Project information

Reading List Scholarships

We award £250 Scholarships to exceptional students from lower-income families in England. Many of our donors fund a Scholarship with a personal connection - at their old school, or at the school in their local community, or where they grew up. Could you support one too?

Our fundraising is ongoing, but Scholarships are awarded in September of each year.

Charity information: The Reading List Foundation

The Reading List Foundation
  • Need


    Students from lower-income families face financial pressures at university. As a result many have to cut back on spending on academic textbooks - our research shows 40% have had to cut back on spending on textbooks, and when other essentials are included, 89% have had to cut back on essentials.


    By funding their textbooks in the first year we provide them with practical, financial and emotional help. With easier access to the textbooks they need (rather than just the ones they can afford) their studies benefit. Furthermore the award of the Scholarship can provide a confidence boost at the start of University, as well as a welcome boost to the CV.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide as many Scholarships across England as possible.


    » Ongoing fundraising from individuals, organisations and Charitable Trusts.

    We survey recipients of our Scholarships annually. In the survey we ask what impact receipt of the Scholarship has had.

  • Impact


    As well as helping individual students (the impact of which is measured in our survey), we hope to encourage a culture of 'micro-philanthropy', whereby private individuals who would not traditionally see themselves as 'philanthropists' are encouraged to do so, and a culture of philanthropic giving in the state-funded schools becomes even more widespread. We will measure this by the number of privately-funded scholarships we support.


    1) There is a risk of negative publicity following 'mis-use' of a Scholarship by an individual. To mitigate this the awards are in the form of a Blackwell's book token (thus ensuring funds are spent appropriately), and awards are only sent out once a student has received a university email address (thus ensuring the student has started at university).
    2) Other risks are minimal - we have minimal overheads and so the project can scale up or down as necessary with no risk of 'loss' of donations


    We provide feedback to donors on where - and which subject - the student they have supported is studying (within appropriate confidentiality limits).

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £2,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,500 Scholarships Awarding 10 Scholarships.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Private donor £1,250 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Scholarships are awarded in Schools across England, as directed by donors, or selected by the Foundation to address geographic gaps in our coverage.


    Exceptional Year 13 students from lower-income households about to start at University.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are, as far as we know, the only charity established to systematically encourage and generate private philanthropic donations to support such state-educated students. We look to inspire older graduates - who got a university education for free - to help younger students following in their footsteps, and we believe this is a rich source of charitable giving.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Alan Terry

    Co-founder, Trustee and day-to-day manager of the scheme.

    Mark Thomas

    Co-founder and fellow Trustee

    Tasia Boyton

    Social media co-ordinator


A monthly Direct Debit of £16.66 (with reclaimed Gift Aid) supports one Reading List Scholarship

‘The student's quite exceptional resilience and work ethic are breathtaking!’

Head of Sixth From