This page aims to convey the range of financial and other benefits that the College makes available to student members. The College’s ability to assist its students in these substantial and diverse ways is very largely dependent on the generosity of its Old Members and benefactors, past and present.
Financial support for hardship and welfare needs
About three-quarters of the financial support for hardship and welfare needs that Balliol is able to distribute to its students comes from the College’s own sources of income. There are various formal schemes and, through the Financial Aid Officer, a means of taking into account unexpected hardship outside the deadlines for these. Any student with a child of nursery age can apply for a place at the Balliol Day Nursery and for a Georgina Horlick Bursary to help cover the cost.
Support for academic excellence is a top priority. In 2014/2015, 82 Balliol graduates received grants to assist research and 27 undergraduates received project grants for academic and academic-related projects. In addition, 96 undergraduate members were College Scholars or Exhibitioners, with values ranging from £150 to £200 per annum, while many others earned smaller subject prizes for exceptional pieces of work, and other prizes. Undergraduates whose courses extend outside term-time can apply for vacation residence and, if in need, for help with accommodation costs. Modern linguists are routinely assisted during their year abroad, and the College helps pay for places on university language courses for non-linguists. Clinical students are entitled to equipment grants and to support for medical electives. Graduates, meanwhile, have the opportunity to apply for a Phizackerley Scholarship in medical research or to work with university library archivists and cataloguers as the College’s annually appointed Balliol-Bodley Scholar. (These benefits to graduates already on course are distinct from the graduate scholarships which the College advertises to applicants to Oxford to encourage the best students to come to Balliol.) For those who complete either a graduate or an undergraduate degree and go on to pursue a career in teaching through Teach First, £1,000 Balliol College Teach First bursaries are available.
At the end of a typical Trinity term, upwards of 300 junior members – graduate and undergraduate – will receive an individual letter from the Student Finance Officer, listing the awards and aid which they have received over the course of the academic year.
Support for College life
The College subsidises food both directly and indirectly: catering pre-payment is the cheapest and most convenient way to eat in Hall. It also supports student clubs and societies, both by a large annual subvention to the Junior and Middle Common Rooms, and by the funding of specific activities - as, for instance, the Musical Society Concerts, the Chapel Choir, Old Member career presentation evenings, and Bruce’s Brunch (weekly term-time talks hosted by the Chaplain). There are music rooms and computer facilities, a library, a studio theatre, two multi-gyms, and a sports field. Each year awards totalling around £3,000 are made from the Cadle Fund for sport of all kinds at Blue or half-Blue level or above.
Regular College reading parties are run, with support from the College, in Scotland (for PPE finalists), and at the Chalet des Anglais in the French Alps (various subject/MCR-JCR groups, some mixed). Occasional theatre or reading trips may be organised (for students of English). Last but not least, the Pathfinders Programme Awards make up to eight places to the USA, and two to Asia, available annually to junior members in the final year of study.