University isn’t cheap. Therefore, if you’re eligible or able to get a scholarship to help you on your way, it’s a no brainer.
A scholarship is something that a lot of students look into when going to university. All universities have scholarship schemes that offer financial support to students, so it’s well worth checking it out before you go.
Who knows - it could be you that gets that little bit of welcome extra help!
What is a scholarship?
A scholarship is a form of financial aid that universities offer to students, not only to further their education but to help them with their everyday living costs too.
Scholarships are dependent on certain criteria, though that depends on whoever is offering them. The money may be provided by the university itself, or a third party, such as a business or private donor. The amount of money provided through the scholarship will also depend on who is offering it - amounts can range from quite conservative offerings to substantial amounts that could support you throughout an entire course.
It’s not possible for everyone to get a scholarship, but it’s certainly worth looking into. No university offers scholarships for every subject, so unless you’re studying a subject where that university is trying to encourage widening participation, attract high flying applicants or have been awarded a donation for a specific course, you’re unlikely to find a scholarship related to your course. Have a good look though. Maybe the opportunity for a scholarship would affect your choice of university?
Let it be known that just because there aren’t any specific scholarships related to your course, doesn’t mean there aren’t any scholarships out there for you. There are many reasons why scholarships are awarded, such as:
- Financial need – for students from a low-income household or a specific postcode area where university participation is low.
- Personal circumstances - this factors in where you live, what your parents do for a living, your religion and your social background. There are many small charities and trusts which support students from particular backgrounds.
- Academic achievement – for students who have achieved outstanding A-Level grades.
- Musical merit – for students who have a musical talent, and would be happy to perform whilst studying.
- Sporting achievement – for students who have achieved in a particular sport and would be willing to compete on behalf of the university.
- Future career aspirations – many professional associations or institutes will offer scholarships to encourage and support students wishing to build a career in a certain industry.
- Entrepreneurial spirit! – there are companies that love to support student entrepreneurs, so if you have an idea for a business, this could be a potential scholarship you pursue.
- Community spirit! – if you’ve been recognised for work in your community, either helping people or supporting the environment, there could be funds to support you while you study.
Organisations offering scholarships are not always inundated with applications, so you might just get lucky and find yourself in the running for a very worthwhile financial contribution to your course.
And remember - you don’t have to pay a penny back for a scholarship!
How do you get a scholarship?
Firstly, you have to put some time into researching the different scholarships available at your university. It’s unlikely that anyone will be knocking on your door begging you to apply.
You can visit the UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) website to find out if you are eligible for a scholarship. Many institutions also offer their own financial assistance, and you can check their websites for more information. Lots of universities offer fully-funded postgraduate studentships.
Check out a selection of GREAT scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year here.
Once you have found the scholarship you want to apply for you’ll 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.
Receiving financial support could be the difference between struggling at university and not really fulfilling your potential and achieving your dreams. Be it progressing your career, starting your own business or bringing change and opportunity to your community, having that financial boost could make things easier for you to get where you need to be.
If you’re thinking about applying for one, just do it. What have you got to lose?