Applying for student financing can sometimes be more difficult than applying to uni. In this article, we help to answer queries surrounding, what is a bursary? – and how does it work? This guide will help you better understand how these grants work in the UK.

What is a Bursary?

What is a Bursary
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A bursary is a type of grant that provides financial support for those who need extra help funding their studies. Because of this, students who qualify for a bursary do not need to pay it back, as it is not a loan.

Bursaries are provided to students by the government or educational organisations. This type of funding helps to cover the cost of university. This includes paying for tuition and distributing sums of money to students, which can be used to pay for uni essentials such as transport and textbooks – or even accommodation.

Who is entitled to a bursary in the UK?

Who is entitled to a bursary in the UK?
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Uni students over the age of 18 years old can apply for a bursary. Before the student starts their course, the student’s household income is assessed. This is because bursaries will only be awarded to students who earn under a certain income.

Students entitled to a bursary will receive £85.90 a week if they are supported by their parents. Students who are self-supported are entitled to £108.55 a week if they qualify for a bursary.

Bursaries sometimes only consider students with a lower household income. Other bursaries take into consideration course choice and income. For example, some students that study medical courses could be entitled to a bursary.

Students are eligible for a bursary if they earn a lower income and are aged between 18 and 25. However, each contract is different. In some cases, financial needs and academic achievement are prioritized over the age of a student by organisations and governments.

Some bursaries also only accept applicants from a specific race or background. Others require students to have earned certain grades at school.

How to Apply for a Bursary in the UK?

How to Apply for a Bursary in the UK?
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To apply for a student bursary, you will need:

  • A certified copy of a valid ID: This can include a driving license or passport
  • Proof of your household income: Such as payslips
  • Proof of your address: This could include Utility, phone, or internet bills
  • A Letter of Motivation: The student applying writes this letter. It should include the reasons for applying and the student’s various attributes. A letter of motivation is like a cover letter that you would write when applying for a job application.
  • Proof of your Academic records: This should be an official document that contains all your qualifications and grades earned during the student’s lifetime.

Different unis and organisations may have different requirements. You can also visit for a general idea of the different services and grants that the government provide.

Click here to read further about applying for different awards!

What is the difference between a Bursary and a Scholarship?

What is the difference between a Bursary and a Scholarship?
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Scholarships are awards that are more likely to fund students based on their academic achievement. However, bursaries, are more likely to provide financial help to those who need it most.

Both these awards, fund students with the aim to cover students’ expenses for further education. They both also sometimes take into consideration the academic performance. Although, scholarship awards are more likely to do so. Only some bursary providers look at a student’s previous grades.

However, this can depend on the company and the nature of the bursary the student is applying for.

What are the Benefits of Bursaries?

What are the Benefits of Bursaries?
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Bursaries help to provide financing for students who cannot always afford to attend uni or further education. This means that obtaining a degree is more obtainable for people of diverse economic backgrounds.

Bursaries also help to enhance the student experience. This is because students are spending less time stressing over finances.

Overall, bursaries are meaning further education is becoming more accessible to all students!

Check out our guides to different bursaries available for UK students, such as the NHS bursary or the teacher training bursary

Last Updated on June 27, 2022