There’s a limit to how much you can cut your spending, but there’s no limit to how much money you can get access to. 💸 

Applying for additional funding in the form of scholarships, bursaries and grants can increase your money pot. 🪴

We’ll be diving into:

  • ❓ What scholarships, bursaries and grants are

  • 👌 The best places to find additional funding

  • ✅ Success tips for getting your hands on some of this money


What are scholarships, bursaries and grants? 🤷‍♀️

These three types of additional funding differ slightly, and are available under certain conditions/ eligibility criteria, but have one key thing in common: they’re free money that you don’t have to pay back! 😻

Unlike loans or overdrafts, where you have to pay the money back and can be charged high interest rates, you don’t have to pay back your scholarship, bursary or grant money. 🙅‍♀️

What are scholarships, bursaries and grants?

  • Scholarships: usually awarded for something you’ve achieved, whether academic or extracurricular e.g. a scholarship for achieving the highest Biology mark in first year, or a tennis scholarship.

  • Grants: usually awarded based on personal circumstances or financial need e.g. you’re from an underprivileged background, or have a disability. In particular cases, they can also be given for achievement.

  • Bursaries: always awarded based on financial need e.g. for those from low-income families or people who have refugee status. Likely to be means-tested (based on your household income).


Scholarships, bursaries and grants are awarded for various reasons and many organisations offer them, each with their own motives for providing funding. Among these organisations are many universities, colleges and charities.


Where to find scholarships, bursaries and grants 🔎

Additional funding can be found all over the Internet, but here are two of the best places to look:


Your university or college website

Look on your university or college’s website to see if they have a hub of additional funding or a page with all the scholarships they offer. 🏫

They won’t always post their additional funding on third-party websites, so if you don’t check their website directly you might miss some big opportunities.


The Funding Hub

The Blackbullion Funding Hub is the largest pool of scholarships and bursaries in the UK. 🙏 After setting up a free account you can research and find additional funding that you might be eligible for.

Once you’ve registered for Blackbullion, you can join the email newsletter which includes reminders of additional funding that’s closing soon, as well as letting you know what new funding is live.


How much money is out there? 💰

There’s over £20 million of additional funding available in the UK every year! 🤑 Funds vary a lot but most of them allow you to get between £1,000 and £3,000 in additional funding. 

Remember, this isn’t an alternative to student finance – it’s extra money that you can get on top of your maintenance loan! 👀

Some scholarships for students are a one-off payment, whereas other funds give you money every year until your course ends, or even every term. 😍


Tips to get scholarships, bursaries and grants ✍️

Apply early – and definitely don’t apply late!

A deadline is a deadline – so make sure you submit your application in time for every scholarship, bursary or grant application you do.

Yeah, on occasion you might have a really kind person reviewing your application that still takes a look at it, but you shouldn’t count on that. 🚫

There are also plenty who submit their applications last minute. ⏳ You’re better off submitting the application earlier: not having to rush means you’re more likely to submit a great application which means you’re more likely to get the funding! So applying early is a win-win. 🙌


Put time into your applications

If you’re going to do an application, do it properly.

Many people think that the more scholarships they apply for, the more likely they are to get some money. It might be cliché, but when it comes to your application – quality is always better than quantity! 

If you put time and effort into your application, it will certainly come through to whoever’s reading it. And with some scholarships or bursaries receiving hundreds of applications you’re more likely to be successful if you stand out from the crowd. 💁‍♀️


Personalise your application

Make each application specific to the scholarship or bursary you’re applying for. 

If you copy and paste the same application for each scholarship, someone who tailors their application and answers to that specific scholarship is always going to have a higher chance of success. 🎖

Fund providers receive a lot of applications, but not a lot of good ones. Make sure yours is clear and provides everything that’s required so you’ve got the best chance of landing that free extra money.


Be your real self

Let your true self shine through in your application, and remember – it’s a real human being reading your application on the other side. Use personal examples from your life to answer questions and let the assessor get a taste of who you are and what you’re like. 

Authenticity is key! 🗝 As Oscar Wilde said:

Check your application – then check it again

Remember to check your spelling and grammar. This isn’t something you have to do alone. Use tools like Grammarly to help check your spelling and grammar. 💡

You can ask family or friends to look over your application to: 

  • Check the spelling and grammar are accurate

  • Make sure you’ve not missed anything important 

  • Ensure you’re being yourself


Check your online presence

Here’s a good rule for life: before you apply for a job, funding or anything really, check what comes up when you type your name into Google. ⚠️

The person who reads your application is likely to check you out online. The last thing you want is for them to find a red flag that makes them decide not to give you the scholarship, bursary or grant.

The most obvious places to check are social media but make sure you cover all bases. ⛺️


Scholarships FAQs 🙋‍♀️

Are scholarships, bursaries and grants age-restricted?

Not usually, no. They’re usually based on what stage of education you’re at i.e. for undergraduate students, rather than a specific age. This means mature students are usually eligible for the same funding.


How will I know if I’m eligible for scholarships?

Every bit of additional funding will have its own eligibility requirements. The only way you can be sure is to thoroughly check eligibility requirements for yourself. 


Is it really worth my time researching and applying?

100%! It can take around an hour to apply for a bursary. If you aren’t successful, you’ve lost an hour – but if you are successful and you get £2,000 from it, that hourly wage would equate to a yearly salary of nearly £4 million. 🤯 

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if something is worth your time or not. 


In the face of a recession, with rapidly rising energy bills and inflation, getting access to more money can make getting through the month a bit easier. We hope these tips will get you one step closer to that. 🙌

Remember to register for Blackbullion and check out all the scholarships and bursaries we have to offer on the Funding Hub to find some more additional funding that’s out there.


Further learning ⏭

5 ways to make money as a student: A few great ways to make money while you study, with practical tips

The National Living Wage vs the National Minimum Wage: Learn the difference between these two wages and make sure you’re getting paid right

Top tips for how to get a graduate job: Some advice for writing your CV, getting work experience and smashing your interviews.

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