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Which UK Universities Offer the Biggest Bursaries?

University

Research has shown that the university you attend can affect the amount of the bursary awarded to you.

Typically, elite redbrick universities are the ones that offer the most support to students from low-income households.

According to The Guardian, this is due to the fact that these elite institutions tend to have fewer students from poorer backgrounds, although it is also worth noting that 67% of students are also failing to apply for funding due to concerns about their eligibility.

After an extremely tough financial year, it is more important than ever for pupils to be well informed before they make the next big step in their education.

Using The Guardians’
league tables for the best universities in 2021, Love Energy Savings has put together two lists of the top 50 UK universities, ranking their bursary funding from highest to lowest.

Here is a list ranking university bursary funding for students coming from households with incomes of £0 - £16,000 per year (caveats for universities highlighted in bold can be seen in the table below):

University

Bursary Amount (£)

Imperial College

£5,000

London School of Economics (LSE)

£4,000

Cambridge

£3,500

Oxford

£3,200

Herriot- Watt

£3,100

Bath

£3,000

Warwick

£3,000

Glasgow

£3,000

Strathclyde

£3,000

Leeds

£3,000

Aberdeen

£3,000

Swansea

£3,000

Sheffield Hallam*

£3,000

Bolton*

£3,000

Edinburgh

£3,000

Kingston

£3,000

UCL

£2,500

Exeter

£2,100

Bristol

£2,060

Durham

£2,000

York

£2,000

Dundee

£2,000

Birmingham

£2,000

Manchester

£2,000

Northumbria

£2,000

Abertay Dundee

£2,000

Aberystwyth

£2,000

Lancaster

£2,000

Southampton

£2,000

St Andrews*

£1,500

Aston

£1,500

West London

£1,500

UEA

£1,300

Loughborough

£1,200

Coventry*

£1,000

Stirling

£1,000

Sheffield

£1,000

Royal Holloway

£1,000

Keele

£1,000

Cardiff

£1,000

Nottingham

£1,000

Kings College

£1,000

Robert Gordon

£1,000

University of the Arts

£1,000

Chichester

£900

Nottingham Trent

£750

Oxford Brookes

£750

UWE Bristol

£500

Uni of Creative Arts

£500

Queen's Belfast

£440

 

University

Caveat

Sheffield Hallam

Only available to students leaving care and high-performance sports students

Bolton

Only available for high-performance sports students

St. Andrews

£1500 is available as a flat rate, to those with a household income below £34,000

Coventry

Only available to those studying in faculty of health and life sciences

 

Here is a list ranking university bursary funding for students coming from households with incomes of £16,000-£20,000 per year (caveats for universities highlighted in bold can be seen in the table below):

University

Bursary Amount (£)

Imperial College*

£4,000

LSE*

£3,500

Cambridge

£3,500

Herriot- Watt

£3,100

Oxford

£3,000

Bath

£3,000

Warwick

£3,000

Glasgow

£3,000

Strathclyde

£3,000

Leeds

£3,000

Aberdeen

£3,000

Swansea

£3,000

Sheffield Hallam*

£3,000

Bolton*

£3,000

Bristol

£2,060

Edinburgh

£2,000

Kingston

£2,000

Durham

£2,000

York

£2,000

Dundee

£2,000

Birmingham

£2,000

Manchester

£2,000

Northumbria

£2,000

Abertay Dundee

£2,000

Aberystwyth

£2,000

UCL

£1,500

St Andrews*

£1,500

Aston

£1,500

West London

£1,500

Loughborough

£1,200

Exeter

£1,050

Lancaster

£1,000

Southampton

£1,000

Coventry*

£1,000

Stirling

£1,000

Sheffield

£1,000

Royal Holloway

£1,000

Keele

£1,000

Cardiff

£1,000

Nottingham

£1,000

Kings College

£1,000

Robert Gordon

£1,000

University of the Arts

£1,000

Chichester

£900

UEA

£800

Nottingham Trent

£750

Oxford Brookes

£750

UWE Bristol

£500

Uni of Creative Arts

£500

Queen's Belfast

£440

 

University

Caveat

Imperial College

£4000 is available for students with a household income between £16,000 and £50,000

London School of Economics (LSE)

£3,500 is available for students with a household income between £18,000 and £25,000

Sheffield Hallam

Only available to students leaving care and to high-performance sports students

Bolton

Only available for high-performance sports students

St Andrews

£1500 is available as a flat rate, to those with a household income below £34,000

Coventry

Only available to those studying in faculty of health and life sciences

 

As you can see, some universities offer quite large sums of money to disadvantaged students with some surprising universities like Herriot- Watt being in the top 5 for those who offer highest bursary in both household income categories!

Well-known, elite universities, Oxford and Cambridge are also amongst the top-ranking institutions for large bursaries.

Cambridge offers £3,500 to underprivileged students, whilst Oxford university offers up to £3,200. However, both universities rank as third and fourth respectively, beneath the London School of Economics which offers up to £4,000 for those coming from households with an income of £0-16,000 and, taking the top spot: Imperial College London, which offers up to £5,000 to its least privileged students.

This extra funding could go a long way, with a bursary providing the extra help a student needs to stay on top of accommodation fees and living costs.

Applying for bursary funding 

To find out which bursaries are available to you, you can check your university’s website or prospectus. Your student services department may also be able to advise you.

Additionally, try checking out the UCAS site for more information on bursaries or conduct a simple Google search.

Top tips for applying for a bursary:

  1. Cast a wide net – The more applications you submit, the more likely you are to get access to extra funding. Research is key here, talk to your university, search the web and even talk to other students to find out what options are available to you.

  2. Apply early – The snooze you lose rule has never been more valid than with funding applications. Organisations and institutions receive thousands of applications from students in need of extra money, so you’ll want to get in there quick to increase your chances of approval. Just like with your assignments, late application submissions are a big no-no.

  3. Provide all the necessary documents – When applying for extra funding, be prepared to share your spending habits. These applications usually request bank statements of around three months to ensure that funding goes to students that actually need it and not to frivolous big spenders!

  4. Be realistic – It’s important for you to keep your feet on the ground when making bursary applications. Don’t expect to receive the highest payments from all your submissions. Work out a Plan B and just be open to the fact that you may (or may not) receive some extra help, that way you can be pleasantly surprised if you receive good news.

If in doubt, ring the university you want to apply to and ask to have a conversation with someone about the help they can give you.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get, so don’t let fear stand in the way of having a bright future.

How to manage your bursary throughout the academic year

It’s easy to spend your bursary very quickly and leave yourself with no emergency money throughout the year. Although you may have a part-time job, it may be prudent to pay some of your typical bills annually. These can be the essentials like home energy, broadband, and council tax. If you compare your home energy with Love Energy Savings, you could save a large amount of money and put your energy bills to the back of your mind. Add a reminder to your calendar if you plan to renew or cancel at the end of the academic year.

This takes away the worry of some monthly expenses, and if you have a part-time job, you can use the extra cash to treat yourself throughout the year.  

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