One of the reasons for scholarships, grants and bursaries being awarded is categorised on our database as “Personal Circumstances” but what exactly does this mean?
There are a huge number of different types of scholarships offered where one of the eligibility criteria listed is something about your personal background, hobbies or interests that is personal about you. They are not usually the sole criteria that make you eligible to apply, but they are often reasons that you might overlook when searching for scholarships. After all, where you live or what your parents do are not the most obvious reasons that jump to mind when looking for scholarships that you could be eligible to apply for.
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Personal circumstances could include any of the following and more
- Where you live – these are sometimes offered by local authorities, companies looking to support their local community or charities and trusts which have been set up with the specific purpose of helping people from particular communities.
- What your parents do – there are trusts and organisations that support people and their children, who are from particular professions such as actors, police and army officers, chemists, grocers, teachers.
- Your religious background – charities that have been set up to support people from particular religious groups or who are involved in helping people of that religion.
- If you have been in care or you are estranged from your parents
- If you are an asylum seeker – these are usually full fee paying tuition fees plus maintenance costs for people who have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
- If you are from an ethnic minority group – universities have targets they have to reach to make sure that they have a fair representation among their students from all ethnic and social backgrounds.
- Your extra-curricular activities – if you have dedicated yourself to helping others or making the world a better place, or overcoming your own particular circumstances which might have proven a barrier to entering higher education.
- Your career aspirations – certain professional associations like to encourage new talent in to their industry and if you aspire to that particular career you could be eligible to apply for funding from your professional institution or association.
- Really weird niche stuff – there are also some pretty nice offerings, such as the Vegetarian society supporting veggies or The Graham Trust supporting people with the surname Graham, but these niche ones are definitely not the norm, so you have to be lucky to find one of these that suits you.
The thing to remember when searching for scholarships is that if there is something about you that you think could fit any of the above criteria, don’t limit your search to funding based on your subject of study or the university you are/will be studying at.