Scholarships: What is Wesley really looking for?

Posted February 16, 2021 in Academics, Opinion, Parenting Tips & Advice By Community Relations

Do I need to study? What are the interview questions like? Are past exam papers available? We break down what you really need to know about the road to a private school scholarship.


The independent school difference.

All young people deserve an excellent education and every independent school has a long tradition of scholarships which can transform the lives of talented young people. Beyond the financial component, scholarships are important to both the school and the successful scholars. The awarding of scholarships foremost acknowledges excellence in a chosen area (i.e. academic or music), but also promotes a culture of achievement and aspiration within a school. For the student, the scholarship can be life-changing – providing opportunity, and opening doors to elite programs across academia, the arts and co-curricular.

What are schools looking for?

Most schools will offer a range of scholarships annually and each will have their own criteria and selection policy. At Wesley, academic accomplishment is essential, but the candidate’s personal endeavour, willingness to embrace the College’s values and a breadth of involvement beyond academic studies, are also taken into consideration during the selection process.

The requirements for each scholarship follows the values held by the school and vary between the types of scholarships on offer. Ideally, candidates should demonstrate strong academic achievement, have a great work ethic and a desire to pursue personal excellence.

What questions will I be asked in the interview?

The purpose of the interview is to ‘get to know the boy behind the application and test results’. They can last anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes and questions may include:

  1. Why are you interested in a scholarship at an independent school?
  2. Talk about one of your passions – it does not need to be school-related.
  3. What are three areas you feel need improvement to become a more successful learner?

During the interview process, it is quite likely you will have the opportunity to ask questions of the school. Be prepared – have your own questions to hand!

At Wesley, all scholarships are offered for the tenure of enrolment – until the student completes Year 12 – and it is a family commitment. Therefore parents and guardians are also given an opportunity to ask questions at the time of the interview.

Does my child need to study?

Generally, no – but, check with each school. It isn’t uncommon for private schools to use independent, external providers such as Academic Assessment Services (AAS). These AAS tests are designed to identify academic potential, rather than an ability to regurgitate information from studying. The tests determine ability in general, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, and achievement in mathematics, reading comprehension, spelling and writing. Special preparation or coaching is not recommended.

When do I apply?

Normally, applications close 10 to 12 months before commencement. It’s wise to start your investigations 18 to 24 months out, so you are fully prepared. Take note of key dates, so you don’t miss any deadlines – most schools will not accept applications once the closing date has passed.

What if I’m a rural or overseas student and unable to attend testing day?

Most schools have provisions for regional and overseas students to sit the examinations at their current school. However, conditions may apply. For example, a teacher at your current school may be required to supervise your exams, and there may also be a higher application cost than the standard fee.

Are scholarships competitive?

Yes – it can be very competitive, as each school offers a limited number of scholarships.

 Am I eligible for a scholarship? What are the prerequisites?

It is important to note that each school will have their own terms and conditions. Do your research thoroughly!

 What is expected of me after being awarded a scholarship at Wesley College?

A scholarship is a privilege – therefore, although earned, it comes with an expectation and accountability. The scholar should uphold the values of the College at all times, and demonstrate a high level of engagement, effort and endeavour towards their commitments.

Wesley scholarships are subject to an annual review. The purpose of the review is two-fold – to ensure the holders are meeting their commitment, but also acknowledge their hard work and achievements over the year. This communication is separate their school report.

What is the process to apply for a scholarship?

Each school has a different process. Applications for 2023  will open in January 2022. Click here to out more about scholarships at Wesley.

Wesley College Enrolment Manager, Kelli Henning’s, top three tips for scholarship applicants:

  1. Be informed – do your research.

Scholarships are generally offered one year in advance. Visit the schools you’re interested in. Do they offer education programs to support your desired learning pathway? Are they the ‘right fit’ for you and your family? Ask about their scholarship opportunities and requirements (key dates, application form, scholarship interview, general terms and conditions).

  1. Preparation.

The best preparation is to arrive relaxed and refreshed on testing day. A good night’s sleep is very important.

  1. Testing Day.

Listen very carefully to directions from the supervisor. Try to stay relaxed and show the examiners what you know.




Subscribe to Wesley College News & Events