Grants = free money 😍
More than £150 million in scholarship and grant money go unclaimed every year. Unclaimed means these organisations are offering free money and no student is taking them. In fact most say they have to reach out to students so more people participate. That is crazy.
Scholarship and grant applications should be a main pillar of the student money optimisation strategy.
What’s the point in spending hours working at a minimum wage job to earn £1,000 when in 3 hours in front of the computer you could possibly win a grant or scholarship of £1,000?
I’m telling you, it’s worth the effort.
Scholarships are usually merit based and are to do with what you study, whereas grants are a little less specific and carry a wider range of options. Although in this post I focus mainly on grants, these are interchangeable with scholarships – which you can check out here.
A list of non-specific grants to check out
Obviously, for students between the age of 16-19, this bursary fund is there to help with education-related costs. All you need is to be studying at school or a college (not university) or an unpaid training course. If eligible, you can get up to £1,200.
Many local councils offer grants for advanced education. Since they assign funding in different areas, it’s easier to search for local training providers using the Gov.uk website. Give it a try. ✅
You could get up to £200 towards a single course or training episode per year if you meet the following requirements:
- You must be aged 16 or over.
- You can’t be in education or in any other SDS funded programme.
- You must be unemployed and looking for work or employed and earning less than £22,000 per year.
- You must be living in Scotland.
Scholarship Search tool
A cool tool to search for scholarships and bursaries in your area – some are very specific and some are aimed at students from various backgrounds. Check them out at Scholarship Search and Scholarship Hub websites.
If you’re in Scotland, you can get some decent bursaries if your household income is pretty low.
Maintenance, Special Support Grant and Hardship Funds
These grants are really for those with struggling families or with difficulties to pay for university life.
The maintenance grant application depends on household income and when you started your university course, here’s a bit of an example:
More info at the Student Finance website
Special Support grants replace the maintenance grant in certain (more difficult) circumstances:
This is for special circumstances, for example if you have a disability or have a young child while studying full time. In any case, you get the grant application at Student Finance.
Harship funds, as the name suggests is for students in especially difficult situations. For more info check Gov.uk.
A list of specific grants to check out ⬇️
The NHS offers some bursaries, grants and fee waivers for those studying nursing, dentistry, medicine or a healthcare subject. It really depends on what country you’re studying in. They have pretty cool calculators on their website to help you calculate whether you’d be eligible.
For specific circumstances:
Social degree: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/student-services
Teachers bursary: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/
Television degree: https://rts.org.uk/education-training/rts-bursaries
Someone in your family is a chemist:
Women getting into cybersecurity:
Photography and design:
Educational Grants Service: £200 to £300 offered for students to start or continue their education. Requirements include living on a low income, and preference goes towards those studying a commercial subject (IT, bookkeeping, etc).
Study in Europe: Want to study in Europe? Awesome! If you pick one of the 33 participating European universities, the British Council offers a huge variety of grants to help you out. Snazzy stuff.
The Arts Council: As the name suggests, if you’re studying art, they provide grants from £1,000 to £30,000 for any artist or individual doing art related activities. Pretty cool.
The Berridge Trust: Great if you’re training as a teacher of food or nutrition. An easy grant application.
Hilda Martindale Educational Trust: They award up to £3,000 to support British women who follow a course where women are underrepresented. As long as you’re a British citizen, female and can demonstrate that women are underrepresented in your subject, you can apply for the grant.
Turn 2 Us: A great website and organisation that helps people access extra money through benefits, grants and extra money. How much you get mostly depend on your financial needs.
The Princes’ Trust: They offer £500 to anyone between 18 and 30 who is working less than 16 hours per week or in education less than 14 hours per week.
0% interest loans
The next best thing after grants, scholarships and bursaries are 0% interest loans; meaning you get a loan and you do have to pay it back but without any added cost (for a certain period of time). Here are a few options:
Bank overdraft: Most banks offer £2,000 of 0% interest overdrafts if you have a student bank account. Just be careful once you finish your studies as you will need to pay it back asap. ⏲
Credit cards: As a student this may be tricky since you’ll have a pretty low credit score starting out. However if you work on building that score, you can get credit cards that offer certain amounts of money interest free for 12 months. For some ideas of what you can pick, check out Money Saving Supermarket.
So there you go, grants and bursaries that will allow you to get free money. Grant applications should be a very important part of your money making strategy – it’s free money and its something you can get done in a few hours! Some of these are especially helpful if they help cover living costs, books, travel, etc. In terms of tuition, don’t completely dismiss taking out a student loan – the interest rate is low and you only pay back 9% of what you earn. Pretty sweet!
Now let’s get to some applying 💪