Schools welcome new USQ scholarship program
THE University of Southern Queensland says it has had an overwhelming response to its new scholarships plan, which would see some of Queensland's top performing students given up to $29,000 to study there.
The new packages announced last month would award one of three scholarship packages to students who receive between an OP1 and 8 and place USQ as their first preference on their QTAC applications.
Students who receive between an OP1 and 2 will automatically receive a package worth $29,000, OP6 and higher a $20,000 package and OP8 and higher a $6000 package.
Several high school principals and guidance officers told The Chronicle they had noticed an increased number of students who had put USQ as their first preference on QTAC applications, because of the scholarship.
Toowoomba Christian College principal Richard Brown said the scholarships had made students stop and look more closely at USQ.
"I just want to congratulate USQ for taking this initiative for making staying in Toowoomba attractive, for thinking of our students and the benefit it gives back to the community," he said.
"It has got students to consider the local university in a way they might not have before. The region has so much to offer, but traditionally people just thought they had to go Brisbane."
Vice Chancellor Geraldine Mackenzie said the response had been "incredibly positive" as the scholarships were giving kids incentives to study at USQ.
"As it's a cash scholarship, it means students are able to spend it on things like a vehicle, living expenses, text books," she said.
"The hardest things for students at university is being able to support themselves, that's why many drop out.
"The dollar figure means they understand they won't have to work as many shifts at McDonald's or whatever else it might be. It's a game changer for them."