After receiving my final instalment to complete my £3000 bursary for this academic year, I can safely say I am very grateful that the University offers this to students from a lower-income background, and am also very happy that I applied for it before starting university.
To find out a bit more about the Bath Bursary, you can check out the eligibility criteria on the Bath uni website, but also have a read of my other blog posts, regarding the bursary, managing money at uni, and the true cost of university.
As mentioned in my previous blog posts about the bursary, a large proportion of my bursary went towards my second-year house deposit (£1000 total- for the security deposit, and the first month’s rent, which we had to pay in March, in advance of starting the tenancy in August). Having the bursary was a huge blessing for this, as I didn’t need to stress about finding the money, or rely on my parents, which is hard for many people from low-income backgrounds. The University decided to extend our accommodation contracts for two more weeks after the end of exams, and run a ‘Summer at Bath’ program, as we couldn’t really have a freshers experience in September, due to COVID.
Although the actual accommodation, along with the program itself, is being given for free, I will put some of the final £500 instalment I received in April towards funding these few more weeks. It will be really helpful, especially as after finishing exams, it’ll be nice to spend some days out with my flatmates before we all leave for summer. We’ve already been to Bristol for the day, which is only a short train ride away, and had socials for different sports (now things are reopening and lockdown is easing).
I’m looking forward to going trampolining at Airhop, and spending more days out in Bath - there is so much do to, such as hire a boat along the canal, go out for brunch, watch the sunrise, take in the view from Alexandra Park, go to the cinema, or sit at the crescent with friends. Without the support of the Bath Bursary, I would not be able to do everything like this, but with careful money management, and support from the Bursary, I haven’t yet had to miss out on anything due to its cost.
Looking back on the year, and also looking forward to the year ahead, the Bath Bursary has been a great help and will continue to be for the rest of my time at Bath (as if you’re eligible for it, you will automatically receive it for every year of study at Bath, excluding a placement year). It's helped me to budget and manage my money, removing any stress and financial worry, and ultimately has helped me afford my first year at Bath.
The income level for this bursary is a household income of £25,000, which is much more generous than other universities, many of which place the limit at £16,000. There are also other requirements that you must meet, which can all be found on the website, but I can’t emphasise enough how much I would recommend applying for this Bursary, even if you aren’t completely sure that you are eligible. It is definitely worth applying, as then the student finance team here at Bath can review your situation and will let you know the outcome of your application.
Everyone that meets the criteria will receive the bursary, as there can be an unlimited number of recipients for this (unlike the Gold Scholarship programme here at Bath, which is only awarded to 50 students a year), so you really do have nothing to lose from applying.