St John’s College – Cambridge Bursary



The abolishment of maintenance grants in 2016 left many of the most gifted students in the country questioning their future.  St John’s values admitting the best and brightest, regardless of means, and we endeavour to help reduce the huge financial pressure currently plaguing the student population.

The Cambridge Bursary Scheme (of which the Buffini Chao Foundation sponsors two students per annum at St John’s) provides non-repayable support of up to £3,500 per year to Home undergraduate students from a household income of below £42,620.  This works in combination with St John’s ground-breaking Studentships Scheme, which aims to fully cover the living costs of students from below the aforementioned earnings threshold.

Amy (2018), Archaeology

As a state school student from a low-income household, I was extremely concerned about the impact my coming to Cambridge University would have on my family, as the government loan I received would not have covered my living expenses.  I was also worried about fitting in because I would have struggled to take part in anything besides coursework without having to decide whether I could afford to do so.  Thanks to the Buffini Chao Bursary, I had an amazing first year in a university where I felt like I could be myself and study the topics that have long intrigued me.

Michael (2011), Medicine

On the basis of my financial background, making it into higher education would definitely have been a struggle, and I’m certain I wouldn’t be here today without the help of bursaries.  I was a medical student from Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, East London, who came up in 2011. Now having completed my medical training at St John’s, I look back and appreciate how extremely lucky I was, and receiving the Buffini Chao Bursary in my challenging final year made all the difference. With it, I was able to cover costs such as fees and rent, as well as acquiring all the essential tools necessary for my course and enjoying the full Cambridge experience – for which I will always be deeply grateful.