If you’re off to university or are thinking of going, have you thought about applying for a scholarship? A university scholarship can pay (a large) part of your fees. Find out about university scholarships in the UK.
University scholarships in the UK
A number of universities offer scholarships. There are also some more modest grants, which start at a few hundred pounds. You may be awarded money on the basis of the subject you’re studying, your academic excellence, your parents’ job or the university you apply to.
Why scholarships may be awarded
There are a number of reasons why you may be able to get a scholarship, according to where you live, what your parents did or do for a living, a hobby or interest you have, an illness or disability or because of your religion or ethnicity.
How to find scholarships and grants
“Be prepared to spend a bit of time researching the right scholarship to apply for”, says Karen Kennard from The Scholarship Hub. “It might require a bit of time and extra effort to seek out funding opportunities suitable for you, but you could get some extra money that doesn’t need to be paid back and so putting in that effort could pay off.” The Scholarship Hub has a useful and searchable scholarship database, but you have to register to use it (I’ve included a link to it and all the other sources I’ve mentioned at the end of this article).
You can search the database based on the university you want to go to or the subjects you are going to study.
You can also find educational grants on the charity website Turn2Us. It has a section on financial assistance and grants.
There is also a book called The Guide to Educational Grants, which lists all grant making trusts. It costs £95 to buy but you should be able to find a copy in your local library.
There is also an app called GrantFairy, which you can download on Apple and Android devices. You can also use it as a web app. It will generate a personalised list of student grants, scholarships and bursaries. The list includes information such as how much funding you are eligible to apply for. You have to sign up to a paid account to get full access to these details. As I write this, it costs £23.88 a year or £4.99 a month.
Applying for a scholarship
The Scholarship Hub says that you should make sure you tailor your application so that you can show you meet the criteria. It also says that if have to get a reference from a teacher for example, make sure each reference is relevant to the specific application.
How much might you get?
Some scholarships only pay out a few hundred pounds but others are quite generous. Here are some examples of scholarships (please note, they may not be available for current year’s university intake):
Aston Excellence Scholarship: available to students based on academic qualifications. It is worth £500 in the first year only (in academic year 2018-2019). There is also an Aston Care Leavers Scholarship for students worth a total of £5,000.
EY Scholarship: lasts four years and includes two paid placements at Ernst & Young. Students can get £15,000 and, if they do well on the course and on the placement, could also be offered a full-time job after they graduate.
Loughborough Sports Scholarships: Sports Scholarships are offered across all sports and all academic courses at Loughborough University, to the best student athletes. They are worth from £500 to £5,000 (for “exceptional candidates”) over three years. The university says that sports scholars are also able to apply for a campus parking permit, which are highly sought after.
The Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust: offers bursaries of up to £3,000 a year if you’re a UK student who is the son or daughter, spouse, widow or widower of a commercial traveller, chemist or grocer and are in need of financial support. The charity was set up from part of the proceeds of the will one of the Lever brothers (who — with others – founded Unilever).
Thomas Wall Trust: grants of up to £1,000 given to “people who want to break through the barriers in their lives and life chances by pursuing technical or skill-based training which will improve their prospects of finding paid work”, according to its website.
Whitworth Scholarship Awards: for students starting an undergraduate course in Engineering (including MEng and MSc courses). It pays £5,450 per year for up to four years (excluding industrial placements). The scholarship is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Where to find information
The Gov.uk website has a section called extra money to pay for university or there are specialist websites such as The Scholarship Hub, which has provided some of the information for this article (not in return for payment, I just think it’s a useful website). You can search the Scholarship Hub database based on the university you want to go to or the subjects you are going to study. Another website to try is Postgraduate Search.
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