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The bursary is free financial support of up to £3,500 a year for full-time undergraduate students, to help with your Cambridge fees or living costs. Like a scholarship or grant, the payment is non-refundable – you don’t need to pay it back. It doesn’t matter what you’re studying or which College you’re at. Higher amounts are available for medical students in their clinical years, independent students including care leavers, and students who were eligible for free school meals.

Cambridge offers one of the most generous bursary support packages in the UK. Over £10 million a year is awarded to undergraduate students from low and middle income families through the Cambridge Bursary Scheme. We grant over 3,300 Cambridge Bursaries annually, which equates to one in three of our UK undergraduates, and over half of those receive the maximum award.


There’s no separate application for the Cambridge Bursary. If you’re eligible, you are automatically considered when you apply for a student loan through your regional funding body:

They assess your household income. We use their assessment to decide the amount of bursary payment you receive. You do not have to accept the loan offered by your regional funding body, and you can request a loan value of £0 if you are not comfortable applying for one. But you need to apply and be assessed by them as they make the payments on behalf of the University.

EU students should apply through UK Student Finance for a tuition fee loan.

Who is eligible?

To get the Cambridge Bursary you need to:

  • be a UK student, or EU student with settled or pre-settled status
  • be studying your first full-time undergraduate degree
  • be paying University of Cambridge tuition fees
  • apply for and be offered a Student Finance loan
  • get your student loan application approved by 30th June at the end of the academic year you need the bursary for
  • have a household income of under £62,215 a year

Check how much you could get

What happens next?

Your college will let you know in writing when they’ve approved your bursary and the amount you’re being awarded. If you applied for student finance over 6 weeks before your course starts, your college should be able to let you know the details of your bursary in the first week of term. This is the same for EU students.

If you have not heard anything about your bursary contact us.

Payment dates

When your bursary is paid depends on when you apply for a student loan, and when the University receives confirmation of your attendance from your college. The earliest dates it could arrive:

  • Michaelmas Term – 23 October, 2023
  • Lent Term – 5 February, 2024
  • Easter Term – 13 May, 2024

Your bursary is paid directly to your UK bank account by your regional funding body.