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UK Students - Other External Funding
Charities and Trusts
External bodies may also offer funding and you may wish to use a search engine to locate these sources. Some websites offer searchable databases of courses and funding as well as general information and advice. Some of these are listed below.
Charities and Educational Trusts
These are organisations which administer sums of money set aside by individuals or corporations to help specific kinds of people. They may be able to help with costs such as maintenance, fees, books, equipment, travel, childcare, field trips etc. However resources are limited and help, if any, is generally small scale.
You will have to fit into the charity's aims which may be very specific, e.g. on age, sex, nationality, religion, subject area and so on. There is no point applying unless you are sure that you do fit their requirements.
Hot Courses - free searchable database of undergraduate scholarships. See 'hotmoney' on the menu. - www.hotcourses.com/
Charity Commission for England and Wales - Register of Charities searchable by keyword, geographical area or name (please note, not all organisations listed award grants to individuals or award grants for educational purposes) - www.charity-commission.gov.uk/
Charity Choice - large, regularly updated database of charities (please note, not all organisations listed award grants to individuals or award grants for educational purposes) - www.charitychoice.co.uk
Sources of Funding for International Students - useful links put together by UKCOSA, the Council for International Education - www.ukcosa.org.uk/student/source_funding.php
International Education Financial Aid - information for international students www.iefa.org
Books and Digests
Educational Grants Directory (copy at Careers Centre)
Educational Grants Advisory Service - this organisation administers several charities themselves and also will direct students to other charities. For further information see: http://www.egas-online.org.uk/
How do I apply?
The trust may have its own application form, if not then apply using a CV Include the following information:- for what purpose is the help required, how much money is needed, personal details including name, address, date of birth, nationality, religion (if any) and marital status, family details, your own income and expenditure summaries and forecasts, name of current and/or previous school, college or university, details of any grants or sponsorships obtained or applied for.
In all cases send a covering letter - this is one of the most important parts of the application and should be carefully prepared for each organisation. Try not to use a standard application and use clear and simple statements to explain your difficulties and demonstrate that you are doing everything possible to help yourself raise the necessary funds e.g. by working, where possible asking friends and family for support, living cheaply and cutting expenditure etc.
Also submit a good academic reference - the trust or charity will want to know that you are progressing satisfactorily on your course.
You will need to show that you have exhausted all other sources of funding and also that your difficulties are unforseen e.g. illness, redundancy, family difficulties - charities can be reluctant to help people who start a course knowing that they have not got enough money to complete it.
Will they give me any money?
Remember that there are a lot of people competing for limited resources.
Your application must be realistic. Ask for an amount which the trust or charity is able to give. Most trust grants are under £300 and local charities often give much less.
If you need to raise a large amount of money then you could put together a package which you can present to a series of trusts and each may agree to help with a certain proportion of the total need on the condition that the others help too.
There is no guarantee that you will be able to raise money this way but if you are sure that you fit into the trust's aims and have presented your case well then you may be successful.