The Clare undergraduate community is made up of talented, passionate, inquisitive individuals from a huge variety of backgrounds, and as a College we are deeply committed to maintaining this.

Our current bursary programme helps to ensure that financial worries do not prevent any gifted students from applying to Clare, or from continuing their studies if they run into money problems while they are here. Since 2012 undergraduates have been asked to pay annual tuition fees of £9,000 – almost three times the fee paid by Clare students matriculating just a year or two earlier, and a significant financial burden for many individuals and their families.  Although students are able to take out a student loan to cover the tuition fee, students do have to pay significant living costs in order to study in Cambridge.

The full bursary (payable to home students whose household income falls below £25,000), is £3,500 per year, and students whose household income falls between £25,000 and £45,000 are eligible for a lower level of Bursary.  

Our students want to say a big "Thank You" everyone who has donated to student bursaries in the past and to those who continue to do so.





The annual cost of providing a full bursary.

Bursaries are guaranteed across Cambridge and are available to students on a  means-tested basis where their household income is below £45,000. Students whose household income is below £25,000 are eligible for the full bursary. 


...of Clare undergraduates currently receive some bursary support.

Around 50% of these are eligible for the maximum bursary. Increased tuition fees and reduced government funding means many students will leave Clare with debts of over £25,000.



Our Challenge

Clare’s ethos in education for the brightest, regardless of financial background is always at the heart of the Annual Fund. With the best Access and Outreach programme in the University, it is paramount that no student is unable to take up their offer because of financial constraints.

The University's Bursary Scheme (Isaac Newton Trust) is removing its provision to the Colleges over the next few years, which will leave Clare with a shortfall of £67,000 per year by 2018. On top of this, higher levels of student debt will inevitably lead to heavy pressure on Clare’s hardship funds.  We are therefore aiming to raise an additional £1.5 million in endowment funding, to enable the College to meet this additional cost each year, in perpetuity. If we are to continue providing the bursary support we currently offer, support for this fund is vital.  

Your Support

We are very proud to say that Clare is one of the most popular colleges in Cambridge. In recent years, we have received the highest number of applicants per place of all the colleges, and the second highest number overall (approx 900) after Trinity. Moreover, around 70% of our home-based students come to Clare from the state sector (the target for 2020 in our College strategy); an increase of around 30% since 2007. This reects both the success of our excellent outreach programme, in encouraging able students of all backgrounds to aim high and full their academic potential, and the positive impact of our increased bursary funding.

Your support will allow the College to maintain and increase its provision of student support, ensuring that all those who have the talent to win a place here are able to accept that place, complete their studies and experience everything that Clare and Cambridge has to offer.


There are several established bursary funds which have been made possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters, including:

  • The Hepple Bursary Fund: set up thanks to the support of numerous donors and to honour Sir Bob Hepple, who was Master of Clare 1993-2003, the Hepple Bursaries are awarded on the basis of financial need in Michaelmas Term.
  • The Bill Skelton Bursaries: funded through donations made in memory of the late Bill Skelton (Chaplain 1952-59), the Bill Skelton Bursaries are for students in financial need, with a preference for those from South London (Lambeth, Southwark, and Bermondsey).
  • The Henry Thirkill Memorial Bursaries: founded in memory of Henry Thirkill by his former students and alumni of the 'Thirkill generation' (matriculated up to 1960). Sir Henry Thirkill was successively Fellow, Senior Tutor and Master of Clare. These Bursaries are for undergraduates in financial need "whom the College judges will take advantage of all the opportunities of a Cambridge education and make the most of their time at Clare."
To find out more about giving to bursaries, please contact the Development Office.



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