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First Foundation Scholarships

First Foundation offers scholarships to Year 12 students intending to study at University. Get financial support, paid work experience and one-on-one mentoring


Minimise your student loan

Get the life-changing benefits of a university education, without the burden of a big student loan. As a First Foundation scholar, you’ll get $4000 each year ($12,000 over three years) towards your university costs.

Get one-on-one mentoring

We’ll match you with a dedicated mentor, who will help you settle into university life, overcome challenges and achieve your goals. As well as giving you practical advice, they’ll be there to talk to about anything that’s on your mind.

Get paid work experience

On-the-job experience is vital to your future. We’ll pair you with an organization that’ll offer you paid work in the professional world for at least four weeks each year. You’ll grow your skills and your CV in a safe work environment while building relationships with the people you work with.

Meet other future leaders

As a First Foundation scholar, you’ll be part of a wider whānau of driven young Kiwis, with a support network you can reach out to in years to come.


Applications are now open

Each year we have a limited number of scholarships to offer. These are funded by ‘scholarship partners’, which are businesses, trusts and personal funders who want to help deserving young people make a difference in their community.

Scholarship partners each have their own criteria (on top of our general criteria). If your application is shortlisted, we’ll match you with a scholarship partner who we think is a good fit for you.

To apply for our standard scholarships, you’ll need to meet these criteria:

  • Have a maximum annual household income of $75,000 for 1-2 dependants OR $90,000 for 3 or more dependants. Dependants are children of the parents/caregivers in your household, who are financially dependent on their income to cover primary living costs (such as accommodation, food and educational costs).

  • Be enrolled in Year 12 at a New Zealand secondary school.

  • Have an overall Merit or Excellence endorsement in Level 1.

  • Be a New Zealand Citizen, NZ Resident, or have refugee status.

We also offer some corporate scholarships, where you’ll need to be employed by OR related to an employee of a corporate scholarship partner (along with some other criteria).

Find out more about our eligibility criteria for standard and corporate scholarships.


  • Year 12

  • First in Family

  • Scholars meeting the household income threshold

  • Endorsed merit or excellent at level one (or equivalent)

  • Intergenerational change


Places in our program are funded by scholarship partners, who are businesses, trusts, and personal funders. Each of our scholarship partners has their own criteria (on top of our general criteria). After your interview with First Foundation (see stage 2 below) your application may be referred to your potential scholarship partner to decide if you’re a good fit for their scholarship/s

  1. Complete your application form
       Make sure you’re eligible and complete the application process.

  2. Interview with First Foundation
       If you’re shortlisted, we’ll meet you for an interview to find out    more about you and see which scholarship partner you’d    match well with.

  3. Interview with your scholarship partner
       You’ll meet your potential scholarship partner and get to    know each other.

  4. Get your scholarship!
       You’ll officially receive your scholarship at our awards ceremony.

Find out more about how to apply.

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