Of more than 500 students to receive an offer so far from La Trobe University, 117 are from regional Victoria.
Still open for applications, the University’s Aspire Program rewards students’ involvement in community, leadership and volunteering with an early conditional offer, and access to unique support programs and networking opportunities.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global and Regional), Professor Richard Speed, said the early offers had been a welcome relief for many students, during a tumultuous year.
“We’re all feeling for this cohort of Year 12 students, who have completed the final two years of their secondary schooling in really challenging circumstances,” Professor Speed said.
“Though this won’t replace the hours of missed face-to-face classes, or cancelled social and sporting events, it will hopefully give them a bit more certainty for their future, at a time when many are feeling anxious.”
Sanae Gagliardi from Notre Dame College in Shepparton – who received an early conditional offer for a Bachelor of Health Sciences at the Bendigo campus – said she was grateful for the Aspire program.
“There are a lot of reward programs for high academic achievers but being a good student is about much more than your grades,” Sanae said.
“I think this is a great opportunity, especially given all the hardships we have been through. It takes that pressure off a bit and makes it easier for regional kids to show what we have to offer.”
Sanae said volunteering with Meals on Wheels for many years allowed her to put her own life into perspective and help those who were not as fortunate as herself.
“It is about stepping outside of our own struggles and our own problems sometimes and realising that some people do have it worse,” Sanae said.
Student at Victory Christian College in Bendigo, Alisha Rowden, said she was delighted to receive an early conditional offer to study a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus.
“Coming in and out of lockdown has been really hard but now that I know I have this Aspire offer, it is giving me more motivation to keep going,” Alisha said.
Alisha’s Aspire offer recognised her involvement over 11 years with the Venus Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, where she patrols the beach, and supports the nippers and starfish programs.
“It feels really good to be recognised for the volunteer work that I do. I like knowing that people have trust in me. It makes me feel like a leader, and has also helped me mature a lot.”
Alisha said her volunteer work inspired her choice of course at La Trobe.
“I chose to study primary education because helping with the nippers program bought out how much I enjoy working with children,” Alisha said.
“Every year seeing the children in the Nippers program come back older and more skilful – and watching them grow throughout the season – is really rewarding.”
Successful Aspire applicants receive an early conditional offer for 2022, even before they complete their exams.
They also receive exclusive benefits to help them succeed at La Trobe and beyond – including free access to hundreds of online study guides, practice exam questions and revision resources – as well a chance to be awarded one of 40 scholarships, worth up to $20,000.
Applications for this year’s Aspire program are now open, and will close on 17 September. More information on the Aspire program: https://www.latrobe.edu.au/study/aspire