With the cost of going to university soaring, a little bit of extra money to help you on the way will always be welcome.
With university, sometimes a little extra goes a long way, and having something like a university scholarship, will only help you out more.
A scholarship is something that a lot of students look into when going to university and all universities will offer financial support to their students, should they require them.
What is a scholarship?
A scholarship is a form of financial aid, provided to a student by a university to further their education.
Scholarships do exist at GCSE level and also further for A Levels, but for university students, they are depedent on certain criteria.
Scholarships usually come from independent third parties, although universities do offer them too, this means that universities and third parties are free to draw up their own criteria for scholarship qualification.
Thankfully, a student does not need to pay a scholarship back. So whether you have a Fulbright scholarship, Chevening scholarship, Commonwealth scholarship or even a Rhodes scholarship, you will not have to pay them back, in any way.
How to get a scholarship
Once you have found the scholarship of your liking, you will then need to apply for it through that scholarship’s website or through an affiliate site (usually the site of the company/third party that offers it) and then go from there.
For example, if you are applying for the Marshall scholarship then you will need to apply via their website and ensure that you fit the criteria required for the scholarship.
Scholarships usually come from independent third parties, although universities do offer them too
What are the different types of scholarship that I can apply for?
The different types of scholarships available:
- Academic excellence scholarships: many universities offer scholarships to students who achieve specified grades in their A Levels to encourage the higher achieving students to choose their university. They are not all asking for A*AA, some are offering money for ABB or less.
- Musical scholarships: If you are good at singing or playing a musical instrument, and would be happy to perform during your stay at the university, you could be awarded with a musical scholarship. You do not have to be studying Music to be eligible.
- Personal circumstances: Scholarships that are based on your personal circumstances, such as where you come from, if you are a care leaver, what your parents do for a living or your religion. These might come from local authorities or religious organisations or charities.
- Financial need: These are the more traditional type of scholarships which award money to individuals who are in financial need and may not be able to attend university without the money. These are often called grants or bursaries and you may need to prove your financial situation to be awarded.
- Sporting achievement: If you have made outstanding achievements in sport, many universities will offer scholarships to attract the best talent. You will, of course, 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. Industry associations are also using scholarships to encourage new talent to join their profession. Females studying Engineering are in particular demand.
- 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. Quite a few are coming from America, where scholarships are much more commonplace and these American companies are now opening up their scholarships to UK students. Others are from UK companies who are starting to realise the opportunities of this scheme.
The Erasmus Programme has been running for some time and the government has actively encouraged more and more students to participate in the programme.
With the Erasmus Programme, comes the Erasmus scholarship, which has a number of different branches, which is also tied into Erasmus +, Erasmus’ new section.
An Erasmus scholarship works in the same way as the British council scholarship, in that it facilitates international education, learning and developing an understanding of other cultures.
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 choice.
The Scholarship Hub is a website which allows you to 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. To find these select “No specific university” in your search. There is a useful comparison tool, which allows you to select up to six scholarships available for your subject from different universities and compare them.
It is also worth taking the time to research some of the smaller charities, such as Turn2Us and FamilyAction, that give grants for educational support. The Guide, which will also help students find suitable grants from small charities to educational grants, is a book which lists all of these and can be found in larger libraries.
There are lots of different ways to go about applying for a university scholarship, but the first thing to do is to go looking for a scholarship first.
What are my chances of getting a scholarship?
There is certainly not a scholarship out there for everyone, but if you are eligible to apply, it is worth doing so. Organisations offering scholarships are not always inundated with applications and you could find the odds are stacked in your favour.
When should I apply?
The application deadline for scholarships varies. You should check each one to find out when to apply however do remember that some require you to apply before you know your A-level results and others once you have your place confirmed at university. There are also scholarships available for when you are in your second or third year at university, keep an eye out whilst you are studying as a cash boost every now and then will always be welcome to a student.
Where is a good place for me to look for any bursaries, grants or scholarships?
