Top Strategies for Finding Scholarships Opportunities for Any Field of Study

Scholarships are funding opportunities for those who want to further their education at tertiary institutions. Different strategies can be used to find the top scholarships for any field of study. If you have access to the internet, you can find scholarship opportunities almost anywhere.

Scholarships vs Bursaries

Many tend to confuse scholarships and bursaries with each other and vice versa. That is because the words can be used interchangeably. Although they have many similarities, some distinctions that set them apart. One key similarity is that neither has to be paid back by the recipient. Both are awarded by educational institutions, governments, and other companies or businesses that want to contribute towards student financing. Every scholarship and bursary has its own value, conditions, requirements, and application process. The differences between scholarships and bursaries are types, benefits, whom it is offered by, and who it is given to. Applications have to be sent in the year before it is meant to pay out.

Bursaries tend to be given to students based on their personal circumstances and financial situations. Personal circumstances include students with disabilities, international students, or students coming from specific areas. Students who get bursaries are usually from houses with low-income levels. These payments are usually made in one instalment and cover some of a student’s living costs. Bursaries are usually awarded to studies, meaning that students generally don’t have to apply for them. Some universities require that students apply for bursaries when applying for courses.

Scholarships are awarded to students who excel in their field of study, a specific subject, or maybe even a sport or music. A scholarship can be paid in one instalment, one a year, or every term. Depending on the scholarship, there are different things that are paid for, including tuition, housing, maintenance, books, and transportation. It could also just reduce the fee. Students generally have to apply for scholarships, which are usually very competitive.

Different Types of Scholarships

Academic, merit, and excellence. This type of scholarship is awarded to students with good grades based on school examinations, and overall strong academic backgrounds.

Performance-based. Students who perform well in a kind of after-school activity like sports, music, or art will be awarded this scholarship. You don’t have to be studying the activity to apply for the scholarship, but you have to compete in the activity for the sponsor of the scholarship for the duration of your studies. This type of scholarship can also be awarded to students with certain hobbies and interests, like charities and social events.

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This kind of scholarship is awarded to students who excel in specific fields of study or subjects.

Equal access or sanctuary

This scholarship is awarded to international students who seek asylum and who are refugees.


This scholarship is awarded to students with disabilities, including permanent mental health issues, learning hardships, and other kinds of disabilities.

Personal circumstances

These depend on your personal circumstances. There are different things that can be considered, depending on the scholarship. Like where you come from, what your parents’ jobs are, and what your religion is. These kinds of scholarships are usually awarded by local authorities, charity organisations, or religious institutions.

Financial need

These scholarships are given to students who are in financial need and can prove that they don’t have the money needed to study at a place of tertiary education.

Company scholarships

Companies can offer scholarships to students studying subjects and fields related to their businesses. Some of the scholarships offer work experience to the students they have been awarded to.

Finding a Scholarship

You can find scholarships at different places. You can find scholarships by looking on the internet and basing your search according to specific criteria. These criteria can include a specific field of study, a subject or course, sport, art, charities, or other relevant criteria. It will benefit you to interchange the word “scholarship” with bursary, grant, or funding, to broaden your search.

There are websites dedicated to solely providing information on student funding opportunities. Students can subscribe to these websites, select preferences, and receive regular emails updated with funding opportunities. Some scholarships are awarded by certain companies, organisations, or charities, in which case you will have to look at their respective websites.

University scholarships are provided by the university itself. You can find them by looking at university websites and booklets. Every university website has a finance page with relevant information. Some universities email students with possible scholarship opportunities. Career services at schools and universities also have information regarding possible scholarships.

Another source that you can consult is the public library. Libraries have copies of the Guide to Educational Grants which is published by the Directory of Social Change. It contains funding opportunities from hundreds of charity organisations throughout the UK.

What To Look for In a Scholarship

When applying for student funding, there are a few conditions students have to look for. These details will determine if a scholarship fits your needs and if you’re eligible for it.


This states the value of the scholarship and what it will cover.


Each scholarship has a set of conditions that students have to meet. If you don’t meet them, your application won’t be considered.

Application process 

The application process for a scholarship can be really simple, or relatively complicated. Students have to complete many steps to apply for the opportunity. These can range from simply uploading a few documents like grades or references to having to complete essays and tests. The process could involve different stages, like interviews.


Always make sure about the deadline. It will be useless to apply for a scholarship that has already been awarded two years ago.

Future commitments

Make sure about all commitments you must complete should you be awarded the scholarship. You might have to play a sport for the university or work for a company for the years your scholarship covers.


This article explains what a scholarship is, as well as its similarities and differences regarding bursaries. The different types of scholarships are listed and described. The top strategies for finding scholarship opportunities for any field are given. The criteria regarding what to look for in a scholarship are also given and elaborated.

May 24, 2023

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