Getting started

Before you begin your application

Check how you should apply

Most applications should be completed online and this is the only option for some countries. Paper applications are accepted for some countries only. (But applications for New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships follow a different process.)

Check how applications are accepted for your country and scholarship type.

If both online and paper applications are accepted, please use only one method when applying.

All New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship applications should be completed via paper applications. Read more about how to apply for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship.

Online applications

Online applications are for the following scholarship types:

The online application process has four steps, all completed on an online application site (external link). The site will explain each step in more detail.

Step one: Confirm your eligibility

 Complete the Online Eligibility Test. This will give you a number that you will need when you register (step three).

Step two: Create a Real Me login

This will give you a login and password that you will use through the application process.

Step three: Register with New Zealand Scholarships online

 This creates your application account, and means you will be set up to complete an application.

Step four: Complete your application

 This step will only become available when applications formally opens. Check application dates.

If you are interested in applying for a scholarship we encourage you to complete steps 1, 2 and 3 in the months before applications open.

Start your online application process now:

Start your online application process here (external link).

Paper applications

Paper applications are for the below scholarship types, but are only available in selected countries. Even if paper applications are available to you, we encourage you to apply via the Online Application Portal if you have internet access. 

Paper applications have three steps.

Step one: Confirm your eligibility

Check your eligibility against the requirements to make sure that you are eligible for a scholarship.

Step two: Get a copy of an application form

If you are eligible, get an application form from the New Zealand High Commission or Embassy in your country.

Step three: Complete your application

Complete the form, and submit it to the High Commission or Embassy by the close date. Check the application closing date for your country.

A different process applies for New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship applications. Read the information below.

Applications for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship

The application process for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship is different to other New Zealand Scholarships. Applicants must submit their paper applications to their country's 'Nominating Agency' first. The Nominating Agency then 'nominates' two applicants from the submitted applications to send to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Read the below information carefully before you submit an application.

Note: Applications are open, and will close on 30 March. Applications must arrive at your country’s Commonwealth Nominating Agency by 30 March 2017.

Step 1: Prepare to apply

  • Check that you meet all eligibility criteria.
  • Follow the steps under 'Getting Started' above. (The selection process is very competitive and your choice of study must align to one of these sectors to go on to be shortlisted.) 

  • If you want to pursue a PhD or a Masters by Thesis you should also start contacting and securing a potential supervisor for your PhD. You will need to have a Letter of Support from a supervisor should you go on to be shortlisted.

Step 2: Complete your application form

Download and print the New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships Application Form for 2017 Selection

Additional copies may also be available at your local nominating agency or at selected New Zealand High Commissions.

Refer to the Application Guidance page on this website for essential information and helpful tips.

Complete all sections of the application form, and make sure you have attached the additional documents required.

Step 3: Submit your application to your nominating agency

Send your completed Application Form to your country's nominating agency by 30 March 2017.

For the contact details of Nominating Agencies - see pages 26-30 at the back of the NZCS Application Form.

Note: any applications received directly from applicants will not be considered. (Do NOT send your application to New Zealand). Alll applications must be sent to your country's Nominating Agency first. Nominating Agencies play a key role in the application process.

What happens after I apply?

Nominating Agencies will review all applications received and select the two candidates that best meet the eligibility conditions, preference factors and priority sectors for their country. The Nominating Agencies then send their nominated candinates to us. 

In May, we will contact you via email if you have been nominated to let you know that we have received your application as one of the two nominated applicants for your country.

We will then shortlist applications to proceed through to the next stages.

All shortlisted candidates will be assessed, interviewed and undergo reference checks through the New Zealand Scholarships office.

A final decision will be made by mid-October, 2017. Preferred candidates will be notified and go through the placement process at their selected institution. Once successfully placed, they will officially become New Zealand Commonwealth Scholars.


You may need to undertake aptitude testing before being shortlisted. You will be notified if this is required.

If you are successful in reaching the shortlist, you will be required to provide the following documentation:

  1. One of the following:
    • Verified copy of passport
    • Verified copy of birth certificate
    • Verified copy of other official government issued ID
  2. Verified copies of relevant academic transcripts
  3. Verified copies of relevant completion certificates
  4. Contact details of most recent employer and two most relevant other employers (this does not apply to School Leaver applicants)
  5. A non-verified copy of an IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) or an original copy of a TOEFL test result form, completed in the last 24 months. Native English language speakers will have the opportunity to provide alternative evidence of their proficiency. 

Any questions?

Please check our frequently asked questions before making an enquiry.