In all honesty, when I was applying for University, not once did I consider what bursaries and scholarships would be available to me. I didn’t really know what they were all about and I automatically thought I wouldn’t be eligible, which turned out to be so very far from the truth.
For those of you who don’t know, most Universities will offer a range of financial incentives in the form of scholarships and/or bursaries which essentially provide financial assistance to students.
These come in a variety of forms from waiving fees to cash being paid directly into your bank account. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria and varying amounts, and the money does not have to be paid back like a loan. If I had known four years ago what I know now, I definitely would have done a lot more research into what financial incentives were available for students. All universities offer different scholarships and bursaries, but here are the ones that were available to me at the University of Worcester.
In the summer of my second year I received a letter in the post awarding me a £1000 scholarship for ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement’. I knew I had done particularly well grades-wise in my second year of studying, but was still shocked to say the least.
The award is based on academic performance in your first, second or foundation/HND year, and the University of Worcester awards up to 100 students’ scholarships of £1000.This money is funded through donations made by several generous sponsors and is not taken off course fees but is instead given to the student so they can decide what to spend it on.
In order to achieve the same scholarship as I did, you need to achieve five A’s (first class honours) over eight modules in your first and/or second year of study, a great incentive to work towards.
However, at the University of Worcester there are other scholarships available to help with the financial responsibility for students.
- £1,000 ABB or Equivalent Scholarships
Awarded to first-year undergraduate students who achieve ABB (or above) at A Level or an equivalent qualification (for example DDM at BTEC).
- Sports Scholarships
Awarded to students who have an outstanding record of achievement and proven reputation in a particular sport. The University does have special partnerships with some of the region’s top sports teams including Worcestershire County Cricket Club (WCCC), Worcester Hockey Club, Worcester Wolves Basketball Club and Worcester Reds Netball Club.
- £1,000 University Scholarships (Extra-Curricular Activities)
Students have the opportunity twice a year to apply for funds, up to £1000, to assist them with extra-curricular activities. These can range anywhere from community-based voluntary work, either in the UK or abroad or activities related to a pastime or interest in which the student is involved (e.g. music or some other arts-based area; elite sport)
With the money awarded to me, I bought a Cambridge Satchel bag as a treat because I’ve wanted one for a long, long time and I had never been able to afford to buy one outright (although I definitely still waited for 20% student discount from ASOS!) I’ve still kept the majority of the money in a savings account and I’ll be using it to learn how to drive this summer, so I definitely think the money is going to good use.
I’d really recommend researching into scholarships and bursaries both before you start and during your time at University – I wish I did! And who knows, maybe I would have qualified for the ‘Academic Achievement Scholarship’ in my first year of study, too.
Don’t forget, scholarships and bursaries apply to all students, even those that have applied to universities through clearing. Don’t miss out on these opportunities for you to be awarded for your hard work, as it can really help support you while completing your studies!