Empowering young Londoners to find their potential.
Wherever their path takes them.
We are no longer accepting individual applications for the 2023/24 Academic Year. Applications for the 2024/25 Academic Year will open in August 2024.
Who we support
To apply for a bursary, you must be:
- Under the age of 25 on the first day of your course,
- 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. If you would like more information on this please contact the grants team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Portal Trust is here to extend our support and assistance to you. If you encounter any difficulties while applying, please feel free to let us know. Whether you require our application form in an alternative format or find our guidelines challenging or need more information, we encourage you to reach out to us, and we'll be more than happy to help and offer our assistance.
What are your opening and closing dates for applications?
We open for applications on A-level results day each year. The deadline to submit your application will be the 25th of November.
Please note that applications submitted after this date won't be accepted so please make sure you complete your application within good time. The earlier the better!
How do I apply?
You can apply online. After passing our eligibility test below, you will be taken to the Portal Trust application form. We first need you to register, this is so you can log in and log out of the application and don't need to complete the form in one go; please also save your progress regularly.
Tell us as much about yourself as you can – this is your one chance to tell your story and why you need a bursary.
Once your application has been submitted, your application will be reviewed by our bursaries panel and the grants team will contact you in early December with either news that your application has been declined, or if we can continue with your application.
If you are selected to proceed we will then ask you for further information and documentation concerning your circumstances.
We will provide you with a link to upload your documents. You will need to do this before 31st December, please don't miss this deadline as documents submitted after this date won't be considered. Meanwhile, a member of the grants team will contact the reference you provided.
Please note, that being invited to submit documents is not a guarantee that you will be awarded a bursary.
All documents and your application will then be passed to our Chair of Grants for decisions in January, and we will aim to have a result for you in the first week of February.
What documents will you need to see?
You will most likely need to provide: proof of your student finance award, a front page of a bank statement with your account details and proof of enrolment to your course. We will also need contact details for an academic reference.
Additional documentation is likely to be required to support any other claims that you have made in your application, for example; Photo ID, immigration status, previous addresses, medical notes, care leaver status or financial concerns – we will let you know if so.
How much can I apply for?
Portal Trust bursaries are typically awarded between £1,000 and £2,000 for each year of your course of study. Ultimately, however, awards are based upon the level of need, the budget available and the number of other successful applicants. Portal Trust grants are discretionary.
I already have an undergraduate degree, but I want another. Can you support me with this?
No. We don't 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 MSc/MA 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 our 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 August for the following academic year, although if your circumstances have not changed significantly, the outcome is unlikely to differ.
What is the likelihood that my grant application will be successful?
We don't 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.
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