Hello, prospective scholars (or those who may have seen some of the opportunities that York offers, but aren’t sure whether they should give it a go *hint, you should*.) This blog should motivate you to look at scholarships at the University of York.
Firstly, what is a scholarship? In its simplest form, a lot of people look at it as free money. In reality it is much more than that. It’s an opportunity, its freedom and it can make a significant difference to your time here at York.
What does York offer?
The University of York prides itself on its philanthropic work and takes great care in giving people opportunities that make a huge impact on life at university. Here there are many different scholarships and bursaries. These vary from subject-oriented awards to bursaries aimed at allowing students with difficult backgrounds to access higher education. These awards can range from £1000 all the way up to £10,000. So you can see it’s definitely worth checking them out to see if you are eligible.
There are several scholarships for individual subjects and awards for students, no matter their background. For example, being a refugee or an estranged student. I found if you live on campus and have a residual household income below a certain threshold, you may receive a bursary that subsidises your uni accommodation without you realising it. This is a massive bonus!
I remember receiving an email about the York Opportunity Scholarship over summer. I thought that it was interesting but soon brushed it out of my head. It was only when I mentioned it to my mum that she made it clear to me how beneficial it could be to my time at university. I am glad someone told me, as I would never have applied. So, I hope this can push you to give any of these options a go.
Initially, I thought the whole process would be a lot of work but in reality, it wasn’t. All in all, it took me around 30 minutes. A few forms to fill in and a statement arguing my case was not too much work. It felt great knowing that someone might care enough about my struggles to get into a university that they would then help me.
Though I didn’t immediately receive the scholarship, I was on the waiting list. It only took one day for York to get back to me and offer me the scholarship which I accepted. I cannot tell you how excited I was when I got this! This was a great moment during difficult times to know that someone who donated believed in you and wanted you to be successful. Even if you don’t think you deserve a scholarship or bursary, it’s always worth a try because you never know.
Coming to university is quite a new experience for a lot of people. I do think that it’s an issue that people often don’t like to talk about their finances, because as a student this can often be a huge factor for survival. With a financial award from the university, you can afford a lot more freedom with your life here. This can allow you to focus on your studies in comfort or gives you more options for leisure and fun (which tends to be a lot of what you may be doing in your first year). So making sure you can look after your student loan and other income is important.
Always make sure that you set aside enough money to pay for your rent. Then, ensure that you have enough to live off (and trust me you can’t live off of pot noodles for a year!) Look out for the magic ability to wake up and find you’ve bought a takeaway the night before (or needing one to even attempt to get out of bed in the morning!) Make sure you learn how to manage your money (at least to a certain degree). As awesome as a scholarship is, it isn’t a magic money tree and it can disappear when you have lots of bills to pay.
York offers many awards that almost anyone could be eligible for. It’s always worth trying to get one as it helps with the struggle of student living. If you haven’t already been living on your own, it’s also a great idea to plan your expenses. Even if you don’t get a scholarship, you may soon find you should have been budgeting…