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Education Grants: Top Funding Sources


Education is key for future success. Yet, for many, accessing education is not easy.


That’s why funding sources like grants exist: to provide a gateway for those who want to make a positive difference to the world. By applying for a grant, those who qualify can enhance their knowledge and gain expert training. Plus, the added bonus is that you don’t have to pay this money back.


But what are the top funding sources for education grants? In this blog, we explain what education grants are, the different types, and what ones we recommend.


What Are Education Grants?

Grants are streams of funding that you do not have to owe back. They are offered by either a government body or an organisation. Those who wish to be in with the chance of receiving a grant will need to go through an application process, whereby they have to prove that they meet a certain criteria in order to qualify.


There are several types of education grants that are delivered for the purpose of enhancing individuals and wider society. Examples of how education grants can be used include:

  • To meet demand for new medical staff (e.g. nurses, social workers)

  • To provide teacher training

  • To help individuals from underrepresented groups

  • To facilitate research (e.g. cancer research)

  • To support creative sectors (e.g. the arts)

There’s also the option to get funding to cover childcare costs while studying.

education grants - person studying on bed
Image credit: Hineuru Iwi Trust

The Different Types of Education Funding

In the world of funding, it is very easy to get confused between the terms used to describe the giving of money.


Often, you will find that the terms scholarship, grant and bursary are used interchangeably. In principle, they are the same thing - money that is given to you which you do not need to pay back. Where the difference often lies is the reasons why they are awarded.


Scholarships

Scholarships are given for many different reasons, usually to recognise excellence in a certain subject. Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • Academic merit

  • Sporting achievement

  • Musical talent

  • Personal circumstances (e.g. where you live, parents/guardian’s working status, extra-curricular activities/interests, career aspirations)

  • A company wants to promote themselves to students - often you have to submit an essay on a subject related to their business

Bursaries

Bursaries are mainly given to support students from low income households or under represented groups. They are also given to aid the prosperity of certain sectors. A couple of examples of bursaries that are available include:

  • Royal Television Society bursaries are awarded to help students studying either journalism, broadcast media or technology subjects build a career in the television industry

  • Social Work bursaries are offered to students studying to become a social worker in the UK

  • Amos Bursary is a programme that supports British students of African and Caribbean descent who have excelled at school and want to progress their success

Grants

In the UK, there are many small charities and trusts that give out educational grants for several reasons.


Usually the charity or trust has been established to support people from specific groups. These can be based on location, social/religious background, disability level or personal hardships. Either the charity will support the education of individuals who:

  • Wish to study to support the cause

  • Align with its charitable objectives

  • Meet its beneficiary criteria

Grants can also be awarded based on the following:

  • Where you live

  • Financial circumstances

  • Parent/guardian jobs

  • Illnesses or disabilities

  • Interests, activities or hobbies such as music, sport, drama

  • Religion or ethnicity

  • Whether you are the first in your family to attend university

person researching on laptop education grants
Image credit: SERC

Funding Sources

FundReady is Ireland’s leading funding support service for not-for-profit organisations. Established by the S3 Solutions team, it offers a digital platform and team of specialist consultants, providing you with access to the latest funding opportunities, professional guidance, and practical support to write and submit applications. The service is tailored and aligned to the funding needs and profile of each organisation.


In the past, FundReady has helped charities, social enterprises as well as youth and sports clubs across Ireland to secure over £120 million of investment for new capital projects, services, equipment and organisational developments.


For individuals seeking funding for studying, there are a number of handy sites available, such as Turn2us.


Some examples of educational grants are listed below:


St Nicholas Educational Trust provides grants to students under the age of 25 who are living in the City of Newcastle and are in financial need.


All Saints Educational Trust is for students over the age of 18. They are given practical support to encourage the pursuit of professional teacher development – particularly in the disciplines of Religious Education, Home Economics, Food and Nutrition, and Public Health – all delivered from the standpoint of Christian insights and life values.


For Caledonian Schools Trust, applicants must be a child of Scottish parents who have served in the Armed Forces, or individuals whose financial circumstances might otherwise prevent them from continuing their education.


The Reid Trust is available to women who have been educated in Britain at secondary or tertiary level, or both, and who wish to pursue further training, education or research in the United Kingdom. This can be carried out at any educational establishment, and applicants do not need to be born in Britain.


The Eagle House Trust is open to students who have grown up in foster/residential care in Somerset and historic Avon (e.g. Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire). It is also available to those who have received considerable support from Children’s Social Care in these areas..


For more information or advice on sourcing education grants, please contact the S3 Solutions team today.