Case Study: Could you benefit from an Educational Grant?
GTC aims to help improve the community by offering a range of Grant Schemes to meet the needs of all residents, including Educational Grants for students. This covers a range of diploma courses – for example recognised apprenticeships, GNVQ Level 4 or similar, first degree and some postgraduate qualifications.
Adam Roberts and Rachel Fenner have both benefitted from Educational Grants during the course of their studies and encourage others to apply.
Adam Roberts is 27, has lived in Girton all his life and is now working as a Design & Technology teacher at Soham Village College. He applied for Educational Grants during his years at University, firstly studying for a degree in Product Design at Nottingham Trent and then doing a PGCE at Manchester.
He says: "I applied for a grant each year I was at university, usually in December when I was back for Christmas which was a very handy time of year to have some financial help!
"In the first year, I used the grant to help purchase a new laptop for my studies, as well as for expensive textbooks, software for my course and also materials for the workshops as it was a practical subject.
"Without the Grant I would not have been able to buy some of the textbooks and certainly wouldn't have been able to afford a good quality computer.
"I think GTC provides a fantastic service. Friends in other Cambridge villages couldn't believe that this help was available! I would recommend it to anyone, especially considering how easy it is to apply and also how quickly the Grant was processed. I only had to present receipts to show how I had spent the money and with internet shopping all my receipts are saved online anyway!
"The only other thing I would like to add is that I think the Educational Grants Scheme could really help people thinking about post-grad degrees such as PGCE, especially with the rising costs of tuition fees".
Rachel Fenner is 22 and has lived in Girton since she was one, attending The Glebe, Impington Village College and Hills Road. In Sept 2009, Rachel began her three year physiotherapy degree at Nottingham University and in July 2012 graduated with a First Class Honours. Last October Rachel started her current job as a rotational Physiotherapist at Addenbrooke's Hospital.
She says: "I became aware of the GTC Educational Grant Scheme from the feature in Parish News and also personal contacts within the GTC committee. This money was invaluable over all three years of my degree.
"In my Fresher's year, the money enabled me to buy expensive core anatomy, physiology and module textbooks that, because of their popularity, were difficult to get on loan from the University library (something I know that my peers struggled with).
"In my second and third years, the Grant contributed towards the smallest but most useful things such as pens, notebooks and print cartridges – enabling me to avoid the stressful queue of students at the library trying to print essays! It also meant that I could sign up to medical journal databases (not available with my university login) and purchase access to key papers that were paramount to my dissertation as well as covering the printing and binding fees!
"I would certainly recommend this Scheme to the young people of Girton. It enables you to have the resources needed to optimise your study, significantly eliminating time and money stresses that you don't need when making the transition from college to university!"
(This case study was prepared in August 2013.)