Wednesday, 23 March 2016

What Charities and Trusts Provide Grants for Educational Study?

The system of loans and grants put in place by the UK Government a few years ago for the funding of higher education in the UK is now well-established and well understood.

But lots of potential students are not aware of the many other sources of funding that are out there. You'd be surprised how many charities and trusts provide grants for educational study.

These grants vary enormously, and they are often aimed at students from poorer backgrounds or from groups who are less-well represented at university or otherwise disadvantaged.  So, how do you find them, and how do you apply?

The Charities Digest
What are these charities about?
Thousands of charities and trusts in the UK, some dating back hundreds of years, make grants to students for their education.  There are many educational charities and trusts that can offer supplementary help in case you find yourself short of funds.

How much can you get?
On average, around £300 to £500 from any single charity. And most charities generally only make single payments.

Who is eligible?
Different charities have different requirements - you will have to check your eligibility for each one.  By way of example, The Royal Scottish Corporation awards grants only to Scots who are studying in London.

Often, charities make awards on the basis of need, so it helps if you're pretty broke and also come from a "non-traditional" university background. Students from less prosperous backgrounds and from other disadvantaged groups are generally more likely to succeed.

Where can you find more information?
To find out more about these charitable grants for education, try these resources:
  • The Educational Grants Directory
  • The Charities Digest
  • The Grants Register
  • The Directory of Grant Making Trusts. 
These are all books - not online resources, and they are expensive. For example, The Directory of Grant Making Trusts costs £145 at amazon.

Get thee to the library
Your best bet is to go to your local library and check them out, or use them in the study areas - the library staff will be able to help you. Be prepared to make some long lists, and take down the names, addresses and criteria of as many charities as you can manage.

Treat it like a military operation: arm yourself with spreadsheets, write letters, and tick off the ones you have already applied for.  Going down this route may involve some work and quite a few application forms, but it could be well worth it. To see more information, follow this link.

For an online resource, try this link. But remember, the charities which are harder to find will generally have fewer applications!

Also see the official NUS (National Union of Students) website, for more information.

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