If you are a student in today’s economic climate, you know that it is not just university that has risen in price, but the cost of student living. No more are we privy to the great deals and unbelievable discounts we once were. While many universities still try to offer their students the best deal possible, with different study options now available on undergraduate business management courses and such degrees to offer as many different cost options as possible, unfortunately higher education still comes at a cost.
This guide will look to offer students from all kinds of social and economic backgrounds information on a variety of university funding options, many of which you may not have thought existed or even considered. So don’t write university off just yet, the increase in fees is by no means the be all and end all, and GSM London is a firm believer in widening participation and creating opportunities for all prospective students when it comes to higher education.
This section looks to provide a number of university bursary and funding options that are open to all students.
The Scholarship Hub
The Scholarship Hub is a fantastic comprehensive database that covers UK scholarships, grants and bursaries that are open to UK and EU students coming to study in the UK. What is different about The Scholarship Hub is that they strongly believing in opening up these opportunities to students from all kinds of backgrounds and looking to study at any institution. Their Find a Scholarship section allows you to find a scholarship by level of study, basis for selection, institution and course, meaning that you can still look into funding options even if you are unsure as to what you’re going to study just yet.
In talking to the Scholarship Hub they gave this advice for students looking to fund their higher education:
“I would suggest it is important for students to understand the different reasons they might be eligible for a scholarship – sport, music, extracurricular interests, religious background, hobbies, where they come from, what their parents do etc.” – The Scholarship Hub
Turn2us, as a part of registered charity Elizabeth Finn Care, helps individuals in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help. Their Grant Search is a database that includes information on over 3,000 charitable funds that offer both welfare and educational grants.
UniGrants UK not only covers a range of funding opportunities available for students, but also offers various advice for students covering financial preparation, practical preparation, government support and student banking to ensure that you are completely prepared for any financial issue that may arise through your time in higher education. That way, you can focus on the more important subject of your degree.
“UniGrants UK is a website, aimed at helping students, or prospective students find sources of funding for their Higher Education. We are essentially a database of charities and trusts that offer funding for educational purposes.” – UniGrants UK
While IdeasTap may not offer a specific bursary or way of funding university itself, they are a great resource for creative students looking to fund their next project, which could, in turn, help with your grades. Amongst the many resources they offer, including providing access to funding, competitions, jobs, training and advice, is a commission-free crowdfunding platform, Accelerator. Since their launch at the end of 2008 they have awarded more than £1.8 million worth of direct funding and accompanying expert mentoring to emerging artists – check out their funding section for more information.
For those who have already been through higher education, funding is even more crucial if you are looking to broaden your career options with an MBA finance degree or similar postgraduate course. Here, we look into bursary and funding options for the master’s students.
The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding is all about alternative sources of funding – especially charities – which can make awards (fees, maintenance, research costs) to any student regardless of subject or nationality. The Alternative Guide Online contains a huge database of funding opportunities, comprehensive guidance and numerous tools to help you prepare a winning grant application. The Guide was written by two PhD students who used the voluntary sector to fund their PhDs.
Now here is a special funding option just for the ladies out there. The Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education was established as an independent organisation in 1875 and has been helping women from Leeds and Yorkshire achieve their potential ever since.
Even if you’re a southern lass who could do with the help of this admirable organisation you could still be in luck. The YLCE Educational Awards Fund was created in 1989-90 and is open to all female British citizens over the age of 21 who have been offered a place at a British educational institution. See the Awards section of their website for further details on how to apply.
There are also some great bursary and funding options out there for international students coming to study in the UK. We’ve produced a summary of a couple of the best places to start if you’re thinking of coming to study in London.
Chevening Scholarships is the UK government’s global scholarship programme and is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The programme, which was established in 1983, provides full and partial funding for full-time courses and postgraduate courses in any subject at any UK university.
The British Council
The British Council similarly works to provide educational opportunities to international students coming to study in the UK. As the UK’s international organisation working in over 100 countries, they look to bring international opportunity to life. See their website for more information on funding options.
There is even a scholarship option specifically for Welsh-born students. The Port of Milford Haven launched its Scholarship Scheme in 2003 and since that time has offered scholarships to over 50 individuals.
To qualify for one of the four annual awards of £1,500 worth of funding towards undergraduate study you have to be on a degree course at a British university and have completed the majority of your secondary education at a school based in Pembrokeshire. See their Scholarships section for more information.
None of these appeal to you yet? There is one more dedicated university funding option left on our list and it is just for you aspiring lawyers.
The LPC Scholarship comes from legal services provider Datalaw and offers aspiring lawyers the chance to win their tuition fees (up to £12,000) in their inaugural competition. The competition is open to both paralegals and trainee solicitors and is a fantastic opportunity for entrants to secure considerable funding for their LPC.
For further details on how GSM London can help you achieve your potential through their higher education courses, see the Tuition Fees and Funding page for details on the many ways that you can finance your future, including the useful grant and repayment calculator.
Image Credits: Luke McKernan (flickr.com), The Scholarship Hub, Turn2us, Uni Grants UK, Ideas Tap, Postgraduate Funding, Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education, Aurora Imaging Port of Milford Haven, Datalaw
This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.