From September 2015 Sussex students will be able to claim both the First Generation Scholar grant and the Sussex excellence scholarship.

Previously students have been forced to choose between the grant schemes; only being allowed to claim one even when eligible for both.

The Sussex Excellence Scholarship is awarded on a merit basis. The scholarship is designed to recognise and reward those undergraduates who achieve at the highest levels in their entry qualifications, be it an A level, BTEC or International Baccalaureate.

The award is worth £3,000 in your first year as an undergraduate. The amount can be split into a £1,000 cash award and £2,000 rent reduction- if you are living in university managed accommodation. Alternatively, if you are not living in university managed accommodation it can take the form of a £1000 cash award and a £2,000 tuition fee waiver.

The First Generation Scholar bursary is specifically for students paying £9,000 tuition fees. The financial component of the scheme consists of a £2000 fee waiver or a £2000 University accommodation rent waiver, plus an additional £1000 bursary paid directly to the student’s bank account.

Provided that students continue to meet the eligibility criteria, the £1,000 bursary will also be paid out each subsequent year.

Welfare Officer, Rianna Gargiulo commented: “I am extremely pleased that the University has agreed to allow students to get financial aid from both of these schemes simultaneously. This means that students from disadvantaged backgrounds will have even more of a reason to come to university, and will have even more financial aid whilst here, alleviating money worries and allowing them to focus on their studies.”

A University of Sussex spokesperson commented: “the University has a clear and robust approach to scholarships in that students can only hold one at any time- this allows us to maximise the impact of scholarships.

“However, due to a change in government policy, which has removed the cap on student numbers, we have been able to respond to a suggestion from the Students’ Union that the Sussex Excellence Scholarship should be an exception.

“To make an exception for excellence is an argument that Students’ Union have convinced us is the right thing to do. This means that students should be allowed to hold the Sussex Excellence Scholarship together with one other scholarship. So students entering Sussex in 2015 will benefit from this change.”

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