Higher education – financial support

It’s no secret that continuing your studies after 19 can be expensive. But investing in your future can be worthwhile. Take a look at this article for some good tips and ideas on how to fund your time at college or university.


A great way of getting rid of the financial pressure is to get sponsored by a company – if you’re lucky enough as they are very popular. As well as getting your tuition fees (and sometimes your living costs) paid for, you are usually guaranteed a job once you get your degree. If you have a particular career in mind, it is worth approaching some companies in your chosen field to see if they offer sponsorship programmes.

Scholarship Search provides a searchable database of scholarships and sponsorships offered by commercial, charitable and sponsorship organisations.

Charitable funding

Charitable funding is also available which is similar to sponsorships, but they are run by charities that have foundations or educational trusts. Funds are donated to students who would not be able to continue higher education studies due to a lack of finances. It is worth noting that you may be required to work for the charity that is funding your studies, either part-time or during holidays.


The armed forces all offer bursaries to potential officers whilst in further education. As with all forms of sponsorship, conditions, amounts and terms will vary from one individual to another. The course you choose must have some benefit to the service that is sponsoring you and be of use to you within their organisation upon graduation. It is worth noting, that if you decide not to enter the services after completion of your course, you will need the permission of your Commanding Officer to leave and you will have to repay the bursary in full.

The National Health Service offers bursaries for first degree courses across a wide range of medical subjects such as midwifery and nursing. They also offer the funding of a degree in medicine. Take a look at the website for information on careers within the NHS and financial support available to students.

Teacher Training students who enrol on a postgraduate course leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) are eligible for a training salary to support them through their studies. In subjects where there are substantial teacher shortages such as maths, foreign languages, science and technology, you may be eligible for a cash bonus at the start of your second year of teaching. Go to the Teacher Training Agency website for details.

Extra help for learners

If you are aged 21 or under and are unable to live with your parents or carers, you could be entitled to financial support if you’re in full time education or are about to start.

This extra help is in addition to the EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance).

To find out if you’re entitled to the extra support, visit your local Jobcentre Plus or Connexions Adviser. See the ‘Who Can Help?’ section for contact details.

Who can help?

Talk to your local career service, they may have information or ideas that could help you.

The following websites have useful information on possible ways to fund your studies:

Find out about the financial help that’s available to young people in education and training and make sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to by visiting Directgov – Financial Help for Young People

Download an at-a-glance guide to the financial help you’re entitled to with the financial eligibility checker, which you can find on the Directgov website.

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