2024-25 Undergraduate Student Grants


The programme will reopen for applications at 10am on 11th January 2024, for the academic year 2024-25.

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The 2024-25 Leathersellers’ Undergraduate Student Grants Programme aims to support undergraduate students who are care leavers, and/or are students of the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools or Colfe’s School, whose circumstances may otherwise prevent them from achieving their goals.

These grants aim to improve social mobility, relieve financial need where other support is not available and enable students to have a positive impact on society in the future.

The maximum grant that may be awarded to a single student is £5,000 per annum, for no more than four years. Whilst we do award grants to the maximum level of £5,000, the average grant we currently give is around £3,300. All grants awarded are reassessed annually.

The Leathersellers’ Foundation is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all grant applicants. We recognise it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of a protected characteristic as established in the Equality Act 2010.

As well as honouring our legal obligations, we welcome the benefits a diverse student population brings. Our grants programme, focused on social mobility, is an opportunity to broaden access to higher education.

To be eligible to apply for a Student Grant you must:
– be enrolled on a full-time undergraduate degree course at a UK University, or with an offer to do so later this year.
– be in financial need of support to study the course (and have exhausted other options for funding including loans or family support); and
– hold the ambition to have a positive impact on society in the future.

In addition, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
– be a care leaver as defined below
– be a current or former student of the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools
– be a current or former student of Colfe’s School

For the purposes of this programme, we define a care leaver as someone who has been the subject of a care order/interim care order or voluntary agreement (commonly known as a Section 20 agreement) at some point between the ages of 0-18 years old. This includes all ‘looked after children’ irrespective of immigration status (see below for more information). Care orders granted by the Court and voluntary agreements allow the local authority to assume responsibility of a child’s care, either temporarily or until the age of 18 years old.

To be eligible to apply for a Leathersellers’ student grant, one of the following must apply to you:
– I am a UK citizen or have indefinite leave to remain
– I have the right to remain for at least five years
– I have been granted refugee status
– I have pre-settled status (EU)

Receipt of other bursary or grant funding does not exclude you from applying for a Leathersellers’ Undergraduate Student Grant. This will form part of the financial picture that is considered during our assessment process.

Applications meeting the eligibility criteria, will be assessed by considering:

All applicants must show a financial need and an inability to secure those funds from public sources, personal savings and/or familial support (including parental or partner support as appropriate). Receipt of other bursary/grant/scholarship funding does not exclude you from applying for a Leathersellers’ Undergraduate Student Grant, though a shortfall should be shown.

All applicants are asked to explain why they have chosen the particular course to study, their future aspirations and how those will contribute to society.

We will consider any additional challenges that applicants face and the ways in which these may prevent applicants from reaching their full potential.

You may still receive funding from the Undergraduate Student Grants Programme during a year in which you decide to undertake (as part of your degree):
– an academic “year abroad” scheme
– a year in industry
– an intercalated year (for Medical, Veterinary Science and Dental students)

We do not fund fees or expenses for students for one-year professional conversion courses.

We do not fund postgraduate studies under this programme.

This grants programme is always heavily oversubscribed and so we wanted to offer a few pointers to give you the best chance of success.

Whilst you may only submit an application via the online form, we will provide a Word version of the form (available here, once the programme opens) to allow you to prepare your answers in advance. The financial section will require you to complete a budget form which will be available here once the programme opens.
We recommend you ask someone to proofread your application to help resolve typos and misunderstandings. A fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference.

All funders need a full understanding of your financial situation and most assessments are made on trust. Please answer all the questions honestly, explain where needed and never leave requested information unanswered. Double check the figures you are entering as typos are common and confusing. Presenting planned income and expenditure that does not show shortfall (a need for funding) is unlikely to result in an award.

Our budget template is available as an Excel document which will be available here once the programme opens. Once completed, you will then need to upload this as part of your application form.

