Mummy says… having put my eldest daughter through University, and doing it all over again with my other daughter, I know all too well the costs of higher education. Luckily there are all sorts of financial support available, including loans, grants, bursaries ands scholarships….
Personally I found the loans / grants information available was straight forward and easy to understand, but less so regarding scholarships and bursaries.
What is a scholarship?
A scholarship is a financial award paid to a student to further their education. Scholarships are given based upon different qualifying criteria, which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award. They usually reward students who are outstanding in their subject, sport or music and generally (but not always) need to be applied for. Be prepared as they are often competitive.
It is a grant or payment made to support a student’s education and it does not have to be repaid.
Most higher education establishments including colleges and universities have scholarships available and can advise and assist the application process.
The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest (first awarded in 1902) and probably most prestigious international scholarship programme, enabling outstanding young people from around the world to study at the University of Oxford.
In the USA, there are many scholarships available, as in the UK. One such is Dr. Summit Shah and The Summit Shah MD Scholarship which offers a bursary of $1000 to one recipient every year. The bursary was launched to help students with the increasing tuition costs of higher learning education. Search for ‘scholarships in the USA for lots of up to date information.
What is a bursary?
Bursaries are usually awarded to students based on their personal circumstances, or if they come from a low-income family. Bursaries can help students facing more barriers or difficulties in attending full-time education, giving them the opportunity to attend university.
You (or the course provider) can spend the bursary on things like clothing, books and other equipment for your course as well as transport and lunch on days you study or train.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the bursary offered to students aged 16-18 years old attending higher education is called EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance), it is income assessed and paid weekly to the student directly. Currently (2018/2019 academic year) it is £30 per week.
In England it is the 16-19 Bursary Fund. There are two options – The Vulnerable Student Bursary which could be worth up to £1200, and the Discretionary Bursary if you need financial help but don’t qualify for a vulnerable student bursary.
To find a scholarship or bursary in the UK, check the websites and prospectuses of individual universities and colleges, as well as UCAS. If you are thinking of a ‘collegiate university’ (a university comprising a number of separate colleges, like Oxford or Cambridge) make sure you check if there are awards from the particular colleges.
You need to check and double check the eligibility requirements, the terms and conditions for entry, and the deadline.
I hope I have helped to answer ‘What is a Scholarship?’ and good luck if you looking for one for a 2019 course.