Bay of Plenty students with physical or intellectual disabilities can apply for their share of BayTrust's $100,000 Dillon Scholarship to help them fund their tertiary study next year.
Applications for the scholarship opens today and will close on December 7 for the 2019 academic year.
Now in its 27th year, the scholarship recognises that students living with disabilities often face additional study costs over and above those incurred by their able-bodied peers.
Those eligible may receive up to $5000 per year for a maximum of five years to help them obtain tertiary qualifications.
Dillon Scholarship committee chairman Bill Cleghorn said students could apply for any funding amount that was reasonably associated with their tertiary study.
"The funds awarded to each student is designed to help level the playing field with their fellow students and recognises their achievement in pursuing a tertiary education," he said.
Cleghorn said the Dillon Scholarship was 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.
More than $1.7 million of scholarships have been awarded to more than 500 students with significant disabilities since its inception.
Past recipients have used their 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," Cleghorn said.
The scholarship committee will consider applications from students who live within the Bay of Plenty, and who are applying to study at university, polytechnic or other New Zealand-based institutions recognised by NZQA or equivalent.
Bay students who have a medically-recognised significant disability can apply on-line at http://www.baytrust.org.nz/dillon-scholarship or phoning BayTrust on 0800 654 546.