University of Newcastle

Scholarships and schemes

UON equity programs aim to make tertiary education accessible to all eligible students, regardless of their background. 

Schools Recommendation Schemes

UON participates in the Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS), which allows current Year 12 students to receive early offers of admission. SRS aim to assist access to higher education using a wide range of selection criteria other than (or in addition to) the ATAR. These include school recommendations and senior secondary studies. 

There are no fees to apply for SRS, but you will be required to pay a processing fee when you apply for undergraduate admission through UAC.

UON will take into account the criteria listed below when considering your application:

  • your Year 11 studies
  • your school’s rating.

SRS is not available for all courses and UON may limit the number of offers made in some courses

How Schools Recommendation Schemes work.

Educational Access Schemes

UON has an Educational Access Scheme (EAS) to assist applicants whose education has been disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control for a substantial period of time. 

To apply for EAS you must be able to demonstrate that your Year 11 and/or Year 12 studies have been negatively affected for a period of at least six months, as a result of circumstances beyond your control or choosing. You must also be:

  • a UAC applicant for undergraduate admission
  • an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident of Australia.

EAS does not apply to the B Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program) and applications are processed centrally through UAC.

How Educational Access Schemes work.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Australian Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander applicants are able to access university study through standard entry or pathway procedures. Australian Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander students are enrolled in a variety of degrees and preparatory courses across the University and places are available for students in all faculties. 

The Wollotuka Institute provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and offers a wide range of services and facilities including individual tutorial assistance across the Newcastle, Central Coast and Port Macquarie campuses.

Equity Scholarships

Equity Scholarships (ES) assist disadvantaged students with the general costs associated with tertiary study. ES are awarded to students from low socio-economic backgrounds, particularly those who receive Centrelink income support payments such as ABSTUDY, Austudy, Youth Allowance, Newstart Allowance, Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment (Single) or the Carer Payment.

The University of Newcastle offers a comprehensive range of scholarships across different programs and study levels to support new and continuing students. When awarding UON Equity Scholarships, the University gives preference to applicants who demonstrate financial hardship plus other educational disadvantages.

The UON Student Loans Scheme also provides interest-free and fee-free emergency loans to students who demonstrate genuine need.

All UON Equity Scholarships applications are processed centrally through UAC.

How to apply for Equity Scholarships.

Financial assistance


For details on Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY, visit the Department of Human Services website.


Student loans are available to assist students experiencing financial difficulty with costs associated with education needs. To find out more, visit the UON website.

The University offers a range of scholarships to commencing undergraduate students. These scholarships have varying closing dates. 

Elite athlete program

UON is an elite athlete-friendly university and will assess applications for special consideration from applicants who are recognised as elite athletes. UON provides a range of support services to help balance the demands of study with your sporting career. 

Applicants wishing to be considered under this scheme should first complete an application for their elite athlete status.

To find out more, visit The Forum website.

Postgraduate students

UON offers a limited range of scholarships for postgraduate students in specific areas of study. For information and application forms, visit the UON website.

Regional and Rural Adjustments Scheme

UON’s Regional and Rural Adjustments Scheme supports students from regional and rural Australia by awarding bonus points to 2017 HSC students who attend schools within a defined postcode boundary. The scheme applies to all undergraduate programs except: 

  • 785000 B Medical Science/Doctor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program), and
  • 483400 B Midwifery.

No application is necessary for this scheme. To find out more, visit the UON website.

Year 12 Adjustments Scheme

The UON Year 12 Adjustments Scheme rewards high-achieving Year 12 students and addresses national skills shortages. To find out which Year 12 subjects and band levels attract adjustments in specific programs, visit the UON website.

Year 12 Subject Spotlight

UON considers more than just your ATAR for entry into many of our degree programs. UON matches your performance in individual HSC subjects and align them with related UON degrees to determine if you are eligible for your preferences. No application is necessary for this scheme. 

For available degrees and details on related Year 12 subjects, visit the UON website.

Bridging courses

UON Prep bridging and refresher courses are specifically designed to improve your academic skills and refresh your knowledge prior to commencing your degree. The courses are not designed to replace the assumed knowledge or recommended studies associated with your degree. Research has shown that students who complete a UON Prep bridging and refresher course perform better in their degree studies.

The free courses run in the weeks prior to commencing your study, and are offered in a range of key areas including academic skills for tertiary studies, biology, chemistry, general computing for academic studies, linguistics, mathematics, physics and statistics. Courses are conducted on campus and typically run for approximately 15–20 hours duration.

Four interactive online UON Prep courses are also offered for flexible completion, including academic survival skills, essential numeracy, maths for science and foundation chemistry.

To find out more, visit the UON website.