Whilst concise sentences are appreciated, the application is your opportunity to present yourself to the panel and explain your motivations and challenges. Sharing the bare minimum information is unlikely to stand well against your peers who have offered more insight into their position.

Funding for students is varied and you will need to spend time working out which funds/bursaries are open to you and which are not. There are a host of websites to help you with this, some of which are listed on MoneySavingExpert’s Student Area. UCAS also provides information about scholarships, grants and bursaries here.

We ask all applicants to provide a reference from an individual who knows you from school, university, a mentoring or access programme, or from a job or volunteering role. We are not looking for a personal reference from a relative or friend but are looking for a reference that adds something extra to your application, so please consider who is best to ask for this.
Your reference should contain a brief statement (max 1 page) explaining:
– how long they have known you
– in what capacity they know you
– why they think the Leathersellers’ should consider supporting you with a student grant.

You will need to upload this when you submit the online application form.

We only accept applications made via our online form. However, we have provided a Word version of the form (available here, once the programme opens) to allow you to prepare your answers in advance.

You don’t need to complete the application all at once – you can choose to register with us at the top of the form, save your progress and sign back in anytime. Please note you need to choose to save your form each time (there is no autosave)

Applications Open:                                               10am, 11th January 2024
Deadline for applications:                                   5pm, 21st March 2024
Interviews for shortlisted applicants:            Late May 2024
Informed of final decision:                                   14th June 2024

Successful grantees will receive payment, only when proof of enrolment to the relevant undergraduate course has been provided (usually September/ October)

You will receive an automated email to confirm safe receipt once you submit your application (please check your junk/spam folder for this).
– Each application is then thoroughly reviewed by the Leathersellers’ Grants Team and members of a working group of Liverymen (members of the Livery Company).
– We will contact you via email in May 2024 to either invite you to interview, or to inform you that your application has been unsuccessful.
– We expect to conduct interviews by Zoom in the final two weeks of May.

If anything changes regarding your circumstances, contact details or the information you provided on the form after you have submitted it, please inform us by email at studentapp@leathersellers.co.uk.

Can I request feedback if my application is unsuccessful?
Unfortunately, as we only have a small Grants Team at the Leathersellers it is not possible for us to provide feedback to all applicants.

How do I know if I am considered a care leaver?
For the purposes of this Grants Programme, if you have been the subject of a care order/ interim care order, you are eligible to apply as a ‘care leaver’. Care orders are granted by the Court and allow the local authority to assume responsibility of a child’s care. Care orders may be temporary or last until the child is 18 years old.

Can I apply if I have limited leave to remain?
If you have limited leave to remain but meet our other eligibility criteria, please email us to discuss at studentapp@leathersellers.co.uk.

If I am successful, when will I receive the first payment of my grant?
If you are awarded a grant, you will be asked to complete an acceptance form and provide your bank details. When these have been returned and proof of your enrolment is received, the first grant payment will be processed – this is usually around September/ October.

What is expected of me after year one?
You will submit an annual review and update of how your studies are going and confirm your ongoing financial need. This is light touch, and we will provide you with all the information in advance, should your application be successful.

What students say about us

‘To say the Leathersellers bursary is life-changing is not cliché. For me, it acted as the springboard toward achieving all my dreams at medical school. Doing a second degree, and being from a working class background, the bursary provided me with the financial support that I needed to thrive, not just survive. Without it I would have been working crazy hours around my studies – with little time for anything else. If you’re thinking of applying – go for it. You miss all the shots you don’t take!’  Ben Smith, MBChB : Bachelor of Medicine, Warwick University

“I have always felt many things were out of my reach – fortunately the Leathersellers has helped to start to change that mind set.” funded student at the Royal Veterinary College

Over 50% of students reported having benefited from the grant because it meant:
– they could focus on studying and do fewer hours at or get by without a part-time job
– they were not getting into as much debt (both formal or informal)
– they were able to take part in more extra-curricular activities, work experience and/or volunteering