Moving to a new place for education can be a scary and expensive task.
A group of regional students from the Australian National University in Canberra are aiming to change that.
The students have launched a crowdfunding campaign to kickstart a scholarship for rural and regional students who relocate to the ANU.
The group are fundraising to launch a scholarship for students with financial hardship who relocate to the ANU from a rural or regional part of Australia.
Joel Bourke relocated to the ANU in 2017 from Bowral and is a part of the group advocating for the scholarship.
“I am on a scholarship to the ANU, and I can safely say that I would not be able to do many of the things I am doing now if I didn’t have that financial support,” he said.
“It has been a privilege to be a part of this initiative, as it is bound to create beneficial opportunities for regional students across Australia.”
ANU student and scholarship spokesperson Jacob Mildren said regional students suffer due to a lack of accessibility.
“Regional students do not lack the intelligence or the capacity to attend university, however in many cases, the accessibility,” he said.
“We want to make it that bit easier for regional students with similar experiences to us to fulfill their aspirations and access opportunities they can’t get in regional areas”.
The scholarship will be $5000 and will support first year student accommodation and living costs.
The group of 15 ANU students have already raised $20000, and are looking to raise another $10000 by the end of 2017.
The aim is to have the scholarship offered for the next six years, and ultimately in perpetuity.
“A scholarship like this could change a life,” Mr Mildren said.
“For many regional students their parents and even extended family have never had the opportunity to attend university, with relocation costs being a main barrier”.
The group have started a Facebook page to share stories from regional students like themselves, www.facebook.com/ANUStudentsForRegionalScholarships.
The group’s crowdfunding site went live earlier this week, check it out here https://anu.useed.net/give/rural-regional-scholarship.