UK Scholarships For International Students Made Easy

It’s hard to resist the allure of UK universities. How could you possibly say no to spending the next few years of your life surrounded thousands of years of history, traditions, and chips?

Yet, it’s not all tea and crumpets at UK universities. They do have one major downfall… their financial aid kind of sucks.

Listen, it’s not their fault. Most unis simply don’t have as much money as, let’s say, US universities. It’s not that UK universities are poor or anything, they just don’t charge nearly as much, nor do they have as large endowments as US universities.

With that in mind, it's no wonder that financial aid at UK universities seems stingy – especially if Harvard offered you a full ride.

Not to mention, international students tend to be a large revenue stream for most UK universities!

I know what you’re thinking. I can’t afford UK tuition without some sort of aid!

Luckily, there are many different ways to finance your UK education, regardless of whether or not your university offers you any scholarships.

Follow me and you’ll see all of the different ways to make your studying abroad dreams come true!

Before we delve into other ways to pay for your education, let’s take a look at the few UK unis that do actually offer scholarships to international undergraduate students!

Keep in mind that most scholarships are reserved for postgraduate studies so if you are looking to get a Masters or PhD at a UK university, you may have better luck finding funding from your university.

5 UK Universities With Scholarships for International Students

1. University of Oxford: Oxford, England

International Tuition: $20,3833-$30,665 USD per year, depending on your course.

International Scholarships: Oxford offers five international undergraduate scholarships based on your home country. The best thing about these scholarships is that most of them pay for your tuition fees and living costs.

2. University of Cambridge: Cambridge, England

International Tuition: $25,385-$66,290 USD per year, depending on your course.

International Scholarships: Cambridge has four international scholarships:

Awards from the International Disabled Students’ Fund, which grants scholarships to disabled students. Prince Philip Scholarships for students from Hong Kong. Awards from your college. Awards from the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International trust.

3. University College London (UCL): London, England

International Tuition: $21,607-$43,201 USD per year, depending on your course.

International Scholarships: There are over 15 international scholarships available for undergraduate students at UCL based on either financial need or merit.

4. University of Bristol: Bristol, England

International Tuition: $20,889-$46,803 USD per year, depending on your course.

International Scholarships: Six scholarships available through one program:

1st place: $15,865 USD (one winner) 2nd place: $13,221 USD (two winners) 3rd place: $10,577 USD (three winners) A few things to keep in mind:

You can apply for this scholarship regardless of where you are from (as long as you are an international student) or what you are studying; however, it only applies for one year of your tuition. You can only apply for this scholarship as a prospective student and cannot reapply once you enter the university. If you receive any other award or scholarship worth $3,966 USD or more, you cannot apply for this scholarship. In order to apply, you must submit a one minute video about what community means to you.

5. University of Nottingham: Nottingham, England

International Tuition: $18,523-$22,414 USD per year, depending on your course.

International Scholarships: The University of Nottingham has over 30 scholarships available to undergraduate students both through the university as a whole and through individual departments. Check out this website to learn more about which scholarships you are eligible for.

Other Available Scholarships

Don’t freak out if the university you want to go to doesn’t offer scholarships for international students. Thankfully, there are some scholarships available outside of your uni. However, there is only one UK scholarship for international undergraduate students, called CastleSmart, which awards $7,934 USD to the student who creates the most compelling YouTube video about their chosen course.

The rest of the scholarships come from your home country or large international organisations.

For example, if you are a citizen of a developed Commonwealth country, such as Australia and New Zealand, then you are eligible for a range of Commonwealth-based scholarships. The best thing to do is to reach out to your local government online and see what your options are. If you accept money from your home government, make sure you know whether or not they require you to return home nyou finish your education.

You may also consider reaching out to large companies to see if they can help you as well, in exchange for a summer of work.

If you’re feeling strapped, check out this great resource for miscellaneous scholarships. Just remember, there’s no harm in applying to multiple scholarships at once as long as you meet the criteria!


Unlike scholarships, loans are not free money, which means you actually need to pay them back.

Be aware: UK loans aren't available unless you've lived in the UK for at least three years prior to your studies.

If you're applying to university as an international student, then there's a good chance you haven't been living in the UK for three years, so once again you’ll need approach your local government to see if there are any loans they can give you.

University of Oxford and University of Cambridge offer four different loans for US students:

1. Direct Subsidised Loan (federal): Payments start six months after you finish your course and interest doesn’t accumulate while you’re studying.

2. Direct Unsubsidised Loan (federal): Payments start six months after you finish your course but interest accumulates while you’re studying.

3. Parent PLUS Loan (federal): You need to start paying it back right after you finish your course and interest accumulates while you’re studying.

4. Private Loan: Depends on the loan but private loans tend to be less forgiving than federal ones.

While your local government may offer you a loan, remember that you will have to pay them back on their terms so be careful about how much you borrow!

5 Cheapest UK Universities For International Students

Another way to afford a UK education is by choosing a more affordable university in a more affordable location. Aside from having very expensive tuition, unis in London and other major cities also tend to have very expensive living costs.

Take a look at five of the most affordable UK unis for international students.

1. York St. John University: York, England

International Tuition: $11,234-$15,199 USD per year, depending on your degree.

QS World University Ranking: N/A

Scholarships Offered: York St. John’s Aspire Scheme: Finally, a scholarship you don’t need to apply for! Every student at York St. John’s receives a card with $132 USD to help fund anything you may need during your study.

2. Royal Agricultural University (RAU): Cirencester, England

International Tuition: $13,216 USD per year

QS World University Ranking: N/A

Scholarships Offered: RAU offers three scholarships for international students. (Keep in mind that you can only have one RAU-managed scholarship at a time.) These are:

1. RAU Outstanding Achievers Scholarships: A merit based award available to all students, regardless of where you are from. Worth up to $2,643 USD for up to three years.

2. RAU Sports Scholarships: Are you a sports superstar? If so, this award is for you! It’s worth $3,965 USD for up to three years.

3. The Vice-Chancellor’s Overseas Excellence Scholarships: If you have great grades, overcame a hardship, excelled in an extracurricular activity, or can prove you have serious determination to succeed, you may be eligible for this award worth up to $1,321 USD for one year.

3. Buckinghamshire New University: Wycombe, England

International Tuition: $13,884 USD per year

QS World University Ranking: N/A

Scholarships Offered: Sports Excellence Scholarship, up to $4,628 USD a year for athletes enrolled in a sports related course.

4. Leeds Beckett University: Leeds, England

International Tuition: $13,884 USD per year

QS World University Ranking: N/A

Scholarships Offered: Early Payment Discount: Well, it's technically not a scholarship, but if you pay for your tuition in full before a certain date, you will receive 10% off (first year only).

5. University of Bedfordshire: Luton, England

International Tuition: $15,119 USD per year

QS World University Ranking: N/A

Scholarships Offered: Vice Chancellor's Scholarship: Worth depends on your home country.

Final Thoughts

All in all, UK financial aid isn’t that bad… you just can’t expect it to cover your full tuition, or even close to it.

If you are set on studying in the UK, make sure you research the funding options your dream university offers as soon as possible, and reach out to your local government and any large organisations to see if they might be able to help as well.

Cover your bases before you apply so that money won’t be a factor once you get in (because you will get in!).

Now, take a deep breath, make (or buy) some fish and chips, and imagine what your life is going to be like in the future when you are a student at a UK university!

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