Aston Forward Scholarship

Apply for an Aston Forward Scholarship

We invite students provisionally offered a place to study at Aston University for 2024 to apply for an Aston Forward Scholarship worth £5,000.

We will award these scholarships to students with amazing ambitions, students wanting to create a better world through community activity or business ideas, or to those who have overcome significant barriers to study at Aston.

We have a limited number of scholarships available, and want to prioritise these to those who it could benefit the most.

Whilst they are only open to households with an income of less than £25,000 they will not be awarded on financial need or academic achievements alone. We want to hear your story.

Worth £5,000 (paid in instalments), our UK undergraduate means-tested scholarships are of higher value than other University Scholarships available at Aston. The list of University Scholarships that are available can be found on our funding page.

The scholarships are non-repayable and are in addition to the financial support you can receive from the government (such as the tuition fee loan or maintenance loan). 

Alongside the scholarships, you'll have access to one-to-one support and advice sessions, mentoring opportunities, advice and guidance for want-to-be-entrepreneurs and networking events through the Enrichment Programme.

If you have never completed a scholarship application before, the process can feel quite daunting. Before you start, read this great advice about what to do or not do when submitting a scholarship application.

The scholarships are available thanks to the generous support from former students at Aston, as well as friends and commercial partners of Aston.

Applications for the UK undergraduate means tested scholarship for 2024 will open on 19th August and close on 4th October.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

To be eligible to apply for an Aston Forward Scholarship, you must:

  • Meet all of the eligibility criteria
  • Apply by the deadline (date to be announced in spring 2024)

Please remember there are a limited number of scholarships. Meeting the eligibility criteria and being able to apply does not guarantee that you will receive an award. 

Eligibility criteria

  • You must be starting a new full time undergraduate degree programme at Aston University between September 2024 and the August 2025.
  • You must be classified as a home fee payer and in receipt of UK student support funding.
  • You must be qualified to receive student support funding as part of the finance arrangements for new students starting their degree programmes between September 2024 and August 2025.
  • If you have your fees paid by a sponsor you will not be eligible for an Aston Scholarship (eg a government grant to cover all or part of the tuition fees or a scholarship directly from business).
  • You must come from a household with an annual income which has been assessed as being £25,000 per year or below. (Note that you can apply for this scholarship before your household income assessment has been finalised by Student Finance England).
  • You will only be eligible to be considered for an Aston Forward Scholarship approved on household income for an academic year if you have made an application to be income assessed from the same year by Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland or Student Awards Agency for Scotland. You can apply for a scholarship before your eligibility assessment has been finalised by the relevant awarding body.
  • For 2024 entry, your income assessment, carried out by the Student Loans Company (SLC), must be finalised by 15th November 2024. This is so that the University is able to confirm you are eligible to receive any scholarship you have been provisionally awarded. You do NOT need to take out a loan, just undertake the financial assessment.

Selection criteria

As well as meeting all of the above eligibility criteria, you must meet at least one of the below selection criteria. Please note, priority for scholarships will be given to those students who meet more than one of the selection criteria and whose essay questions are chosen by our assessors:

  • Students who have progressed to Aston after successfully completing access routes (such as Pathway to Healthcare, Pathway to STEM, Pathway to Law, Pathway to Business, or a Foundation Year).
  • Students whose studies have been disrupted by circumstances in their personal, social or domestic lives.
  • Students who live in a geographical area with low levels of progression onto higher education.
  • Students who have experienced time in kinship care or who are estranged from both of their parents.
  • Students who have a disability or are in receipt of a personal independence payment.
  • Students who have been recognised as a refugee by the UK government, or have been granted humanitarian protection status, or students who are the partner or child of someone who has been granted refugee or humanitarian protection status.
  • Students from an underrepresented group (Gypsy, Roma, Traveller communities, refugees, children of military families).

For full information, see Aston Universities Home Undergraduate Scholarship Eligibility Criteria document below:

This criteria provides further details for home undergraduate scholarships, the amounts awarded at each stage of the academic year and the implications of withdrawal or leave of absence on students' eligibility for scholarships.

Essay Assessment

When assessing the essay questions, we will be looking for scholars who demonstrate exceptional qualities in areas which could include ambitious career goals, entrepreneurial qualities, wanting to create a better world through community activity or business ideas, overcoming significant barriers, demonstrating resilience or academic performance.

We also want to hear how you see the Scholarship will make a difference to your University experience and ambitions.

If you have questions which are not answered in the scholarship FAQs, please get in touch.

Key dates

Applications for the UK undergraduate means tested scholarship for 2024 will open on 19th August, and will close on 4th October.

Your income assessment, carried out by the Student Loans Company (SLC), must be finalised by 15th November 2024. This is so that the University is able to confirm you are eligible to receive any scholarship you have been provisionally awarded. You do NOT need to take out a loan, just undertake the financial assessment."


