Oxbridge college scholarships/financial aid

16 Nov 2015

College scholarships/financial aid

Many colleges in Oxford and Cambridge offer their own scholarships. Each will differ in value of the scholarship, conditions attached, eligibility criteria and selection process. Different colleges also award different numbers of scholarships so it is important to check your college website for information.

Additionally, colleges and the University itself also grant financial aid to those who face financial difficulty. It is more difficult to receive financial aid on the University level. Singapore students are required to demonstrate they have enough funds for their studies before commencing their Oxford/Cambridge education, so extenuating circumstances will have to be shown to justify why there is a sudden shortfall of funds.

On the other hand, your college might be more generous with extending financial aid if you face difficulty. This might be as simple as providing free food and accommodation, and it may also involve giving lump sums of money. The amount of financial support will again vary between colleges but are in place to support a part of the whole tuition fees, e.g. £5000 for Oxford Balliol College). Family bank statements and any additional documents to prove financial need will be required.

For Cambridge financial support, go here: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/international-students/financial-support

For Oxford financial support, go here: http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/fees-funding/assistance

In addition to scholarships and financial support, each college gives out financial awards to students who perform well (receive 1st) in their end of year exams, typically £200. This often tends to be in the form of book token or e-money for battels which can be used in paying fees for the room and food.

The amount of this prize varies between colleges - higher for rich colleges, e.g. Trinity College, Cambridge that pays £1000 to its students that receive a first.

For 1st year of Oxford, there will be those that come very close to 1st (technically called Distinction but students use the word 1st). For example, there will be students who receive 69 marks when the 1st threshold is 70. For a number of such students, they may be awarded college “Exhibitions” which comes with a small sum of money.

What a College Exhibitioner has to say:

“Work hard and you will be duly rewarded by your college! It is not difficult to score well enough to receive bookshop gift cards and small sums of money so long as you put in the hours of hard work. On top of that, you get to wear a nice scholar’s gown” - Leslie, Oxford Law, 2011-2014


There are many potential sources of funding available for those of you who really want to study abroad but think you lack the funds to do so! Many students have been through the same financial struggles you may face, yet they still pull through in the end.

Working part-time is also an option. Although different colleges have different rules most Oxford colleges allow up to 20 hours a week of par time work. Cambridge is a little more strict in allowing their students to do part time work during term time. (*International students are still allowed to work up to 20 hours/week on part time job while in the UK). Sometimes the Universities and colleges themselves offer jobs which pay reasonably, which can help to fund your studies. Some examples include helping out librarians with book handling and working in the college bars behind the tills (very popular).

Hope this information was helpful to you! Some of the Oxford/Cambridge students have shared their ways of overcoming a shortage of funds.