Thank you for visiting my appeal page.
I have been offered a place to study a MSt in English 1550-1700 at Oxford University. Born and raised in Cowley, the car manufacturing district of Oxford, I have spent my whole life looking up in wonder at the University's Colleges, hoping one day I would earn a place within those world-famous limestone walls. For me, this is the fulfilment of one of my life's ambitions and a childhood dream come true.
Unfortunately, I did not secure a scholarship from the University (Clarendon & Ertegun Scholarships) or from my college, Somerville. My parents' income was less than £15,000 before I took my BA at King's College London, for which I was awarded a First Class (GPA 3.7-4.0). My parents' circumstances remain the same, so they are unable to support me financially - however, they have offered me a room, sparing me from Oxford rents (recently confirmed as the most expensive place to live in the UK). I am also saving as much as possible of my current wages, until my job ends in August.
Sadly, when I factor in my tuition fees, college administration and dining fees, books and stationery costs and other living expenses, I am still short by several thousand pounds. Typically, my solution would be to keep working during my degree, or to postpone my course in order to save up more - but Oxford University employs a strict policy limiting students' working hours and it does not permit accepted candidates to defer their place. I face the prospect of being unable to fund my living costs and having to apply for a crippling bank loan for tuition fees.
My lifetime ambition is to become a DPhil (PhD) candidate and go into academic teaching afterward, but unless I can secure funding for my Master's degree, this is practically impossible. Since the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council no longer fund graduate students, only doctoral students, there is a funding chasm between undergraduate and postgraduate study that bright, ambitious candidates from very poor families, like myself, cannot possibly bridge.
I am asking you to pledge toward my education and to invest in my future. I would be grateful to receive any assistance, great or small.