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Bursaries and Scholarships: The Lowdown

Bursaries and Scholarships: The Lowdown

Bursaries and Scholarships: The Lowdown

Studying a degree is expensive, but fortunately a lot of the cost you can pay back later over a long period of time. During your studies you are also able to get a little bit of extra help in the form of bursaries and scholarships, the amount that you are entitled to depends on your household income. Bursaries and Scholarships are usually the same thing under different names.

Bursary and Scholarships

A bursary is money paid to you that you don’t have to pay back. It is a type of grant, giving you the extra funds to enable you to study at university or college. There are lots of different type of bursaries, and you can get them from different departments. The main bursary will be from your institution, and it is based on your household income. This is where your university looks at your information from the details you have given to Student Finance of what money comes in to your household or what your parent’s earn and then decide if you need extra help. If you do, it will be paid to you – sometimes at the beginning of each term close to when you receive your student finance payments, or in one single payment.

National Scholarship

The most popular scholarship is the National Scholarship Programme which gives money to people who are on a low income. It is awarded to students whose household earns less than £25,000 per annum. It is usually given via either a cash bursary of up to £1,000, help with tuition fees and accommodation, and/or a free foundation year, which is a programme or course to help students meet the criteria to take a degree course. If you have been notified by your university or college that you are part of this programme, then the money will be paid directly into your account. This is on top of Student Finance so don’t worry about it affecting your loans, grants, or any applications made previously. The way it is paid into your account will depend on the institution and they will inform you when it is due. If you want information about how and when to apply, contact your university.

Local Authority Care

If you are leaving local authority care you can ask for a bursary of up to £2,000. This can come from your local authority or the university or college you will be attending. You will need to speak to both to see where it will be coming from, and how to apply.


Some scholarships are obtained by competition, and this may mean a place or spot on a course at university. The university will tell you if there are limited number of spaces on the course, or if you are able to get money off of tuition fees if you attend an interview, and/or go through a testing process. They will inform you directly whether you have successfully received the scholarship.

Each university have their own rules about bursaries and scholarships, so it doesn’t mean you will be guaranteed to receive one. There are lots of different bursaries and scholarships available and if you are unsure, contact your university and they will let you know the different types they offer and how to apply.

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