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Scholarships and additional funding guide [Download]

Hands up: who wants free money? Students, let us introduce you to the funding pots that you don’t have to pay back…

Rent, bills, groceries … living on a student budget month to month can be tough.

Then there are the other costs that your trusty tuition fees won’t cover, like those reading list essentials, field trips – and not forgetting your graduation outfit.

So it goes without saying that many students could do with a little helping hand in the wallet department. 

University scholarships and bursaries offer a much-appreciated cash boost. And, despite what you might think, they're not just for A* students or those who come from low-income households.

If you haven’t applied for a scholarship, you’re in good company. Six in 10 students didn’t apply and nearly three quarters of them thought they would not be eligible.*

However, a quarter of students mentioned bursaries or scholarships as an ‘other’ source of income while at university. There are over £150m in scholarships up for grabs each year**, according to research by The Scholarship Hub.

We've teamed up with The Scholarship Hub to co-create a short guide to scholarships and additional funding – get it here.


Scholarships and additional funding: background information

Scholarship or bursary?

Sometimes the terms ‘scholarship’ and ‘bursary’ are used interchangeably, depending on the award. However, scholarships tend to be competitive, while bursaries are more likely to be based on financial need.

But whether you’re applying for a scholarship, bursary, grant, or fee waiver, the common denominator is that they don’t have to be paid back!


Where does scholarship money come from?

Your university should be your first port of call, but the opportunities don’t end there – charities and other organisations also have little pots of funding for eligible students.

To save trawling the web for individual opportunities, using a central system where you can search for funding, like The Scholarship Hub, can be a good place to start.

In our free guide, we list some well-established examples of scholarships to give you an idea of the breadth of scholarships that are up for grabs.


Why should a scholarship be awarded to you?

For some awards, like bursaries, applying may be a tick-box exercise with financial means-testing.

But for competitive scholarships you will likely have to write an essay (or even attend an interview) to demonstrate how and why you deserved to be awarded it.

As these are university scholarships, they’ll probably relate to student life in some way – whether it’s your degree subject, academic achievement, extracurricular activities or career ambitions. 

You’ve probably already touched on these in your Ucas personal statement, so it’s worth revising this.

In the guide below we’ve got some great tips for applying to help boost your success rate. Consider the following your new mantra: you’ve got to be in it to win it!

Haven’t started your personal statement yet? Try our personal statement builder tool for some direction, tailored to your degree subject.


Can scholarship money be used for anything?

Since these are university scholarships, they’ll benefit your studies in some way, whether to fund field trips or as a welcome boost to the student living fund.

Your short statement, if required in your application, will help you pinpoint what the scholarship will fund and how it will impact your studies.

Watch now: How to find university scholarships – students’ tips

A short guide to scholarships and additional funding

We cover:
  • Scholarships and bursaries: what’s the difference?
  • A-Z scholarships
  • Other funding on offer
  • Are you eligible?
  • Finding a scholarship, bursary or grant
  • How to boost your chances of getting a scholarship
  • Student tips for applying

Download our free guide here:


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    *Data source: Which? University Student Survey 2018, conducted by Youthsight on behalf of Which?, with 5,000 students at UK universities from March to April 2018.
    **Data source: Scholarship Hub, 2018

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