You’re raising aspirations

Nieve Fay, Biology student and young carer, tells us how her scholarship has helped her overcome the challenges of attending university.

I really didn’t know if university would even be an option for me. I come from a disadvantaged background and I’m one of the first in my family to go to university. I wasn’t confident that I could even make the required grades, but my family and my school encouraged me and I’m so thankful they did. I was both nervous and excited on the day I found out I’d been accepted to Bristol. My family was so proud of me. They told me to always strive for more, no matter the challenges I would face regarding funding myself at university.

I read about the scholarship online and applied for it. I’m so thankful scholarships exist because mine has played a massive part in helping me fund my first year at university. When I was told I had been successful it felt like a huge weight had lifted off my shoulders. I knew then that I was going to be supported at university and the scholarship would give me more opportunities to get involved in the university experience. I feel so lucky.

The scholarship has financed me to travel home to help my mum on a regular basis, which has been a huge relief. But it’s also helped me to have a broader experience at university. It might sound like really small things, but being able to afford notepads, revision cards, coloured pens, etc during exam revision time without worry has made everything easier. I’ve also been able to join a musical theatre society for a small fee, which is something I would not have been able to do without the scholarship. I’m so grateful to have been able to make new friends and build skills and get involved in some really exciting shows. It’s really helped to make my university experience and meant I can get involved in the things I love.

I’m already thinking about continuing on to do a Master’s degree, which is quite something, given I didn’t even think I was going to make it to university at all. But I love Biology and I’m really enjoying my degree. I’m so pleased that I had the opportunity to further my education and I hope to continue studying Biology. I have a great interest in climate change and hope that one day I can help take us one step closer to saving the world we live in.

I think it’s wonderful that alumni and friends want to support people like me at university. They have no idea how much it can really benefit someone’s
life and it has already helped me open many doors for my future and for that I will be forever grateful.

In 2019 we launched the Futures Scholarships at Bristol which award talented students in financial need a total of £4,500. This encompasses £2,000 of funding to help with essentials in their first year and will enable them to make the most of university life. A further £2,500 is ring-fenced for use towards an internship, placement or other employability-focused activity later in their time at Bristol. Students will also receive guidance and career support from our dedicated coordinator. A scholarship gives students freedom from financial uncertainty. It provides them with the option to choose a job that fits around precious study time and makes it possible to succeed.

1 thought on “You’re raising aspirations

  1. Well done. I gained my first degree at age 46, whilst looking after six children and a husband. I later gained a a Masters at 58.

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