I started university a year after the £9,000 fees were implemented and firm in the knowledge that I would have a minimum of £27,000 debt when I would leave. At the age of 18 that was more money than I could understand and was really quite daunting. I took up several tutoring and babysitting jobs so that I could start saving up and didn’t even question the idea of living away from my parents’ home due to the added financial pressure of that. I jumped at the opportunity to apply for the George Daniels scholarship as I knew that not only would it cover my fees, it would also mean that I could get several of my evenings and weekends back so that I could focus on my work and also have some fun and socialise too which I hadn’t really been able to do until then.
The George Daniels scholarship has not only paid for my fees and given me more time to focus on my studies, it also gave me an incentive to perform to the best of my ability right from the start. I was therefore able to develop a good work ethic right from my first year and continue that throughout my studies. When I started university I did not consider the idea of completing a Master’s as I simply wouldn’t have been able to afford it but due to the support of this scholarship I do not have a £27,000 debt so I will be able to complete a Master’s next year. This is vital for me as an engineering student because it is very hard to become a chartered engineer just with a Bachelor’s. This scholarship has helped me hugely on a financial level while giving me the opportunity to truly reach my potential academically and to knock away many barriers that I face on my way to becoming an engineer. I know without it I wouldn’t have got to the point that I’m at now and feel an immense level of gratitude as a result.