Opportunity Scholarship

Cash bursaries funded through donations from alumni and friends of the University are available for eligible UK fee paying students living in either areas of low participation in Higher Education, areas of socio-economic deprivation, or who are entitled to Free School Meals. Scholarship award-holders will receive £3,000 per year for three years (excluding a placement year) and the support will be paid directly into your bank account in three equal instalments per year.

The application deadline is 30 June 2023. Please check your eligibility before applying.

Selection criteria

Students who meet the criteria below are eligible to apply.

If you already study here at Loughborough then you are not eligible to apply.  Please seek advice from student support services if you are struggling financially.

Please note: Not all students who apply will be awarded a scholarship. With a limited number of Opportunity Scholarships available, applications are assessed and awarded to the students identified as ‘in the most need’ and will benefit the greatest from the additional financial support.

1. Be assessed by Loughborough University as a UK fee paying student for tuition fee purposes

2. Be permanently resident in England in an area of low participation in higher education (POLAR4 Quintile 1).


Be permanently resident in England in an area of socio-economic deprivation (IMD Decile 1-2).


You were known to be eligible for free school meals (FSM) at the end of Key Stage 4 (Year 11) and/or at some point in the six years prior to this point OR you are currently in receipt of free school meals.

You can check which Quintile/Decile your postcode falls within using the POLAR4 lookup tool, and the IMD postcode lookup. See below for guidance on these tools.

3. Have verifiable declared household income of under £40,000 per year

4. Be in receipt of an offer for undergraduate study from Loughborough University by 20 June 2023.

5. Select Loughborough as your firm choice university (Conditional Firm or Unconditional Firm).

6. Complete an application for the Opportunity Scholarship by 30 June 2023 (NB: applicants identified as eligible to apply will receive an invitation email containing a link to the online application form).

7. Achieve grades of ABB or above in A levels or equivalent qualification.

8. Commence the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree course at Loughborough University at the start of academic year 2023-24.


Please note that to be eligible for the current round of Opportunity Scholarships, you must be starting the first year of an undergraduate programme in the 2024/25 academic year. If after applying for a scholarship you choose to defer to 2023/24 entry, you will no longer be considered for this year’s scheme. However, if you still meet all of the other criteria, you will be invited to re-apply with a new application the following year.

Please note the Opportunity Scholarship scheme is not open to applications from current students of the University.

Ying's scholarship story

Application process

All applicants who meet criteria 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be invited to complete an online application form which must be submitted by 15 July 2022. As part of this, you will be asked to provide a supporting statement outlining why you would benefit from the scholarship. Where applicable, this should include details of any personal circumstances that may have made the process of entering higher education particularly challenging. Your information will be held securely, never shared with third parties and always managed in accordance with the Data Protection Act (2018). You can also view our privacy policy.

Submitted applications will be reviewed and scored by a panel after the deadline. Scholarships will be awarded once the University has received examination results, verified declared household income and confirmed which students have successfully secured a place to study at Loughborough. The highest scoring applicants who meet all of the above eligibility criteria (including the achievement of at least ABB at A level or equivalent) will be considered for a scholarship. This is a competitive process with many applicants so we encourage you to complete the application form carefully and to the best of your ability.

Check your postcode

When using the OfS POLAR4 lookup tool, enter your postcode without spaces and select the MSOA geographic boundary. Your POLAR4 quintile is displayed in the first line of the table on the right of the map.

*As per the guidance, this postcode is not being used as a standalone measure to determine your eligibility



To find your IMD Decile, enter your postcode in the lookup tool and click ‘get deprivation data’. The data for your postcode will be available as an xlsx or csv file. To open in Excel, download the xlsx file. Column F of the spreadsheet indicates your Index of Multiple Deprivation Decile.

Timeline for Opportunity Scholarships

February Eligible applicants invited to apply for a Scholarship
15 July Deadline for Scholarship applications
August Panel review applications and agree Scholarship recipients
September Successful scholars notified