A young Whangarei woman who wants to return home after her studies and help her community is one of four Northlanders to receive a scholarship for being the first in their family to attend university.

Four young Northland woman were among the 11 recipients of Auckland University of Technology's (AUT) Woolf Fisher Trust First-In-Family Scholarships.

Jaycie Bradley, a former Pompallier College student, was shocked when she received an email saying she had snapped up the scholarship.

"But I think my family were more excited than I was," she said. The 18-year-old is studying a Bachelor of Health at AUT and hopes to return to Whangarei after completing her four-year degree.

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"In Whangarei there is a high demand for mental health and my family have had previous jobs in mental health. I really like helping people and I want to return to Whangarei after I finish studying," she said.

Ms Bradley, who is of Ngapuhi descent, said the scholarships - which cover the direct costs of study for the duration of recipients' undergraduate degree with a nominal value of around $20,000 per scholarship - provided good financial support.

"University is really expensive, particularly when you're living away from home. I know for my family [the cost] was why they didn't attend university."

The other recipients included former Kerikeri High School student, Jazmine McKenzie, former Okaihau College student, Haeleigh McGee-King and former Kaitaia College student Nadia Liebert.

Ms Liebert, who is studying a Bachelor of Business, said she hoped to make a difference through business.

"I aim to create opportunity for those who have few [opportunities], particularly in the Far North, because I have seen first-hand that opportunity isn't always present.

"On a more personal note, I want to bring forward an element of academic success within my family," Ms Liebert said.

Ms McKenzie is studying spatial design at AUT and Ms McGee-King is studying a Bachelor of Law.