A bursary is a sum of money you may receive to help cover the costs of your studies, such as course equipment, books, or even transport. This money is non-repayable, which means you do not need to worry about paying it back.

Bursaries can be applied for by students to help them pay for university or college, by receiving money from either from the government or their educational facility. However, each university and college have their own rules about how to apply, who qualifies, and how much you can receive.

The general rule is to apply as soon as possible, which is usually as soon as you know where you will be studying. It is also important to check if you need to reapply for a bursary each year of your course.

Bursaries for vulnerable students

If you have recently left the care of your local authority, you could get a bursary of up to £1200 to help you fund your studies. If you’re financially supporting yourself, you could also get a bursary of up to £1200 to help you finance your studies. If you receive a disability living allowance as well as an employment and support allowance or universal credit, you could also apply for a bursary of up to £1200 to help you fund your studies.

With these bursaries, you would only be refused or not receive the full amount if your course is shorter than 30 weeks, your studying part-time, or you have few expenses.

Discretionary Bursaries

This type of bursary differs for every university and college, who will each have their own criteria that need to be met. They will consider a student’s personal circumstances, as well as factors such as their family income. Anyone can apply for this type of bursary as long as they’re over 19 and continuing on a course they started aged 16-18, or if they have an EHCP plan.

Disabled Students Allowance

If you have a disability, whether it’s physical or a specific learning disability, you can apply for a disabled student allowance. This can be used on specialist equipment or software you may need, as well as any additional costs you face during your studies because of your disability.

Childcare Grant

You can apply for a childcare grant if you are a full-time higher education student, with children under the age of 15. Or if your child has a special need, you can apply as long as they are under the age of 17.

Parents Learning Allowance

Depending on your income you could also apply for a parent’s learning allowance, where you could get between £50 and £1766 a year if you are a full-time student on an undergraduate course, or on an initial teacher training course.

Adult Dependence Grant

The adult’s dependence grant is available for students who are in full-time education and have an adult depending on them financially. But if you have already applied for a Postgraduate loan, you can’t apply, but if you haven’t, you could receive a grant of up to £3000.

NHS Learning Support Fund

If you are studying a medical or health degree, you may be able to able to The NHS Learning Support Fund for one of their grants. Their training grant could provide up to £5000 per year, whereas their parental support grant could mean £2000 per year. The support fund also offers one-off payments to students, if they need help with other costs, such as travel or accommodation whilst they are on placement.

Social Work Bursary

If you are a resident in England and are studying an approved social work course, such as Social Work or Adult nursing, you can apply for a social work bursary where you can receive a bursary of up to £5,262.50, depending on your course and university.

Teacher Training Bursary

If you are studying a subject that trains you to teach, you can apply for a teacher training bursary. However, these bursaries are only available to students that hold a 1st, 2:1, or 2:2 degree, or a masters or doctoral degree. The amount you could receive also depends on what subject you are learning to teach.

Family Action Grants

Family Action distributes grants to students over the age of 14 that want to better their education. Their grants are usually of £200 to £300 and can be used to cover additional costs associated with a course, such as equipment, travel and examination costs. However, applications must be made through a college affiliated with their programme, which includes Belfast Metropolitan College, South Thames College, Lambeth College, East Norfolk Sixth Form College and City and Islington College.

The Hilda Martindale Educational Trust

The educational trust offer grants to female students who are studying a postgraduate course, or need help funding their 2nd and 3rd year of studying an undergraduate course. However, the students intended career must be in a field, area or profession where women are underrepresented. The grants received by students vary, but it could be anything up to £3000.

Institute of Chartered Foresters Education and Science Trust

The institute has three different grants available for students to apply for, which include an annual travel bursary, a professional developments award, and the events bursary. The trust considers applications twice a year, and their grants range from £100 to £500.