Many poor first-year students at the University of Lincoln were surprised when they found out about the financial aid they are able to claim. Students from low-income families are entitled to a special bursary from the university.
Universities across the country are legally required to offer these bursaries to students whose families earn under £25,000 per year. While the bursaries are not a new scheme, it is news to many Lincoln students who were unaware of the aid they are entitled to.
The University of Lincoln offers £600, just under double the £319 minimum requirement. However, some universities offer as much as £4000 to their students, which is in excess of the tuition fees students pay, though they are occasionally dependent on reaching additional criteria such as good A-levels.
A vast majority of eligible students were oblivious to their entitlement, with almost all of the 40 students asked by The Linc saying they did not know. But most said that bursaries would not affect their decision to come to university.
Timothy McDonnel-Woods, a first-year history and politics student says: “I didn’t even know we’re entitled to a bursary. But it wouldn’t have made a difference [as] I chose the university for the course.”
This was echoed by bio-med student Kerry Webster, who says: “I didn’t know they were offered, universities don’t make it obvious. I don’t think I’d pick a university just for the bursary though.”
Even the small portion of students who were informed of the bursary said they were unhappy with the lack of publicity it has. Their view was that students would be more confident about applying if it was better advertised.
Chris Farmer, who studies film, TV and English, says more students would have applied if they knew about bursaries: “Every little helps… It would be better if [the university] made it more obvious.”Tweet