How much does a $30,000 APREF university scholarship help a first year student? According to Will Lonergan and Meg Eishold, it’s an absolute game-changer.

Having each been the recipient of an Australian Property Research and Education Fund (APREF) scholarship, both university students have seen the immediate and long-lasting benefits from the program.

Mr Lonergan said the APREF scholarship helped him cover the costs of moving away to university and other funds associated with higher education, which can be a struggle for some students.

“The scholarship has helped me financially, which has been really awesome paying for rent, as well as new books and those types of necessities,” he told ANZPJ.

Recipients also gain access to senior property professionals who will act as mentors for the students, something the 18-year-old attributes as a highlight. 

“It’s been really good to meet a couple of people at the API. I’ve done an one-hour shift at the careers expo, which was really awesome to meet a couple of people.

Despite learning challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Lonergan said he has been enjoying university life and is even more excited by the prospect of becoming a property professional in the future.

“I’ve struggled a little with online learning just because I am more of a face-to-face type of person, but Deakin is really awesome with their online learning facilities so that’s been really good,” he said.

“I’ve met heaps of people, particularly on residential housing and not so many from my actual course, but its been really good and I am looking forward to this semester.

Mr Lonergan urged those wanting to be considered for next year’s scholarship to act sooner rather than later.

“Get in early to show you’re eager for it and don’t rush the application process. This was my first big application I have done and I think being thorough with your answers on the application really helps,” he said.

Ms Eishold shared similar sentiments when discussing the benefits the scholarship had provided her during her first year of university.

“I’d say definitely financially it has been a big help.  To have that [scholarship] means I haven’t had to seek part time financial work, I have been able to focus more on my university studies and that’s been allowing me to achieve better grades,” she told ANZPJ.

“The mentoring side of things will be very beneficial in future years and will help me get a foot in the door.”

Having been able to focus on her studies, the 19-year-old is thrilled to be learning about the property profession and is excited for what the future holds.

“[University] has been good. My classes are very broad at this stage, but I am liking it and am looking forward to getting more specific into the property side of things,” she said.

“I am doing one property subject and it’s my favourite, so I am looking forward to doing more property subjects.”

When it comes to those considering applying for this year’s scholarships, Ms Eishold offers simple advice.

“I’d say definitely apply for it, you never know what you’re going to get,” she said.

APREF is once again funding two $30,000 scholarships – $10,000 a year, paid over three years – to study an API accredited property valuation tertiary degree in 2022, with one being awarded to a prospective university student in Tasmania and another in regional Australia. 

Applicants can be current year 12 pupils or mature-aged students, with submissions closing 30 October, 2021 – see a list of API accredited courses, scholarship information sheet and scholarship application form for more information