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Everything You Need To Know About Securing Funding For Your Studies

What Is A Bursary?

Did you know that when you are studying at college or university, it is often possible to secure some extra funding on top of your student loan? These extra funds come in the form of grants, scholarships and bursaries. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at bursaries.

It is no secret that many of you, when you go to university, are going to be worrying about finances. Indeed, some of you may even be thinking there is no way you can afford to go on to further study after completing school purely because you can’t afford it.

This is where a bursary could prove to be invaluable - whilst bursaries might not cover absolutely all of your costs incurred whilst you are completing your studies, the funds will go a long way to making life much easier for you to continue your course without the added burden of worrying about your funds.

And, unlike your student loan, there’s an added bonus to being offered a bursary - there might be certain criteria you need to agree to but if you keep to your side of the agreement, you won’t need to pay the money back.

Let’s face it, when you begin life after university, the less debt you can graduate with, the better! So if you think getting a bursary for university might be something you would be interested in, read on to find out more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bursaries

I’ve Seen Bursaries And Scholarships. What’s The Difference?
Whether you are looking for scholarships or a bursary for university, the trick here may be to not to worry too much about the terminology. Although these typ4es of funding can differ, some companies or universities might use the terms interchangeably.

In a nutshell, if you are awarded a scholarship, this is often funding that you have been offered because an institution wants to reward your strong academic achievement and have you study with them. The scholarship will be awarded if you wouldn’t have had the economic means to fund the study yourself.

As well as academic achievements, scholarships are also awarded to people who have demonstrated talent in a particular area. This can be the arts such as dance, music or drama. Or it could be a sport such as athletics.

Bursaries are often awarded to students who might need help with finances either due to their economic background or they could be offered by companies and institutions looking to attract young people into their sector. To achieve some qualifications, for example, some students may be put off because many years of study is involved. A bursary can help to fund this and make it possible.

If a company or an institution offers a bursary, it gives you the opportunity to consider a career path that you might not have considered or that you might not have thought possible.

How Much Bursary Will I Get At College Or University?
There is no set bursary fund that is uniform across all institutions and organisations. Each will differ depending on the bursary funds they have available and the type of course you are doing.

The key thing to be aware of is that however much bursary fuınd you are awarded, you will be responsible for managing your own money.

How Do Bursaries Work?
As with the amount of money in the pot for your bursary fund, bursaries differ between institutions, organisations and companies.

For some bursaries, you may be awarded a lump sum each year and you will need to manage that so that it funds your studies and any other extras you need to do your studies or training.

Other bursaries will be awarded in stages. You might be given specific amounts for particulars such as living costs, travel costs, tuition fees, extra courses or any specialist equipment you might need to purchase, for example.

How Do I Get A Bursary?
If you aren’t sure about the line of work you would like to do once you have graduated from university but you still really want to go to university, you might qualify for a bursary due to your economic status. This will help to fund your studies and doesn’t need to be paid back.

You will need to apply to your institution and the amount you are awarded will depend on the university’s bursary fund.

There are also other ways of getting a bursary. If you are keen to go into a particular field once you graduate from university and your degree is geared towards working in that field, you can sometimes get a bursary for your studies. Study for some careers, for example, can involve direct work experience in that field. Bursaries will cover your costs for this.

What Can I Study For With A Bursary?
If you are applying for a bursary from your university to help top up your funds for study, you can study for any degree.

For some types of bursary, however, such as an NHS bursary or an RAF bursary, you will need to be studying towards a particular qualification so that you can then go on to pursue a career in that field.

If I Apply For A Bursary, What Are The Pros And Cons?

The Pros Of A Bursary: If you do choose to apply for a bursary, the pros to this are obvious. You are awarded money that will go towards funding your studies and make financial life more comfortable for you.

With some types of bursary, another advantage is that you have a job once you have graduated. With an NHS bursary, for example, you will have trained towards a particular role within the health profession.

What To Bear In Mind If You Apply For A Bursary: If you do decide to apply for a bursary or a position that offers you a bursary whilst you are at university, there are a few things you need to bear in mind.

Whilst it may seem like you are being given ‘free money’ because your bursary doesn’t need to be paid back, there are often certain criteria you will need to meet and commitments you will need to make.

  • At some institutions, a university bursary for students may come with certain requirements such as a commitment to complete your course. If you choose not to complete your degree, you may have to repay the bursary.
  • A university bursary for students might require you to commit to certain roles in return for the money. For example, you might need to agree to be a student representative for your course or take part in community events as a representative of the university.
  • Likewise, if a charity offers you a bursary, they might expect you to take part in fundraisers or other activities that benefit the charity.
  • For some of you, you may be offered a bursary by a company or an organisation. This can be a fantastic opportunity to do your studies and know you have employment once you have graduated. Bear in mind, however, that you will be committed to taking on this future role. If you change your mind, you will lose your bursary and may have to repay what you have already been given.
Which Companies, Organisations And Universities Offer Bursaries?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a bursary for university. Each institution will have its own bursary fund and set of criteria for bursary applications. This means it is down to you to do your own research for a bursary for university. You will need to research the universities you hope to attend and what you could be awarded.

For some specialist universities - institutions such as the RVC (Royal Veterinary College) at the University of London, for example - they will offer bursaries for different veterinary and biological sciences courses.

Here are some areas where bursaries are offered to undergraduates and those looking to do postgraduate study related to their profession.

  • Armed Forces: There is an RAF bursary scheme for undergraduates doing relevant degrees. In return for the RAF bursary you will usually need to agree to commit to a role with them once you have graduated. It is possible to follow a whole host of careers within the RAF from pilot to medical officer to linguist. Your studies for these fields could be funded with the RAF bursary scheme. Similarly, undergraduates can also apply for British Army bursaries and Royal Navy bursaries.
  • NHS Bursary: An NHS bursary is available to those looking to work in various fields in the health profession. It is possible to put in an NHS bursary application for nursing, medicine, dentistry, dental hygiene and other allied health professions such as physiotherapy, occupational health therapy, podiatry and radiography. There is also an NHS bursary for students looking to go into social work.
  • Bursaries For Teaching: There are bursaries for teaching for a wide range of subjects. Check whether you are eligible for bursaries for teaching or other forms of funding that are available. If you are looking to teach STEM subjects: Chemistry, Computing, Maths, Physics, your bursary is higher than that of other subjects. Check out the Get Into Teaching website. As well as the bursaries for teaching, there are two further types of funding and you could be eligible to receive all three!
  • Police Bursaries: If you are looking to join the police, it is possible to do a degree apprenticeship (PCDA - Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship). If you are already at university and would like to join the police as a graduate, whilst it isn’t a police bursary as such, it is possible to do a two year work-based training programme. You don’t need a particular degree subject and the training programme is paid for by the police force you are working with.
  • Engineering Bursaries: If you are looking to graduate with a degree or postgraduate qualification in engineering then there could be various bursaries out there on offer from companies looking to recruit young talent. From smaller private companies to international corporations to the Ministry of Defence - there could be a bursary out there that helps you through your studies and offers you a lucrative career after graduation.

These are just a few of the options out there to undergraduates and postgraduates looking for a bursary for university.

Whatever your background and whatever career you are looking to go into after graduation, it is worth doing your research to see what financial help you could receive to complete your studies.

This could be some funds offered to you by your university or a local charity or, if you are committed to the future career you want to pursue, research that field to see what funding you could potentially secure.

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