How to help students understand about scholarships, grants and bursaries for university
With the cost of going to university a major concern to many students and their parents, it could be valuable to give your students a greater understanding of scholarships, grants and bursaries which are available and how they can seek out and apply for them.
There are an increasing number of scholarships being created for a wide range of different reasons. The universities themselves offer scholarships and students can find information on these once they know where they will be studying, on the university website.
However, many universities do not promote the external scholarships offered, which are not tied to their university. This is where students could be missing out on potentially thousands of pounds worth of free money, which does not need to be paid back.
What types of scholarships are there?
1. Academic Excellence Scholarships:
Academic excellence scholarships are offered to students who achieve specific grades in their A-levels. These scholarships are not always asking for straight A*s. Some are offering money for ABB or less.
Musical scholarships are for talented musicians or singers who would be happy to perform whilst at the university. They do not have to be studying Music.
3. Scholarships based on your Personal Circumstances:
Personal circumstances scholarships are based on things that are specific to a students personal circumstances, such as where they live, if they’ve been in care, what their parents do or may even be based on religion. These might come from local authorities, religious organisations or charities.
4. Scholarships based on Financial Need:
Financial need scholarships are a more traditional type of scholarship, awarding money to individuals who are in financial need. These are often called grants or bursaries.
5. Sporting achievement scholarships:
Sporting achievement scholarships are for outstanding sportsmen and women in a wide variety of sports. A student will have to compete for the university in that sport as a result.
6. Industry scholarships:
Industry scholarships are for Companies or professional associations offering scholarships to attract talent in to their industry or to recruit graduates and some include work experience as part of the offer. Often scholars are offered employment on graduation.
7. Marketing led scholarships:
Marketing scholarships have been designed to achieve specific marketing objectives, usually offered by companies which are keen to get their brands in front of students. They are open to all students regardless of where or what they are going to study and can be worth around £5,000.
What can you tell students about these funding opportunities?
The most important thing is to make them aware that these opportunities exist and they should be looking for funding they could be eligible to apply for. Once they understand the different types of funding that is available, they can then start to think about the reasons they could be eligible – ie.do they have their sights set on a particular career, does their local authority offer anything, what about their religious community?
All students should look at the marketing led scholarships. Often all that is required to apply is to submit a short essay or video and award values are typically around £1,500.
Karen Kennard is Director of The Scholarship Hub, a social enterprise helping students find alternative sources of funding for their university studies.