How I Funded My University Degree: A Case Study
Saskia, 22, just graduated from the University of Cambridge with an Upper Second Class degree in Social and Political Science. She is now living and working in London as a researcher. Here she talks about how she juggled university course work with a need to get by financially, and discusses her own ways of staying solvent as a student, with plenty of tips for future undergraduates thrown in.
Planning Ahead"When I found out I had a place at Cambridge, my first thought was, WOW, I was over the moon – and my second was, oh no, I’m going to have to turn this down, there’s no way I can afford it. The reason was, I thought that Cambridge would have so much work that I’d have more difficulty juggling paid work with academic studies. Luckily, I discovered that planning ahead can really help out.
First, I contacted my local education authority and asked about available loans and grants. My family income level meant I was eligible (like everyone) for a full loan to cover my tuition fees, and a partial maintenance grant that is not repayable.
"Next, I contacted my university to find out about any extra sources of funding available. I spoke to the student finance officer who gave me lots of information about all the available bursaries on offer to students who would struggle to otherwise attend uni. Some were very specific - for students of particular subjects, or from one area, but three applied to me and I managed to successfully applied for one of these. This was a very relieving series of events, as it meant I could start uni with a chunk of money to fall back on if necessary.