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Bursaries, Hardship Grants, and Scholarships


“The bursary made Cambridge a realistic option for me. It has been essential for funding my basic costs of living and has enabled me to work and enjoy university without worrying about how I will be able to fund my time here.” 

Ben Wood, (2014, Natural Sciences)


Bursaries- Bursaries are usually awarded based on household income, and are a tool designed to make sure that everyone can afford to live and study in Cambridge regardless of their financial background. This type of funding has also been shown to alleviate hardship funds, as supporting students who may be more likely to require hardship funding up front means that, not only are they able to concentrate on their course without the financial worry- and do better for it, but they are less likely to need emergency funding that can be unpredictable and unplanned for College.   

Hardship Funding- Hardship funding is the trickiest need to predict, as anyone can suffer from a change in circumstance throughout their time at University. Sometimes hardship funds can cover the most basic costs that might not otherwise be able to be afforded, such as a train ticket home if something happens. By supporting students in other ways, such as with bursaries for low income students, hardship funds can be flexible and available when and where they are most needed. 

Scholarships- In recent years scholarships have been set up with a postgraduate focus as there is a general lack of funding for postgraduate research in the UK. College based scholarships, particularly for MPhil study, can also be a good tool in encouraging exceptional undergraduate students in College to pursue further study. Scholarships are generally awarded based on merit regardless of financial situation.     

Legacies are also benefiting students at Selwyn:

  • Funding a Selwyn student currently on a bursary for a year of further study. The first studentship will be offered from autumn 2020
  • A vacation residence grant will support students from lower-income families who wish to remain at Selwyn during the Easter vacation to continue with their studies or finish a dissertation – and it will cover the cost of their accommodation. This will be introduced Lent 2020
  • Grants will offer up to £300 for bursary students who are preparing for the next stage of their career, and is intended to help with items such as application fees, travel, clothing or other costs associated with students’ progression into their postgraduate lives. This will also be introduced Lent 2020
  • Matriculation book and equipment grants will be a payment of £100 for all new undergraduates from autumn 2020, with a further sum of up to £250 available for lower-income students. This is to help with the initial costs of being at university
  • Formal Hall tickets. We want everyone to be able to enjoy Cambridge to the full, and we will therefore introduce for bursary holders an entitlement of up to 6 formal hall tickets per year free of charge. This will start from autumn 2020

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