Hear from Aston Forward Scholarship recipient Lucky about the process of her application and how she benefited from the funding.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is a scholarship?

A scholarship is a competitive and prestigious award given to students based on certain criteria. At Aston, we have two types:

1 - Automatic scholarships

2 - Scholarships you need to apply for

For further information on our scholarships, visit our funding page.

I'm intending to study as a postgraduate, can I apply for the Aston Forward Scholarship?

The Aston Forward Scholarships are only available for undergraduates. For further information on Postgraduate Funding visit our funding page.

How much are the Aston Forward Scholarships worth?

Successful applicants will be awarded £1,500 in the first, second and final year of their degree, with an additional £500 in the first year to go towards initial University costs, totalling £5,000.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

You apply via an online application form which will include three short essay questions. Dates for applications will be made available in spring 2024.

When is the deadline to submit my application?

Applications must be submitted by 4th October.

How many scholarships are available at Aston?

There are a limited number (approximately 60) of Aston Forward Scholarships available. The majority of these scholarships are open to all undergraduates who fulfil the eligibility criteria, and there are also some scholarships which are only open to those who are studying Computer Science; females who are studying STEM subjects and those who are interested in sports.

A full list of all the undergraduate scholarships can be viewed on our funding page.

I didn't know that these scholarships existed, will late applications be accepted?

Late applications cannot be accepted for Aston Forward Scholarships. The deadline for 2024 applications will be announced in Spring 2024.

I haven't applied for means-tested government funding (student loan) - does this matter?

To be considered for an Aston Forward Scholarship we will need the final assessment of your household income from the government to confirm your financial eligibility to receive an award. You can still apply for a scholarship before you have applied for means-tested government funding, however, we cannot make any payments until your household income assessment has been received by the funding team.

For 2024 entry, your income assessment, carried out by the Student Loans Company (SLC). This is so that the University is able to confirm you are eligible to receive any scholarship you have been provisionally awarded. Failure to meet these deadlines could result in any scholarship offer being withdrawn.

How will my Household Income Information (HII) be assessed for a Student Loan/Scholarship?

Eligibility – Certain scholarships, including the alumni and Mercedes scholarships, are only awarded to those with a household income of less than £25,000, and you will need to prove your household income. This can be done by:

Applying for a Student Finance loan
If you have applied for a means tested maintenance loan then we are able to access your household income information very quickly. However, you need to ensure your ‘sponsor’ has consented for Aston University to see your household information. 

To change your consent so Aston can see your household information, please ask your ‘sponsor’ to call up Student Finance and to change the consent.

Proving your household income without taking a loan
You do not need to take out a Student Finance loan to have your household income assessed for Scholarship purposes. You may not want to take out Student Finance loans to fund your study for religious or personal reasons. 
However, if you have been awarded a scholarship with the eligibility criteria of a household income of below £25,000, you will need to provide information to prove this. To do this, you will need to have your household income (HHI) assessed by Student Finance. You will also be expected to provide this information if you choose to take out a Maintenance Loan. 
You will need to submit a loan application to Student Finance and pass their eligibility checks. However, you will be able to specify you want a loan for £0 so you won’t borrow any money.

Student Finance can then carry out the HHI assessment and the outcome will be shared with Aston. 
To do this (UK students only): 

Create an online Student Finance account and select that you would like to apply for a maintenance loan. Follow the steps of the application as if you were applying for the loan and provide all the necessary information.  When asked ‘Do you want to apply for the higher amount of Maintenance Loan? select ‘Yes, I want to apply for a higher amount of Maintenance Loan’. This lets Student Finance know to assess your household income. 


When you have completed the application, your parents / sponsor will be asked to submit their household income information. 

  • Later, when asked ‘How much Maintenance Loan do you want to borrow?’ select ‘I want to borrow a specific amount’. 
  • When you are asked to input the amount, type ‘NIL’. This lets Student Finance know that you are not taking out any loan. 
How will I get paid?

Once you have proven your eligibility criteria, and you have been successfully awarded the scholarship, we will send the money directly to your bank account. The money will be sent to the bank account we have on file for you. The Scholarships Team may get in contact with you to confirm your bank account details.

Who is considered a home fee payer?

A student who qualifies to be considered for a tuition fee loan and grants and loans for living costs from the UK government. The rules about qualifying as a home student depend on nationality, the immigration status of you and your family members and where you have all been living.

Why is the eligibility criteria is the household income set at £25,000

We have a very finite number of scholarships, therefore we want to prioritise these scholarships to those who it could benefit the most.

I'm an international student - am I eligible to apply for a scholarship?

The Aston Forward Scholarships are open to Home students. We also offer a range of scholarships designed exclusively to support our international students.

Who can I contact if I have any questions about the scholarship and the application process?

Please read the details of the eligibility and selection criteria about, as well as the FAQs. If your question isn't answered, please contact the Scholarships Team