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Individuals

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Who we support

In order to apply for a bursary, you must meet our criteria. You must be:

- below the age of 25,
- come from a low income or disadvantaged background and
- permanently reside in one of our named inner London boroughs.*

*The 14 boroughs that make up inner London are: Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, Westminster and the City of London.

If you wish to apply to us, you must be able to demonstrate clear financial need as part of your application.

Our application process

We operate a two stage application process which is completed online.

We open for application in April and close in September, with bursaries awarded in the autumn, at the beginning of each academic year.

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions below before making an application. We also recommend you read our list of grant making priorities.

How to apply

If you would like to apply, please take our eligibility quiz below. If you are eligible, you will be directed to our online application portal and can begin your application.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions - we're here to help!

Am I eligible?

Find out if you are eligible to apply for funding by taking our short quiz.

Take quiz

Frequently Asked Questions:

When do you open for applications?

Our bursary programme opens for applications on 1 April for students who will enrol in September.

How do I apply?

We run a two stage, online application process.

After passing a short eligibility test, you will be taken to the stage one application form. This application form is short and seeks to make sure you meet our eligibility criteria and can demonstrate clear financial need.

After submitting your stage one form, we aim to respond within one month to notify you whether you are invited to complete a stage two application form.

Stage two looks in more detail at your personal and financial circumstances and requires you to submit evidence supporting your application. Being invited to stage two is not a guarantee that you will be awarded a bursary.

What is the deadline for applications?

The deadline to submit a stage one application is 30 September.

If you are invited to stage two, the deadline to submit a complete application will be 31 October.

Applications submitted late will not be accepted, so please make sure you submit your application within plenty of time. You will likely need some time to gather the documents that we need in support of your application.

How much can I apply for?

Typical bursaries are between £1,000 and £2,000 per year for each year of a course. Ultimately, however, awards are based upon the level of need, the budget available and the number of other successful applicants.

How long after submitting the stage one application will I have to wait to hear back?

It depends upon the number of other applications we are currently processing, but it could take up to one month for a response.

What documents will you need to see?

During stage one of the application, you will not need to provide any supporting documents.

At stage two, you will need to provide; photo identification, proof of student finance, proof of enrolment onto your course, a reference from an academic tutor and evidence of your (or your parents') income.

Additional documentation is likely to be required to support any other claims that you have made in your application.

I am turning 25 years old this coming August. Can I apply?

No, unfortunately, we can only support people under 25 years old when their course is to start, so if your course begins in September you will not be eligible to apply. This is a legal restriction enforced by the Charity Commission.

Several years ago, I moved to London to study on a different course. Can I now apply for funding?

No, you must not have moved to the inner London boroughs for the purposes of study.

I received a grant from you in the past; am I eligible to apply again?

As long as you meet our other criteria, you are welcome to apply again.

I already have an undergraduate degree, but I want another. Can you support me in this?

No. We do not award bursaries to people studying for qualifications at the same or a lower level than those they already possess, even if the subject(s) or module(s) being studied are different.

Can I apply if I am studying for a Masters or PhD? What about vocational courses or GCSEs?

Applications from students taking postgraduate courses, vocational courses and/or alternative course structures and levels may be considered in limited circumstances, provided you meet at least one of our priorities and satisfy the other criteria.

Do I have to be starting the first year of a new course to apply for funding?

No. But if you are now entering your course's later years, we may want to know what has changed this year and how you funded yourself in previous years.

Can I apply if I am retaking a year?

If you are retaking a whole year, you cannot apply until you have progressed to the following year of your course.

If you only need to re-sit some exams, you may still be eligible.

My application has been rejected. Can I reapply?

You will be able to reapply next April for the following academic year, although if your circumstances have not changed significantly, the outcome is unlikely to differ.

I have submitted my second stage application form. When will I find out the result?

We aim to notify all successful candidates by the end of November, but it can get extremely busy for us at this time, so please be patient.

What are the aims of the bursary programme?

Our grantmaking is guided by our six funding priorities. As a student, you will most likely be applying under the Individuals priority – if you think other priorities might apply to you, let us know how and why on your form.

What is the likelihood that my grant application will be successful?

We do not publish success rates as these vary year on year and are dependent on the number of applications we receive and the funds available. Please bear in mind that our funds are limited, and therefore it is a highly competitive process, and we receive many more applications than we could ever hope to fund. Even if you meet all of our eligibility criteria, it does not mean you will be invited to complete a second stage application. Instead, we are looking for evidence of financial need and disadvantage and clear proof that you meet at least one of our funding priorities.

Last year you awarded me a bursary. How do I request my payment for this year?

Please get in touch by emailing hello@portaltrust.org, and we will be happy to help.

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