The Futures Scholarship Programme is open to incoming undergraduate students and offers an initial arrival bursary of £2,000, which they can apply for before accepting a place – a move which the University hopes will provide extra reassurance when prospective students weigh up whether or not they can afford to go to university.

An additional £2,500 will be available to help with career opportunities during their studies, such as work experience placements or internships.

Students will also receive guidance and careers support from a dedicated coordinator. This will ensure they are offered the opportunity to take part in the wide range of programmes which can build confidence and networking skills.

The programme, which is funded by donations made by the University's alumni and friends, will support at least 50 undergraduate students each year to reach their academic and professional potential, both at Bristol and in their subsequent careers.

Professor Sarah Purdy, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, said: "We know the financial burden of fees, food, travel and living costs adds up quickly and can be a real deterrent for students who come from financially disadvantaged backgrounds.

"Bristol is committed to attracting the best and brightest students, and we hope the Futures Scholarship Programme will remove some of these financial worries and barriers.

"It is unique because it confirms the offer of a scholarship before the individual has accepted a place at the University, as well as additional funding to help further their careers – two elements which we hope will provide reassurance and an incentive to study here."

Futures Scholars will receive tailored support encouraging them to access the many and varied opportunities which exist across the University for personal and professional development during their degree.

This will be led by a Futures Scholarships Co-ordinator, who will be part of the University's Careers Service, and will be focused on developing employability, increasing networking skills and boosting confidence.

Nieve, a first year Biology student, received an alumni-funded scholarship in her first year. She said: "It's great to hear the University is offering a new scholarship programme like this. The offer of financial support, as well as funding and specific advice to help with work experience, will make the world of difference.

"Coming from a disadvantaged background and also being a young carer, I didn’t know whether university would be an option for me but funding has opened up so many doors for my future. It has given me so many opportunities to get involved in my university experience and do things I love, such as joining a musical theatre society."

The scholarship programme is open to incoming undergraduates, from all disciplines, joining Bristol from September 2019 onwards, and who come from under-represented groups – for example, those from low-income families, areas of low participation in Higher Education or those who have attended an aspiring state school.

Applications are open now through the Student Funding Office and should be received by Friday 26 April 2019 at 10am. Scholars will receive confirmation of their scholarship award before the deadline to accept university places.

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