At The Scholarship Hub we spend a lot of time talking to people and making sure they understand what different types of funding are available and how to find and apply for relevant opportunities, but we often get asked the question “Is it worth it?” or “Is there anything for me?”
Given that there are so many different types of funding, this is not an easy question to answer. Some of the funds offered are very niche and you might feel like you are searching for a needle in a haystack. Nobody knows you and your background better than you do, and so by doing the searching yourself you will be sure that you are covering all bases. However, for some people, it might feel like a thankless task, finding time and time again that you are not eligible.
Scholarships open to all students
There are a growing number of scholarships which are open to all students, regardless of where or what you are studying. This means that there really is something for everyone, in the sense that there will be a scholarship that every student can apply for. However, what nobody can say is that every student will get a scholarship.
These “open to all” scholarships are usually offered by companies, who are looking to get their brand in front of students, or get students visiting their website. However, typically, these types of scholarships are also going to get more applicants, simply because more students are eligible to apply. The application process often relies on an essay or video submission and so the judging is going to be far more subjective than it is with say a grant or bursary that is dependent on particular needs or circumstances.
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Do I stand a chance anyway?
You may feel like you are wasting your time and even when you do find something you are eligible to apply for, you don’t stand a chance. This is not necessarily true. Firstly, the number of applications these organisations generally receive is a lot less than you might think. Only 40% of UK students ever apply for a scholarship, grant or bursary, believing they aren’t eligible and a third of organisations (other than the universities themselves) who offer funding, say that they generally get less than 50 applicants. So if you find something you are eligible for, your chances are probably quite good - certainly better than doing the lottery!
Is it worth the effort?
The average scholarship is worth around £1,500. You would have to work for 254 hours (that’s 10 full days and nights!) at £5.90 (minimum wage) an hour to earn that much and it’s definitely not going to take you anywhere near that amount of time to run a search.
If you do put in some time doing your research and making some applications, you could get a nice boost that would save you hours of boredom on the checkout!