) has launched a new online Scholarships Guide today, helping young rural and regional Australians access scholarships, grants and bursaries.

This purpose-built online search platform will allow students to locate hundreds of scholarships in just a few quick clicks.

There are hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships up for grabs each year but knowing where to look and how to apply is a big hurdle for school leavers, especially country students who don’t have easy access to tertiary institutions.

CEF has brought together scholarships from a broad range of facilities from across Australia in one easy to use website. The CEF 2018 Scholarships Guide is a gold mine of higher education scholarship opportunities.

“Who says the next Nobel Prize or a cure for cancer can’t come from a country kid who has been taught in a one-teacher school? Not us! We are firm believers that your postcode shouldn’t determine your destiny, this resource can make the task of finding additional financial assistance that much less overwhelming for school leavers” CEF CEO Wendy Cohen said.

“School leavers from rural and regional Australia have just as much potential as kids who grow up in the city but are being locked out of further education because of financial pressures and a lack of access to opportunities.”

Ms Cohen said CEF is committed to levelling the higher education playing field for rural and regional students.

“Accommodation, course fees, textbooks and equipment and travel is just too much for a lot of students and their families. Relocation costs, accommodation and living expenses are closing the door on opportunity for a lot of country kids and that’s just not fair.”

“If we can help with that through offering our Scholarships Guide as well as our own local foundation grants, we are helping open doors and closing the education attainment gap.” 

This is the second year in a row that Macquarie University has chosen to be the major sponsor of the CEF 2018 Scholarships Guide.

“I am very proud of our sponsorship of this scholarship guide. As a former rural student, growing up in Ivanhoe and Dubbo, I understand the challenges young people from regional, rural and remote areas face, and the importance of education in helping them reach their full potential. This partnership with the Country Education Foundation will point students towards resources to support them on their academic journey and, I hope, change their lives the way my education changed mine,” said Professor S Bruce Dowton, Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University.

CEF principal partner Origin Foundation is also proud to be involved in opening doors for country students.

Head of the Origin Foundation, Sean Barrett, said: “The further students are located from metropolitan centres the poorer they perform.  According to some data, a 15-year-old in the city is likely to be a year-and-a-half more advanced than a young person in a remote area.  The problem is not in far away communities of the Northern Territory, but begins in the towns an hour’s drive from our capital cities.”

“Addressing this unacceptable disparity is a focus for the Origin Foundation, which believes all Australian children deserve a good education to set them up for future success,” Mr Barrett said.

The CEF 2018 Scholarships Guide is available to search now at www.cef.org.au.