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Placement Year

BSc (Hons) Public Relations

Applying to university can be stressful, and the financial side can be a huge decision breaker when deciding whether to come to university or not.

It was definitely one of my initial worries, and although there is a maintenance loan which helps for living costs, this is something that has to be paid back and realistically I knew it wasn’t going to cover absolutely everything.

One of the (many) reasons I had Bournemouth as my first choice when applying to university was the fact that they offer a BU Maintenance Bursary to provide extra support financially. The Maintenance Bursary offers up to £3,500 split across three years of study (this means if you take a placement year, you’ll receive the last payments in your final year of study).  And what’s amazing about this is that you never have to pay this money back and most people don’t even need to apply!

The Maintenance Bursary is available to all new UK and EU students who meet the eligibility criteria, and BU will be able to assess if you are eligible by your student finance application, you just have to give consent for this information to be shared…it’s as simple as that! If you are eligible, you’ll receive the bursary automatically (if you want to see if you would be eligible click here).

It’s so great as the money can be used for absolutely anything you need, whether this be your weekly shop, a helping hand with rent, buying a train when you feel homesick or to treat yourself to dinner with some friends.

With the card you can’t take the money out and can only spend money that’s in your account, which means you can’t go overdrawn. You’ll receive the payments onto a pre-paid card, and they are paid every month between October to June each year. All this is really handy as it can help with creating a weekly/monthly budget (trust me, having a budget at uni is so important!)

Another bonus is that the card even offers cashback in some places, like Boots, National Express and Wilko. I find myself using the card mostly for my weekly shop at Asda, which is right next to most of the halls on Lansdowne and even offers 2% cashback. Having the Maintenance Bursary has really helped my university experience, as it’s resulted in me worrying about bills a lot less and not feeling too guilty if I decide to treat myself every now and then.

If you’re applying to university and worried about the financial side of things, don’t panic! There’s always the option to do part-time work alongside your studies, and there is also other grants and bursaries on offer, take advantage of any support available!

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