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Venessa Lewis, MSc Behaviour Analysis & Therapy, University of South Wales
Raising Funds for Prospective Students' Fees
Lauren1

“We are such stuff. As dreams are made on” (William Shakespeare).

“The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you” (Tom Bradley).

You have to dream and believe that something is possible before it can happen. I did not allow the problem of paying tuition fees limit my dream of pursuing my interests in Behaviour Analysis. I want others to read my story and realise that believing leads to action and they too could be helped by the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding, and charities and trusts, to fulfil their dreams at university.

After a great deal of research on Psychology courses available at Master’s level in the UK, I noticed the MSc Behaviour Analysis and Therapy course at University of South Wales, and was intrigued, as it was relatively new to the University. However, after a lot of thought, I decided it was the right area of study for me.

I had previously thought it would be impossible to self-fund or even receive help with funding in the field of psychology. However, I nonetheless decided to apply despite not having the money at the time to cover my tuition fees. When I was accepted, I was very excited-  the one question I now had to ask myself was simply: how was I going to pay for the course? I was aware that the University was offering a scholarship to masters students who achieved a 2:1 or above in their undergraduate studies and offered more for returning students. I therefore applied for this, and was delighted to be awarded £2000, which was deducted from my fees. However, this still left a balance of £2750 which I was going to have to find myself.

As a subscribing university, South Wales sent me an email providing information and access details to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding Online. I accessed the site and did a thorough database search of charities and trusts that I would be eligible to apply for. This left me with a 'hit-list' of seven possible charities. I then did some more thorough research on their eligibility criteria, how to apply, and application deadlines. For those charities that did not have a website with application details I devised and sent a letter. For the others, I followed the published guidance.  In total, I applied to five different charities and trusts.
 
It was with great pleasure and gratitude that I received a letter from the Rhondda Trust Fund to say I was successful and they would pay £1500 towards my tuition fees. I also had another letter to say I was successful with the Pantyfedwen Foundation; they are going to pay the remainder of my tuition fees £1250. I am therefore grateful for the help of the University of South Wales, the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding, and both of these charitable trusts for their help in funding my tuition fees and I look forward to starting my masters in September 2015.

We say: we think Venessa's story is an excellent example of a tightly-focussed and well-researched campaign for a prospective student. She wrote only to five bodies - and also began by looking close to home, as both of the bodies she succeeded with were in Wales. However, she was able to meet her deficit in full.

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