Are Bursaries Taxable?

If you are keen to learn whether or not bursaries are taxable, you will find guidance through the following blog post where we will discuss this topic. Additionally, we will also explore how bursaries can be claimed as well as any other financial support that bursary claimants can apply for.

Are Bursaries Taxable?

No, bursaries are not taxable in the UK. 

The first thing to consider when discussing whether bursaries are taxable in the UK is what a bursary actually is. A bursary is defined as “a grant or scholarship awarded to help with living and/or study costs”, which suggests that it is money which does not have to be repaid. When students or their caregivers apply for a bursary, their household income is taken into account to ensure that those who need help the most are able to receive it.

In the UK, there are a few different types of bursaries available to students. The most common type is the government-funded Maintenance Grant, which is available to students from low-income households. Maintenance Grants are not taxable, as they are seen as a form of financial help.

There are also other types of bursaries available from universities and colleges, as well as from private companies and charities. These bursaries are often awarded based on merit, rather than need. Most of these bursaries are also not taxable, as they are seen as a form of financial aid.

The same rule applies to the £1,000 bursary introduced by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for 16 to 24-year-olds under an apprenticeship program in the UK.

It is only when your income comes from any of the following sources and exceeds £12,570 that it is taxable in the UK: 

  • wages 
  • salaries 
  • bonuses 
  • commission 
  • dividends from investments 
  • pensions 
  • rental income

How Can You Claim A Bursary?

If you are aged between 16 to 19 years and require financial support with regard to educational expenses, you can claim a bursary under the following conditions:

  • you study at a publicly funded school or college in England
  • you have undertaken a training course

If you’re studying in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, you can claim the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

If you are 19 years of age or older, you claim a bursary under the following conditions:

  • you are a 19+ continuer who is completing a course you started when you were aged between 16 to 18 years
  • you have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP); a special education needs program for children and adults aged up to 25 years

Students usually claim bursaries through their educational institutions. Otherwise, you can contact the Education and Skills Funding Agency by filling in the inquiry form.

Is There Any Other Support For Students Claiming Bursaries?

Yes, there are government-supported schemes for students claiming bursaries. Full-time students who are older than 18 years of age can also get financial support through government schemes. 

For instance, the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to the most disadvantaged students so that they are able to overcome certain barriers and can remain in education. 

This includes bursaries for defined vulnerable groups (carers, leaving care, receiving benefits) as well as discretionary bursaries to meet living expenses (transport, meals, books, equipment)

and can be awarded by institutions using policies that are in line with national funding rules.


The above discussion brings us to the conclusion that bursaries of any type are non-taxable in the UK. however, there are certain eligibility criteria to meet so that one claim this grant.


What types of income are non-taxable? · Customer Self-Service

What is a Bursary in the UK? – Think Student

Income Tax and National Insurance exemptions for bursary payments to care leavers – GOV.UK