Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Applications for the 2021 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships are now closed.

Why is the Scholarship not available to first year students?

In 2018, the Government introduced fees FREE for first year tertiary students. With the first year fees covered by the Government, applications for the Toloa Tertiary Scholarships are only available to tertiary students in their second, third and/or fourth year of study. They are also open to STEM postgraduates in the first and/or sequential years of study.

What does 'of Pacific Island descent' mean?

To be eligible for a Toloa Tertiary Scholarship, applicants must be defined as citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand who are of indigenous Pacific descent from any of the following islands: 

Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Fiji, Rotuma, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Wallis and Futuna, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Rapanui (Easter Island).

How do I provide proof?

If shortlisted, applicants will be asked to provide the Ministry for Pacific Peoples a copy of a current passport or birth certificate. This is a requirement as proof of identification.

What is the selection panel looking for?

Your application will be considered against the following criteria:

  • B+ average
  • cultural participation in Pacific communities;
  • leadership potential;
  • level of preparedness for further study based on academic record
  • Studying at a recognised New Zealand Tertiary Institution i.e. University, Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

We encourage you to check your application clearly outlines the above before submitting.

What information is required from my referees?

You are required to attach character reference letters from two independent referees when completing the application form. The reference will need to cover off the following:

  1. explain how long they have known you;
  2. how they know you;
  3. illustrate your ability to meet the criteria of the scholarship;
  4. outline your potential to advancing positive outcomes in the Pacific community; and
  5. outline why you deserve a STEM scholarship

The referees must be of appropriate standing e.g. church minister, school teacher, school principal, youth worker etc. 

Why can't I submit my application?

Please ensure you've checked that you have answered and/or selected all the questions where an asterisk appears (*). An asterisk indicates that the question or section of the form requires a response and/or attachment to be uploaded before you can submit your form.

Incomplete applications and/or incorrect attachments (such as no academic transcript or referees) will not be considered.

When will the successful recipients be announced?

The successful recipients of the Toloa Tertiary Scholarships will be notified in January 2021.

If I am successful in my application, how will the Scholarship payments be made? 

Scholarships are capped at $10,000 per year and cover compulsory fees, course fees, student services fees and building levy.

Payment of the full scholarship amount will be made directly to your University Scholarships Office at the beginning of the course of study. The Scholarships Office will manage allocation of the scholarship funds to approved fees. Scholarship funds will not be passed directly to you. 

What if I change from STEM to Health Sciences?

If you transfer to a non-STEM course of study, or withdraw from study altogether, any unused scholarship funds will be returned to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

Can I apply for a Scholarship if I'm currently residing overseas?

Sure, you can proceed with your application as long as you are able to prove that you are a New Zealand citizen or resident and you meet the guidelines and criteria which indicate studying in New Zealand.

Can I apply if I already hold a scholarship?

Yes you can. If you have received another scholarship that covers for example accommodation or study expenses, this does not compromise your Toloa Tertiary Scholarship. The Toloa Tertiary Scholarship funds course and compulsory fees only. Simply make sure that your application lists any known scholarship - name of provider, purpose and value.

If you are unsure and need further clarification, please email [email protected] for advice before you complete your application.

Will I receive any other support while I am studying?

Academic mentoring is a compulsory component of the Toloa Tertiary Scholarship. The successful applicants will be paired with an appropriate STEM role model who will act as mentor. The mentor will make regular contact during the relevant academic year and can assist with research and advice.

What if my annual course fees are higher than $10,000?

The Toloa Tertiary Scholarship will fund up to $10,000 per annum to only cover course and compulsory fees. If fees exceed $10,000 per annum, then additional funding may be sourced elsewhere to cover the excess. Part payment may be from another Scholarship - we encourage you to check the purpose for that scholarship.

How do I apply?

To apply for a Toloa Tertiary Scholarship, you must complete the online application form while it is open. Applications have now closed (5pm on Monday 9 November 2020).

How do I know my application has been accepted?

You will receive a confirmation email at the email address you provided on your application. If you do not receive the confirmation email, please remember to check your spam folders.

Otherwise, please email [email protected] and we will follow up your application for you.

How can I withdraw my application?

You can email us at [email protected] and request to withdraw your application. Please include your name and full details and our team will be in touch.

Legal terms

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples is not obliged to award the full number of Scholarships if there are not enough applications of sufficient merit. The Ministry for Pacific Peoples has the power to amend or vary the criteria provided that there is no departure from the main purpose of the Scholarship. This may include variation of the scholarship to align with the course.