How Access Melbourne opened doors to opportunities for Jade

Financial assistance through Access Melbourne reshaped Jade’s university experience. She was able to pursue her passions, discover new ones and make the most of opportunities available to her at Melbourne.

Following your passions is rarely ever easy. Unexpected challenges can arise at any time, threatening to adversely affect your academic achievements.

The University of Melbourne's special entry access scheme, Access Melbourne, is designed to help you overcome these obstacles and reach your goals.

Faculty of Fine Arts and Music student, Jade Nye, has experienced this first-hand.

Jade's journey to Melbourne

Jade has been playing music since she was in primary school.

Inspired by the likes of Lisa Simpson, she took up saxophone in Year 7 before spending her high-school days involved in as many bands as possible.

For Jade, her school’s music department offered a sense of community and connected her with many of her friends.

By Year 10, she decided she wanted to pursue a future in music, so it’s no surprise she applied for the Bachelor of Music (Jazz and Improvisation) through VTAC.

As part of her application, Jade also applied for Access Melbourne consideration, based on a disadvantaged financial background, attending an under-represented school and a disability or medical condition.

She was accepted into the degree, majoring in Vocals before moving to Saxophone, and she also received the Melbourne Access Scholarship, which provides students with generous financial support throughout their studies. 

“To go to university and find out that I could be in this class full of band geeks totally blew my mind,” she says.

At times, the busy nature of her course, combined with travel, made it difficult to find employment. Access Melbourne gave Jade valuable support so she could keep up with her study expenses and continue to pursue her passion, while being surrounded by people who spoke her language.

What is Access Melbourne?

Access Melbourne ensures your unique personal circumstances are taken into account when you apply for an undergraduate degree. Like Jade, you may even be eligible for generous financial support throughout your studies.

Access Melbourne is available for all domestic applicants, no matter what you wish to study, but you do need to meet the criteria for at least one of the following categories:

  • Disadvantaged financial background
  • Resident of a regional or remote area
  • Difficult circumstances
  • Disability or medical condition
  • Recognition as an Indigenous Australian
  • Graduate of an under-represented school
  • Non-English speaking background
  • Non-school leaver entry pathway

If you’re eligible, you could benefit from guaranteed entry to one of our participating bachelors degrees or you may be offered a place at Melbourne even if your ATAR is below the published minimum*.

You’ll also automatically be considered for a Melbourne Access Scholarship. This offers an allowance up to $7,500 per year for three years to help you with the cost of moving, accommodation and tuition.

For Jade, this support has not only provided financial assistance but removed additional strain and benefitted her mental health.

“It’s really validating to have that support from the University. I really believe I got that from Access Melbourne. It’s definitely changed my university experience hugely.”

*Subject to meeting all individual course prerequisites.

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How can Access Melbourne make a difference?

Through the Melbourne Access Scholarship, Jade received payments that helped her throughout her studies, including the purchase of two saxophones and a keyboard.

“Coming from a low-income household, the cost of instrumental maintenance and materials was already setting me back. Without the Access Melbourne program, I wouldn't have had the funds to be as involved in the course as I was, or even have been able to keep up with saxophone repairs (which unfortunately have been frequent!)”

It also helped Jade to attend her classes at the Parkville campus.

“The Access Melbourne program allowed me to buy my first car too, without which I wouldn't have been able to travel to the train station to get to classes. It has totally reshaped my university experience, to the point where I'm not even sure I can imagine my course without it.”

With the ability to make the most of her time at Melbourne, Jade has discovered new passions, grown as an artist and has carved out a future pathway for herself.

After successfully completing her bachelors degree, Jade is now continuing her studies with a fourth-year honours degree.

She says of her honours experience: “I have been investigating flamenco music of Spain and how I can integrate vocal techniques to my primary instrument, the alto saxophone."

What started as curiosity is now a potential career path as Jade finds herself captivated by flamenco music and “its raw emotive power as well as intricate technical facility.”

“I feel like I’ve been able to come into my own creatively, and now in my honours to really home in on who I want to be as a musician and creator. With all of these opportunities I feel like I really have a direction for my career after I finish my time at the University.”

Jade feels that Access Melbourne has opened doors that she didn’t think were possible, and encourages others to apply.

“If you feel that maybe you should apply but aren't sure, then definitely do it. I am a big advocate for applying for all scholarships and grants available - these opportunities are made to support students, so why not take advantage of that?”

Applications for Access Melbourne close 6 October 2023 – find out more here on how to apply.

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