Not all scholarships, grants and bursaries require you to actively apply for them. You will automatically be considered for those you are eligible for, when you apply to the Universities concerned. However there are also some for which you do need to apply, and making your application relevant will play a part in the success or failure of your application.

When applying for a scholarship, grant or bursary, remember the awarding body will receive many applications and they will be looking for the applicants that best fit their eligibility criteria, so the first stage in making applications for scholarships is to find the schemes to which you are best suited.

Finding the right funding for your studies

Throughout the UK there are hundreds of grant making trusts which have been set up for a specific purpose. You will find the major educational trusts on our database, but there are also a whole host of others that make grants for specific purposes. Some examples are

  • where you live
  • what your parents or sometimes other relatives do for a living
  • any illnesses or disabilities you may have
  • any special interests, activities or hobbies such as music, sport, drama
  • religion or ethnicity
  • whether you are the first in your family to attend university

Make a list of your strengths, abilities or personal circumstances which you feel may make you eligible for a grant or scholarship and then search for schemes which specifically fund students with your profile.

Once you are clear about what types of scholarships, grants and bursaries you are looking for, you can start your search on our scholarship database. The opportunities listed here cover all universities and companies which are currently offering funding options to UK undergradutes.  You can search based on your university choices, the subjects you wish to study, or on the criteria for selection. So if you are good at sports, why not look for all the sporting scholarships and one may be so good, it will make you want to apply to that particular university.

We also cover some educational trusts with more generic eligibility criteria, but there are literally hundreds of grant making trusts in the UK, with different selection criteria and you might be eligible for some of them. If you would like to access these trusts, find out how you can do this, with our Premium Membership Benefits. Alternatively you can find details of all these in The Educational Grants Directory, which is usually available in larger reference libraries. 

Tailor your application to each awarding body

In most cases, a generic application will not work for you. You will need to tailor your letter or application to meet the specific eligibility criteria stated and clearly show how you meet those criteria. If you are asked for a reference from a teacher or someone else who knows you, make sure each reference is also relevant to the specific application.

To get a full copy of our "Step by step guide to finding scholarships" plus additional tools and resources, find out more about Premium Membership Benefits.