Hello! My name is Chloe, and I’m a second year Biomedical Science student. If you’re reading this, you might be worried about applying to universities due to the expense. But hopefully after reading this, you’ll feel as though you can enjoy your time at York, without having to stress about money.
Firstly, if you weren’t already aware, the University provides the York Bursary for UK (home) students based on your household residual income. The great things about this bursary are that:
- You don’t pay it back, it’s entirely free
- You don’t have to apply; they use the information from your student loan to assess if you’re eligible
- You get £2000 in the first year, then £1000 – £1100 each year after!
I’m from a low-income household, so I received an email saying I was eligible for this bursary. At first, I was really confused as I didn’t read the email correctly. I wasn’t sure how I received the payment, or if I had to apply. I lived in Vanbrugh for my first year, so it was paid directly to accommodation fees. This meant I had less to pay from my student loan and didn’t have to worry about sorting any payment out myself.
Now, I’m in my second year. I receive an extra £1,100 on top of my student loan. This is paid to my bank account in three instalments. With the cost-of-living crisis, this extra money has really helped towards being able to enjoy university without constantly working!
It’s really easy to compare your situation to other students in this new environment and feel as though you can’t afford to do what other students can. Although bursaries don’t entirely remove money burdens, it’s something worth thinking about if you are applying to university.
Part-time jobs and scholarships
While at York, there are so many opportunities to earn more money while studying. This can be both within the university or not.
My part-time job
In my experience, I wanted to find a job during the summer before first year which was suited to my career aspirations. I asked my friend for advice, and she told me to email her boss, to see if there was any work available. It was a role as a receptionist at a GP surgery and this sounded like the perfect role for me. However, I didn’t think I would be offered it due to being inexperienced. I emailed her straight away and she set me up for an interview. I was so nervous but I discussed how I wanted to work in a medical career, and I was offered a job!
A valuable thing I learnt from this experience is that not all companies are focused on how experienced you are. It’s about working for a company that believes in personal successes. This role helped me to decide what career I wanted to pursue after university!
Becoming a Student Mentor
Additionally, I wanted to earn more money to afford a short holiday away with my boyfriend. I looked into jobs at university over the summer, and I was thrilled to see how many opportunities there are within the university, including student ambassador roles.
I applied and received a role as a student mentor. This involved planning activities for students at a summer school and running these activities. I travelled to Manchester United football stadium and the Beamish Museum with the students for free. All my expenses (food and accommodation) were paid for, along with receiving a great hourly rate. It was such an enjoyable experience to start the summer with. Plus, from this, I have been recruited for other mentoring opportunities during term time.
Top tip for earning money: always read the student news emails!
There are also various scholarships for UK (home) students at York, if you want to find something more suited to your situation! Most scholarships involve an application process. I have applied for the York Futures scholarship this year, which involved a set of questions to complete about why I wanted this scholarship. Ultimately, I hope to use this for my placement next year in London.
In my opinion, scholarships are really worth applying for, if you’re eligible. They’re something you can discuss at future job interviews, and it’ll provide you with the funding you need, which may be vital for your prospects.