"It was great to have the extra financial help because there are costs you don't think of," Amanda said.

"Like $600 a year for text books! Being able to buy a laptop has helped my study immensely," she said.

Amanda was encouraged to apply for a Blue Mountains Health Trust scholarship by her science teacher at Katoomba High School.

"Without the scholarship, I just wouldn't have been able to study as comfortably and I would have had had to depend on my parents a lot more."

Amanda is considering two areas of employment after her degree - consumer psychology or developmental psychology.

"I will either work with children or work in human resources as a staff counsellor," she said.