Whichever way you look at it, university is a costly undertaking. But for some more than others, making ends meet can be difficult. With university fees on the rise and the cost of living to take into account, you’ll be spending a fair share of cash during your studies.
Luckily, there are a few extra funding opportunities available, provided you’re eligible. And even better, a lot of this funding is free money that you don’t need to pay back during or after your studies.
For those concerned about cash while at uni, here’s a helpful guide to some of the extra funding that may be available to you.
Scholarships and bursaries
When you apply to a university, they’ll inform you of the scholarships they have available for students. These are based on academic ability, household income or personal circumstances, or a combination of all three. They can be offered for other reasons, too, like to help support students living with a disability or those with dependants.
On top of this, there are other scholarships available which you could be eligible for that aren’t linked to your university. Universities don’t have the time to track down these opportunities for every applicant, so it’s up to you to explore the options available.
Handily, you can find out if you’re eligible by heading to the Scholarship Hub and checking their database. Select “no specific university” as the institution, and then select your subject or “no specific subject” as the course to see what is available.
This kind of funding normally lasts for one year of your course (typically your first year) or it can be extended over the whole period of your studies. Scholarships cover some or all of the cost of tuition fees and living costs, so they’re great for people who are concerned about finance and funding during their studies.
As well as universities, they’re also offered by charities, trusts and even local councils, so it’s worth exploring your options to see what’s out there.
Fee waivers reduce the amount of your tuition fees. They can be used on their own or aspart of a bursary in a single package of support. Plus, none of it has to be paid back.
Rather than give you a cash payment, a university or college might offer to reduce how much tuition you pay for a year or more, or they could give you both. Whichever they offer, it means you won’t need to borrow as much from the Student Loans Company. However, because of the large number of students who never pay off the full amount of their student loan, fee waivers aren’t as generous as you might think.
If you’re having financial difficulties, either while you’re at university or during your application, then hardship funds can help out. They’re awarded by the institutions themselves, with the amount of money being decided on a case-by-case basis.
Usually, you fill in an application form to state your case. You can apply either if you have less money coming in than going out, or if an unexpected cost arises. Either way, your circumstances will be taken into account, with certain groups, such as student parents and disabled students, normally being prioritised.
Since they’re decided case-by-case, it’s worth researching what’s available. Just because someone else received a certain amount, or were unsuccessful, it doesn’t mean you’ll get the same result. Additionally, you’ll need to provide documents that confirm how much student finance you receive, as well as your expenses and outgoings.
A more novel way of getting some extra funding for your education is through easyfundraising.org.uk. All you need to do is go to their site, register as a fundraiser, Funds4Uni for example, followed by your name and the year your course starts.
The premise is pretty simple: every time you shop online, the retailer gives you a free donation via your Easyfundraising profile. The big difference between this and other cashback schemes is that you can ask your friends and family to support you through their online shopping too, so all the donations they earn go into your account. It costs nothing for you to join or for friends and family to donate, so it’s a handy little earner if you ever find yourself in a financial bind!
If you’re looking for a student living experience that offers more, head over to the NIDO STUDENT site or drop us a line on 0207 1000 100 for more information on our student residences.