A Fund for Student Opportunities

If you follow my blog posts here on Inside Edge, you know that I’m currently in the United States of America, on a sandwich placement at the Morton Arboretum. I was fortunate when arranging up this work placement that Edge Hill University had just set up its Student Opportunity Fund (SOF) – a fund that students can apply for to help them make the most of career enhancing opportunities. The fund’s goal is to make sure that no student at EHU passes up a potentially life-changing experience because of the financial burden it might impose.

When I was in the midst of applying for my placement as a Research Affiliate at the Morton Arboretum, I realised quickly that costs would add up. An updated passport, a visa, flights and insurance would quickly put a hefty dent in my finances, leaving my maintenance loan severely lacking for the year abroad. Thankfully, my personal tutor, Paul Ashton, and the Money Advice Team (for whom I was working for at the time as a Money Buddy) informed me about the Student Opportunity Fund and that I could potentially be successful in acquiring additional funding.

Any student on an undergraduate or PGCE course attending EHU can apply for the fund, which will supply them with up to £2000 to support the proposed activity. The projects can be near or far, large or small, requiring the maximum amount available or a portion. Applications could cover travel and accommodation expenses, for example, for unpaid work experience or volunteering; interviews or assessments not covered by the employer; or conferences, festivals, or events where you’re showcasing your work. The fund could also cover costs of developing and making creative material.

Many students have already made use of this amazing fund to enable them to experience some wonderful opportunities that improve both their transferable and career-focused skills:

Applications are judged by a panel and must be submitted over ten working days before the panel convenes. For this academic year, 2017-2018, the remaining dates of convention are:

  • Friday 13th April 2018
  • Thursday 3rd May 2018
  • Wednesday 6th June 2018

Money Money Money

Sorry for the Mamma Mia title there, it’s clearly on the mind…
I feel that one of the biggest worries when coming to university is, how the hell am I going to afford this?! And you’re right, it’s a huge investment you’re making and a huge amount of debt to be getting into that sometimes it can seem a little overwhelming. But here I have compiled a little list of things to think about before coming to university to show how you can earn, save or raise your university funds…

Scholarships
Hopefully your sixth form and college has talked about this with you already, but just incase they haven’t I thought it would be worth a little mention. Edge Hill University offers a range of scholarships to reward excellence in prospective students. Excellence Scholarships and Sports Scholarships have an application process while the High Achievers Scholarship and Liverpool Scholarship are awarded automatically to eligible prospective students. This is definitely something worth looking into as you could be entitled to a little bonus you didn’t even know about that will help you pay for things throughout your university experience, for more info check out this link Here.

Jobs
I’ve done a whole post on finding jobs at university so I will link that here.
But I’d also suggest trying to get a job during the summer break before coming to save up a little bit. I did this and I found it a huge help to have a little savings that I could dip into when I really needed a night out or some retail therapy.

Saving
There are loads of ways to save money at university but one of the best ways I have found is saving on the food bill! This can be done in so many ways but the best way I have found is to shop at Aldi and do a food shop with your flat mates. Even if just two or three of you do it together every week you’ll find you save so much and bonus: you don’t have to cook every night!

I’ve also written a whole post about what I’m not worried about student debt and neither should you read that here.