Well, there are a number of places that you can look and we recommend that you check out each of the links in the table below, although, you can find some if you Google scholarship or run a scholarship search and see what you find.
Don’t just apply for the hell of it, make sure that they are relevant to you and that they actually suit you and what you’re hoping to achieve at university. If there is a grant, bursary or scholarship that is for single parents (like a Lone Parent Grant), and you are not a single parent, don’t apply. If you apply for a grant, bursary or scholarship that you are not eligible for, it may jeopardise your chance of applying for further funding outside of that one, so be careful.
- Turn 2 Us: A good place to start if you are looking at potentially using a charity to help you. There are of course a number of issues with using a charity, so make sure you’re aware of them before you begin.
- Scholarship Search: Three guesses if you can guess what they do. But seriously, these are the guys to go to if you want a comprehensive search. You can search by subject, funding type and by the university itself!
- British Council Guide to Scholarships: This is angled more for international students that are looking to study in the UK, however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still work around it if indeed you are from the UK.
- Savoy Educational Trust: This is aimed more towards students that are looking to complete a Hospitality and Catering degree or a Food Science degree, as this provides you with funds for fees, equipment and any uniform that you may potentially need.
- Student Disability Assistance Fund: Again, as the name suggests, this is aimed towards students that have a disability and need funds. The only other stipulation is that you have to be in full-time education to be eligible.
- The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS): Another three guesses which this used for, we’ll have to hurry you, teams! This is definitely aimed for those who are looking to grab a scholarship for their athletic prowess and this can give you anywhere up to £3,500! Talk about a turn up for the books!
Make sure that you have completed your UCAS application and that you have written or started writing your personal statement, although we recommend that you have it completed.
So let’s take a look at some of the more well-known scholarships available for university students.
The Kennedy scholarship is for students who are looking to study in America, and is one of the best American scholarships available since it is run for students at Harvard University or MIT.
Specifically, the Kennedy scholarship is for British citizens (although this can be flexible if your status changes mid application) and you must have graduated from a British university as well.
Stormzy, as you may or may not know, is one of the UK’s foremost musical acts, fresh off of his headlining slot at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival, Stormzy announced the Stormzy Scholarship.
This is a scholarship that is offered to black students in conjunction with the University of Cambridge. The scholarships themselves are non-repayable and are worth £18,000.
What’s more, the Stormzy scholarship does not affect students who are still looking to apply for the Cambridge Bursary either, it’s not too dissimilar from a Cambridge scholarship or the Oxford scholarship.
The MEXT scholarship is a scholarship aimed at students looking to study in Japan. MEXT stands for Ministry of Education Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The X tends to incorporate Culture, Sports and Science.
The BP Scholarship is a scholarship that is run by BP and gives students £3,000 for each academic year that they are studying, from year two onwards.
The scholarship is a three-year scholarship, as long as you achieve a 2:1 or higher each year of study and participate in two or more scholarship programme engagement events.
What’s more, this can allow you (assuming you meet all the required criteria) to become a BP intern or take up a graduate role with the company.
A Scholarship is a form of financial aid, provided to a student by a university to further their education.
The BAFTA Scholarship is run by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
This scholarship means that students receive £12,000 towards annual course fees and are able to receive mentoring from a BAFTA member, winner or nominee and also get free access to BAFTA events in the UK.
The Saltire Scholarship is a scholarship that is offered by the Scottish government in conjunction with Scottish universities.
The Saltire Scholarship covers the following sectors:
- Medical Sciences
- Renewable and Clean Energy
The scheme offers up to 50 awards, which are worth £8,000 each and go towards tuition fees for a year of full-time study at postgraduate level.
The scholarship is available to students from:
- China (excluding Hong Kong)
The Daiwa Scholarship works in much the same way the Erasmus Programme does, in that it is a limited time spent abroad in a different culture.
The Daiwa Scholarship is a 19-month programme that incorporates language study, general cultural living and work placement, specifically for UK citizens.
These scholarships are all different in their own way and they all have different criteria, but they are all aimed towards the same goal; making your time at university more comfortable from a financial perspective.