It is hard to believe how difficult it can be to give money away. It’s true. If someone came up to you in the street and offered you £50, would you just take it and say thank you? Probably not.
Sadly the same is true of scholarships. Look at this article in the Northern Echo saying that a Charitable Foundation had not received a single applicant for their university scholarships worth thousands of pounds and that the deadline was fast approaching. Why is it that there is a charity with money to give away, thousands of students worried about funding their degrees and yet this occurs?
So, why aren’t people spreading the word about these opportunities? There is always lots of coverage in the media about student debt, cuts to grants and privatisation of the student loan book, but when an opportunity arises for students to actually apply for some free money towards their studies……nothing.
It seems to me that there is very little awareness among students of the opportunities that are out there and the information they are receiving constantly points them to the university websites. Whilst the university websites are a good place to look if you have already decided on a specific course and a specific university there are also other funding opportunities available which are not specific to one university and more should be done to make students aware of these opportunities so that situations like the one reported in the Northern Echo do not repeat itself.
We currently have over 150 funding opportunities listed on our database which are not specific to any one particular university and there have been others, whose deadlines have now passed. There are scholarships which are applicable at more than one university and sometimes you find that one university might list it on their site, but another doesn’t. There are also thousands of smaller educational trusts that will give grants for specific needs, regardless of where you are going to study.
Perhaps the negative thinking about student finance that is perpetuated by the media is making students believe that there is no such thing as free money. Whilst not everyone is going to be able to fund their degrees through scholarships and grants, surely we should be making sure that prospective students are trying, as someone somewhere could be eligible for that money that is “going begging” as the Northern Echo states.