FOR Charles Sturt University student Nap Holmes, a scholarship has eased the burden of moving from Forster.
The 18-year-old was offered a place to study physiotherapy, but making the move to Orange has meant moving eight hours away by car, or 12 hours if she takes public transport.
She gave up going on Schoolies Week in favour of working and saving up for university, and she was also successful in receiving $1500 in sponsorship from Energy Australia through the Country Education Foundation to help set herself up for her first year.
She spent the money on subsidising her accommodation, textbooks and an iPad for classes.
“By getting that sum, it’s encouraged me to strive forward and achieving that goal to come to uni,” she said.
“It’s made me grow a lot more independent and mature over a short period of time, and you learn to cope.”
However, Ms Holmes considered herself lucky because she believed her parents could have still supported her without the scholarship.
“But it would have been a lot more of a struggle to transition to the new lifestyle because the scholarship has helped make it easier and not as much of a burden,” she said.
“That was a big shock, the cost of textbooks.”
She said her next task was to buy a car in order to gain a part-time job to support herself during the remainder of her degree, but believed all university students needed additional government support.
“It’s just the opportunity to get out of town and out of the cycle - I come from a small town and my parents didn’t go to university,” she said.
The CEF has valued the cost of sending a student from a rural or regional area to study at a metropolitan university at $25,000-$35,000 a year and has compiled the 2015 CEF Tertiary Scholarships Guide to help them afford the living costs.
The guide can be found at https://cef.org.au/students/scholarships.