Unselfish rugby players, relatives of retired postal workers and bassoon players could be the benficiaries of some unusual offers, according to a new guide, writes Rebecca Attwood.
The compilers of University Scholarships, Awards & Bursaries estimate that more than £1 million is on offer to students who meet criteria ranging from academic excellence, through being a Welsh speaker, to having a brother or sister at the same university.
The guide is designed to help students navigate through the array of bursaries and scholarships up for grabs at UK universities.
Although academic awards predominate, many institutions are offering financial incentives to students living in local areas, those taking science and engineering courses, and awards for sporting and musical achievement.
Among the more unusual awards described in the book, by Brian Heap, are:
* "Endangered Species" scholarships of up to £1,500 a year, on offer to players of instruments in which there is a recognised shortage - such as the oboe, bassoon, French horn, trombone and tuba - at Leeds College of Music;
* Imperial College London's annual award of £500 to "the most unselfish" rugby player of the year;
* "Beatles Experience" scholarships worth £1,000 open to Merseyside applicants taking the one-year diploma in Popular Music and Sound Technology at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
The Aberystwyth and Bangor campuses of The University of Wales offer the greatest number of awards, each more than 80, worth more than Pounds 50,000.
All universities and colleges are required to offer bursary packages to students from low-income families.