THREE Wimmera year 12 students will use a combined $90,000 to further their education.
Rainbow Secondary College's Georgia Klemm, Nhill College's Jacob Creek and Dimboola Memorial Secondary College's Madison Albrecht will receive $30,000 each over three years to help with their university studies.
The inaugural Fielding Menzies Tertiary Scholarships are in honour of former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, who was born in Jeparit.
Menzies Foundation chief executive Sarah Hardy presented the three students with their scholarships at special assemblies yesterday.
The scholarship is a joint initiative between the Menzies Foundation and the Fielding Foundation and involves the three schools.
Georgia, 17, said she was shocked to receive the award.
"At first I didn't believe it,'' she said.
"Then I was overwhelmed with excitement.
"Dad was more excited than me he was very, very pleased and mum was as well.''
Georgia said the scholarship would mean she did not need to defer university.
She hopes to study a Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine at University of South Australia.
"I want to go into medical research or pathology,'' she said.
Jacob, 17, is also looking at further education environmental science in Adelaide.
He has a wildlife licence and owns four sugar gliders.
Jacob said the scholarship would help make the move to university easier.
"It'll go towards uni and living expenses,'' he said. "It'll make it a lot easier.''
Jacob said he and his family were rapt with the accolade.
Madison, 17, is interested in studying international studies and commerce at university.
She was surprised and thrilled by the scholarship.
"It's going to make such a big difference,'' she said.
"It's a lot of money for me and for the other recipients.''
The Menzies Foundation will offer the scholarships each year for at least the next three years.
The Fielding Foundation has committed $270,000 to the program.
"It's a really good opportunity,'' Madison said.
Ms Hardy congratulated the students on their achievement.
"This presentation will be a life-changing moment for each of these three capable young people,'' she said.
"We believe in fostering rural young people's education and career dreams. Supporting access to university education is one way to do this.'