Trusts and Charities
What financial help can I get from trusts and charities?
Many trusts and charities have only restricted available funding, with some charities not making any awards to students at all. If you contact them directly by phone or email in advance of making any written application, most will be able to give you an idea of whether they are making any awards and the amount of money successful applicants can expect to get. If the amounts they offer are quite low, and if they offer very few awards each year, make sure you have considered all other available options before deciding whether to invest the time and effort needed to apply for this type of funding. If you genuinely have no other options such as being able to work part time or getting an interest free overdraft, then consider applying to trusts and charities as a top up to your main funding.
When should I apply?
Many trustees meet only once or twice a year to assess applications, so it is important that you apply before the relevant deadlines. Some trusts may agree to offer funding at the start of your course and then a small top up in each subsequent year of your course. It is usually a good idea to apply well in advance of the first year you need funding for and by any stated deadline to ensure your application stands the best chance of being considered. Other trusts may offer one-off help to students who find themselves in financial hardship once their course has started, particularly if you are near the end of your course. These trusts may also have deadlines which you would need to check before applying.
How do I apply?
You will need to carefully research the criteria of trusts and charities and then make separate applications to each relevant trust or charity, explaining your situation and how you meet their criteria. You may need to complete an application form, which the trust can send you or which you can download from their website. If there is no application form, you will need to write a letter to the trustees who will decide your application. It is advisable to write a letter even if you have completed an application form as a letter enables you to explain your situation more fully, which maximises your chances of success. The Trusts and Charities section of the Advice and Counselling website has information about what you should include in your letter of application.
Many applications ask for supporting letters and where applicable, a Welfare Adviser can usually provide one for you to include with your application. However, where evidence of your academic ability is required, you would need to request this from your personal adviser, tutor or student support officer in your academic school. However, you can still contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service to get feedback on your application and supporting evidence.
How can I find trusts and charities to apply to?
Turn2Us, a charitable service, has a database of trusts and charities accessible via a grant search which may provide financial assistance to students.
Although there is an online search facility, it is usually better to ring their helpline on 0808 802 2000 and speak to an adviser. Lines are open Mon-Fri 9am to 8pm. This is because the adviser you speak to can advise you about organisations which would not appear using an online search and which could potentially help you based on your individual circumstances.
Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.