With the cost of the going to university soaring, a little bit of extra money to help you on the way will always be welcome. so when you are doing your research, don’t forget to think about what scholarships, grants and bursaries you might be eligible for.
The terms scholarship, grant and bursary often seem to be used quite interchangeably and it can be quite confusing, but the basic principle of each is the same. This is money that is awarded to you which you do not have to pay back.
Despite popular belief, they are not only given to the very academic or financially disadvantaged students. Scholarships can be awarded for many different reasons and this is often dependent on the type of organisation that is awarding the scholarships. Different organisations will have different motives for offering scholarships.
Here are the different types of scholarships available:
- Academic Excellence Scholarships: offered to students who achieve specified grades in their A’levels. They are not all asking for A*AA, some are offering money for ABB or less.
- Musical Scholarships: if you are a talented musician or singer and would be happy to perform while at the university you could get a music scholarship. You do not have to be studying Music.
- Personal Circumstances: Scholarships that are based on things that are specific to your personal circumstances, such as where you live, if you’ve been in care, what your parents do or your religion. These might come from local authorities or religious organisations or charities.
- Financial Need: More traditional type of scholarships, award money to individuals who are in financial need. These are more often called grants or bursaries.
- Sporting achievement. If you have made outstanding achievements in sport, many universities offer scholarships to attract the best talent. You will have to compete for the university in your sport.
- Company scholarships: More and more companies are starting to offer scholarships and some include work experience as part of the offer.
- Your interests and hobbies – there are some scholarships which are based on your extra-curricular activities such as showing a commitment to social engagement or improving the lives of others.
- Other scholarships – increasingly there are more scholarships being offered by companies, where all students have to do is submit an essay or video.
How do I find scholarships?
First of all you should take a look at the websites of the Universities you are interested in and see what scholarships they have to offer. It is not advisable to choose a university or course purely based on what financial help is available but it could be a deciding factor, when you come to make your final choices.
The Scholarship Hub is a website where you can search a database of all the scholarships available to UK students. There are listings for each university as well as scholarships which are not related to a specific university.
It is also worth taking the time to research some of the smaller charities which give grants for educational support. The Guide to Educational Grants is a book which lists the smaller charities which give grants for educational purposes. It can be found in larger libraries. Turn2Us and FamilyAction are two charities which will also help students find suitable grants from small charities.