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Completing a degree debt free

10 September, 2015

Completing a degree debt free

A University of Waikato student has managed to complete her degree debt free.

Darelle Howard is completing a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) and says hard work and asking lots of questions are the key to achieving zero debt.

"I apply for every scholarship I'm eligible for, I work part-time and I ask lots of questions which has opened up lots of funding opportunities," says Darelle.

The former Mount Maunganui College student has won five scholarships totalling more than $27,000. The latest was a $6000 Freemason's University Scholarship. She also received a $5000 Vice-Chancellor's Academic Excellence School Leaver Scholarship for achieving NCEA endorsed with excellence.

"Some scholarships have a long application process but it's worth the effort if you're successful – it's not a bad hourly rate really," she says.

On top of the scholarships, Darelle receives student allowance from StudyLink and works part-time during the semester and full-time over the breaks at jobs she's found on Student Job Search.

Although it's been stressful at times to juggle work and study, not having a student loan is something Darelle's really proud of.

"A bit of hard work can go a long way and there are so many support services at University to help – you've just got to ask," she says.

With the new Applicant Day event coming up on Saturday 19 September, Darelle thinks it's the perfect opportunity for people to visit the campus and talk one-on-one to University staff about their study and finance options.

"I had no idea what I wanted to study when I was still at school but talking to one of the Waikato's Future Student Advisers helped me find the subjects that were right for me,” she says.

Applicant Day on Saturday 19 September, 10am - 3pm, at the Hamilton campus is a new event and makes applying for tertiary study easier. The event gives prospective students, applicants and their families the opportunity to receive guidance on their study options and complete their applications on the day.

There'll be one-on-one consultations with faculty staff, information sessions, mini lectures, and StudyLink will be on campus to provide financial information and support. For those still unsure of their study plans, Applicant Day is an opportunity to explore what the University has to offer.


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