Even a few hours work in searching and applying for scholarships can pay of hugely and scholarships are great to include on job applications as it shows that institutions are willing to invest in your potential.
We have both been fortunate to receive several scholarships during our degrees and it has been of such a benefit to us. To date between the two of us we have received £17,000 in scholarship awards, and we are still applying for more whilst we are completing our degrees. That is why we are sharing how you too can find some amazing scholarships to help with the cost of university education.
The Scholarship Hub is one of our favourite sites for searching for scholarships. We use the free option and have found it to be great, but there is a premium option that offers additional features. The Scholarship Hub allows you to search for scholarships based on subject, university or universal generic scholarships. They have a comprehensive easy to use database for many UK scholarships.
If you are already enrolled in a degree, or know where you are going to apply to the first thing to do is check your university for the scholarships on The Scholarship Hub, while not an exhaustive database it is a good start. If you are unable to find any scholarships on the site specifically for your university's course, then move to searching your individual university's website. There may be some more generic scholarships for those who are first generation students or care leavers. You may also find that a department offers specific scholarships, sometimes sponsored by a company. It is also worthies contacting your department office, as there may be scholarships which are not publicly advertised. In my first year, I managed to pick up a scholarship, which was offered departmentally and not publicly advertised because I asked the school office if there was anything available. Also keep an eye out for posters on campus and emails advertising scholarships.
You can also use The Scholarship Hub to search for Degree apprenticeships and sponsored degrees which involve both an educational and vocational element. They typically take longer to complete, but can mean you can study with little or no costs. For example, KPMG offers a six-year programme where all your tuition and accommodation fees are covered for the duration of your degree, and you have a guaranteed job at the end.
Degree apprenticeships are a "new" government initiative to allow students to graduate debt free and work during their studies allowing you to gain work experience while studying. They are not really new but just bringing back an old concept, in fact, Rebecca's dad obtained his degree through a degree apprenticeship scheme in the early 1980s through Rolls Royce.
The downside is that you can expect to spend much of your evenings and weekends studying as the week is spend working. If the 'typical student' experience is important to you, then a degree apprenticeship may not suit you. Also, not every sector is covered by degree apprenticeships, so this is another factor to consider whether they cover the subject you wish to study as the sectors are STEM-heavy.
The NHS sponsorship scheme can help those studying accredited Medicine and Dentistry courses. For those on the usual five-years undergraduate programme, the NHS will assist in the 5th year of study. While those on the accelerated four-year graduate programs the NHS Bursary Scheme will pay £3464 towards the cost of tuition in years 2 through 4.
Did you have any scholarships whilst at university? How did you find and apply for them?