Rotorua students who have a significant physical or intellectual disability can now apply for their share of BayTrust's $100,000 Dillon Scholarship fund to help them do tertiary study next year.
The scholarship is now in its 26th year and recognises that students with disabilities often face more costs than their able-bodied peers.
There is no age restriction and those eligible may receive up to $5000 a year for a maximum of five years to help them obtain tertiary qualifications.
Dillon Scholarship committee chairman Bill Cleghorn said the scholarship was first established in 1990 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Bay Savings Bank, the forerunner of Trust Bank Bay of Plenty.
It was named after the late Ray Dillon, a former chairman of the Trust Bank Bay of Plenty board and former mayor of Tauranga.
Since inception, $1.68 million worth of scholarships have been awarded to more than 480 students with significant disabilities.
"The beauty of this scholarship is the funds can be applied by the student to any costs reasonably associated with their tertiary study," Mr Cleghorn.
"The funds awarded to each student are designed to help level the playing field with their fellow students and recognises their achievement in pursuing a tertiary education."
Past recipients have used their Dillon Scholarship money to pay for course fees, books, computers, transport and living costs.
"It reduces the financial pressure and allows them to concentrate on studying rather than having to work part-time job or worrying about how to make ends meet."
The scholarship committee will consider applications from students whose home base is within the Bay of Plenty, and who are applying to study at university, polytechnic or other New Zealand-based institutions recognised by NZQA or an equivalent.
Applications close on December 7. Application forms are available at www.baytrust.org.nz or by calling 0800 654 546.