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Other cash sources


Sponsorship is offered by some employers in industry, government and professional partnerships as well as by professional bodies. They are much sought after because they can solve two student problems at a stroke – financing yourself through university and getting a job when you graduate. You are normally responsible for gaining your own admission on to an appropriate degree course.

Competition is fierce for sponsorships, so you need to get cracking early. Several sponsorships are advertised on the UCAS website and the press too. Some firms are offering sponsorship for the final year only; you apply in your second year.

Here are some ideas that it might be worth following up.

Professional Sponsors Contacts
Engineering and Physical Sciences
AMEC Constructionwww.amec.com
Balfour Beatty Constructionwww.balfourbeatty.com
Bovis Lend Lease Ltdwww.bovislendlease.co.uk
Costain Group Plcwww.costain.com
Defence Engineering and Science Groupwww.mod.uk/desg
Faber Maunsellwww.fabermaunsell.com
Frazer Nash Consultancywww.fnc.co.uk
Hoare Leawww.hoarelea.com
IET Power Academywww.theiet.org
Kier Groupwww.kier.co.uk
Mott MacDonaldwww.mottmac.com
Sir Robert McAlpinewww.sir-robert-mcalpine.com
Ramboll UK Ltdwww.ramboll.co.uk
Worcester Boschwww.worcester-bosch.co.uk
The Armed Forceswww.raf.mod.uk
Astra Zenecawww.astrazeneca.co.uk
Johnson & Johnsonwww.jnj.com
Computer Science
Astra Zenecawww.astrazeneca.co.uk
Allen & Overy LLPwww.allenovery.com
Clifford Chancewww.cliffordchance.com
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringerwww.freshfields.com
Linklaters LLPwww.linklaters.com
Slaughter and Maywww.slaughterandmay.com

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Career Development Loans

You may be able to get a Career Development Loan (CDL), offered by a partnership of three high street banks and the Learning & Skills Council (LSC). They are designed to cover vocational education or training for two years and you can borrow up to £8000. The LSC pays the interest during your course, then you repay the loan at a fixed rate of interest over an agreed period. You cannot hold a CDL along with a Student Loan.

You can get more information on the website, www.direct.gov.uk/cdl

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You can work in the vacations to supplement your income – some 90% of students do. And many students also have part-time jobs during term time. Our university descriptions give some of the local possibilities.

See also Jobs and Work (paid or voluntary)

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University scholarships, bursaries and other help

Some universities have scholarships or bursaries open to all students, while at others they are closely targeted. The most common approaches are:

  • Bursary help is most often for students from low-income families and/or those from partner schools and colleges.
  • Scholarships are usually for high academic performance (or sport, or music). Mostly they require either high entry qualifications (or high marks in the first year assessment). For sports scholarships, you often need to be competing at a national level – or even be in with a chance of a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. Some scholarships may be specially awarded to students from low-income families (such as those awarded under the National Scholarship Programme in England), or for international students etc.
  • Hardship funds and access to learning funds are usually directed towards students with children, mature students, care leavers and the homeless, students from low-income families, disabled students and final year students. They may be used to help with basic course or living costs or to make emergency payments if things go wrong.

Universities have their own priorities and many have ear-marked funds for particular groups of students (mature students, students from the Commonwealth etc) or special expenditure (eg travel, childcare). So you may qualify for help in one university and not in another. The key thing is to talk to someone in the university (student advice, students’ union, your tutor – anyone) as soon as you are in trouble and before you are in real difficulties. UK students do not usually qualify for any help unless they have taken out their full Student Loan entitlement.

As well as the universities’ own funds, they administer government funds to help students on low incomes who may need extra financial support to stay on the course. These funds are only available after you have started the course and, again, come in different guises in each different country, eg Access to Learning funds in England, Financial Contingency Funds in Wales.

Check the individual University profiles and the universities’ own websites.

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Educational trusts & charities

There are lots of impoverished students chasing the little money handed out by educational charities, so don’t pin your hopes on getting a lot.

Most charities are very specific about who or what they can help (students from Hackney, cats homes in Derbyshire..............). You need to focus on those whose remit includes you. You may be able to get a grant (or search for other grant-giving trusts) through the Educational Grants Service (EGS) – see the website, www.family-action.org.uk.

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Few students qualify for state benefits – some disabled students, student parents and part-time students are exceptions. If you think you qualify, try telephoning your local Jobcentre Plus office (look it up in the phone book). The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) will give you information or contact your local authority if you think you are eligible for eg housing benefit.

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Borrowing more

A fact of student life these days. Consider the costs carefully. A business-like approach is to take the cheapest loan first.

  • Free overdraft. Most banks offer interest-free overdrafts to students if you ask for it – though who knows who banks are lending to these days.
  • Student loan. Interest at the rate of inflation, maybe more; but repayment is linked to your future earnings.
  • Agreed overdraft (variable interest rate, bank base rate plus).
  • Credit cards. Ferocious interest rates.

You could also try a career development loan if you, or your course, are eligible.

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Featured Universities

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