One of the most common pieces of advice people give you when you start university is to ‘join clubs and societies’ - and we agree that getting involved with all the opportunities open to you through YUSU is a fantastic thing to do alongside your degree. These groups give you the opportunity to gain new skills and experiences, as well as make friends for life. It’s all the more important this year, when making connections with new people is even more difficult.
But for some students, it’s not as easy as just signing up. We all know that being a student is expensive, and for some the cost of joining a club or society can be one too many. To counter this, we launched our Activities Access Grants: small-scale bursaries for eligible first-years to join some of the amazing student groups we have here at York.
The Access Grants scheme was piloted in 2018 after a bid from then-Activities Officer, Finn Judge. Back then they offered bursaries of £20 - enough to join a few societies, or cover the Black AU Fee - to students from homes with a household income of under £35,000. 100 students were awarded the bursary on a first-come, first-served basis, exhausting the available funds.
Since then, thanks to the generosity of York’s alumni through the YuFund scheme and with additional funding from Santander, we’ve been able to hugely expand the number of students who are eligible for the scheme, and applications for Activities Access Grants are now open for this academic year.
You are eligible to apply for an Activities Access Grant if you are a first year undergraduate student and you fulfil one or more of the following criteria:
Your household income is below £35,000 per annum/are eligible for the York Bursary
You are eligible for Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
You have been approved as Estranged by Student Finance
You have completed a University of York Widening Participation programme prior to attending University (e.g. Next Step York, York Experience Summer School or similar)
Access grants are provided as reimbursements, so you first need to join the clubs, societies, and media groups you’re interested in. Have a look through our A-Z of student groups and start signing up! Then you just need to fill out the application form. You’ll need to provide evidence of your eligibility; this may be your Student Finance entitlement summary, your DSA eligibility letter, your WP programme completion certificate, or an email from a member of the WP team confirming your completion. You will also need to provide your bank details so we can process your reimbursement.
Grants are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and the application form will remain open until the funds run out. If you have any questions about the scheme, please drop an email to Lucy at [email protected]