Can I get a scholarship to study in the UK?

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British universities can be expensive, so you may be wondering if you can get a scholarship to the study in the UK. The good news is that there are a variety of scholarships available to help international students that want to study in the UK.

The bad news is that international scholarships are very competitive. You cannot assume that you’ll be awarded one, and you should arm yourself with a backup plan in the event that you can’t get a scholarship.

Beware of scholarship scams

International students are a prime target for scammers, so be careful when you are applying. Watch out for scholarships that ask you to pay money in order to search or view scholarships, charge application fees or guarantee that you’ll win a scholarship. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Where to search for international scholarships

Here are some reputable scholarship databases through which you can search:

Common types of scholarships

Global scholarships. These scholarships aren’t restricted to students from specific countries. However, they aren’t open to all students from all countries, so be sure to read the fine print carefully. Chevening Scholarships and Commonwealth Scholarships are good examples of global scholarships.

Scholarships funded by your home country. Lots of countries have scholarships to help students study abroad. These can be funded by governments or private groups. Some are broadly open to students, and some have very specific criteria. Some good examples are BAFTA Scholarships in China, Inlaks Scholarships in India, and Marshall Scholarships in the USA.

University-specific scholarships. Your university may offer scholarships specifically for international students. Have a look through your university’s website or get in touch with them directly.

Are you eligible for a scholarship to study in the UK?

There are many scholarships that can help you, but not everyone is eligible for every scholarship.

For example, Chevening Scholarships are only available to students studying for a Masters degree who are committed to returning to their home country after completing their degree. Be sure to read the fine print before making your application.

Have a backup plan

Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that you will get a scholarship. They are very competitive and it’s smart to have a backup plan in place in case you are unable to get one.

You may be eligible for Student Support, which is financial assistance provided by the UK Government. Student Support is not considered a public fund, so if one of the conditions of your visa is that you have no recourse to public funds, you can still apply for and receive it. You can learn more about Student Support on the UKCISA website.

You may also wish to source money from other places, such as taking out a loan or asking your family for help.

Another alternative is to change your university plans. For example, instead of studying in the UK for your entire university degree, you might consider attending a university in your home country that has an exchange program with the UK. That way you can get a taste of British university life without having to pay hefty international student fees.