John Moran Educational - Trust Making financial awards to support the entry into higher education
 
Student Profiles

The Trust has made awards to over forty two deserving students from the Merseyside region since it was set up in 2003. Here’s more about what these students did with their awards, and what it meant to them:

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Profile sixteen

I’m 18 years old and I live with my mum in Liverpool. I have just done my A levels at King David High School. In my results I got an A in Geography and two Cs in English Language and English Literature. I was really happy with my Geography grade because I have always had a passion for Geography from a very young age and knew I wanted to study it at University. I’m going to be studying Geography with Study Overseas at the Manchester Metropolitan University. One of the best things about Geography is that there are so many aspects of the course and subject that its gives me lots of options for a career in the future. I’m still unsure about what I want to do after university but if the degree course goes well I’m hoping to go on to do a Masters course in Geography too.

The grant from John Moran will help me so much because I was really worried about finance at university. I currently live in a single parent family and never could have considered going to university without the help from the Student Loans Company to pay my fees and maintenance loan which I will then pay back after studying. This worry of debt was a daunting prospect and it did put me off going to university. With going to Manchester, I couldn’t live at home so accommodation costs would be a big worry. John Moran’s grant of £1000 has helped incredibly and all I can say is I am so grateful to the members of the Trust who have decided to give me this and also for their really welcoming and friendly approach at the interview. I was so nervous beforehand but the Trust made me feel so comfortable and put my nerves at ease.

Because I will be studying Geography things like field trips are important and the cost of these was also something I was concerned about. Now, with the Trust’s help, fieldtrips and text books will be less of a burden financially because of the huge amount of help they are giving towards accommodation fees. I am also hoping to find some part time work when I get to Manchester but even doing this would still have left me short financially if it wasn’t for the grant.

I decided to go to the Manchester Metropolitan University because it offered the opportunity to study Geography with time overseas. This means that I have the option to study either all or part of second year in one of several universities in Australia. In addition, Manchester Met was full of really friendly people and the course content sounds really interesting. With the opportunity to study in Australia, the extra cost of flights is something I will have to bear so the financial cost will be quite substantial. One comfort is that the Trust has offered me the grant which will ease some worries towards the cost of accommodation whilst over there.

Finally, I would again like to thank the Trust for all their help and to express my gratitude because it will make such a difference to my time at university.

'My first year at Manchester Metropolitan was academically really fulfilling but unfortunately several things were a slight let down. The course I had originally chosen was Geography with study overseas. Unfortunately, at my first meeting at university I was told that Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia had dropped out that year so I would be unable to take up the option of a year overseas. This was a major let down as that was one of the main reasons I chose to go to Manchester Metropolitan University. Also, during the year I was unable to secure a part time job. If it wasn’t for the grant from the Trust I would have struggled financially. These things led me to doubt the wisdom of staying in Manchester and in turn led to  my approach to Liverpool University. I was told by Liverpool University that I would be able to transfer to second year easily as long as I passed my first year at Man Met. I then made a formal application to the University of Liverpool and was accepted to start year two in September 2009.
 
The award from the Trust has been a real help through my first year.  The money was used for buying books, equipment such as walking boots for field trips etc. Also, it has been a comfort knowing that even though I was unable to get a job I was still supported financially during university by the money from the award.
 
In addition, I really enjoyed my course at Manchester Metropolitan University and I am expecting to carry on enjoying Geography in Liverpool. I am going to be studying a mixture of human and physical modules and I also have the option to study a couple of modules from different departments during my second year. Another positive aspect of moving back is that I am able to go back to my part time job which I had before going to Manchester. This means I can support myself further with my studies.'

I have now completed the second year of my degree at Liverpool University and having passed all my exams with just over a 2.1 yearly average I am now preparing for the start of my third year. It took longer than I expected to settle into Liverpool University academically but after completing the year I'm a lot more comfortable in terms of how to do my work, what's expected of me and where help is if I need it. One thing I found difficult was the huge percentage of marks given to exams in Liverpool which I hadn't been used to but after my January exams I was more prepared for my July ones. I've really enjoyed the modules I have studied this year and am excited to start work on my dissertation because its branched out from a topic I studied and enjoyed in both first year a little and more in depth in second year.
 
In terms of the John Moran grant, again it's proved really useful. I had to undergo a fieldtrip to Edinburgh where we conducted our own research for one of my modules and it's comforting to know that I have money for transport, food, accommodation without having to work extra hours in my part time job and therefore neglecting my studies a little bit. Another way the money has been useful is that now I’m in second year I needed to buy books for certain modules which can be really be expensive. As well as this, I have needed to read a lot more journals this year and find it really hard to read them off a computer as it gives me a headache. By printing these off it not only proved a useful revision tool but also prevented me from getting headaches. As you can imagine, printing costs can become quite an expense when each lecture generally requires four related journals, often twenty pages long.  Overall, the grant from the John Moran Trust has meant that I have not had to worry as much about money so I’ve not had to work as many hours in work each week

I did enjoy Manchester Met and am glad I decided to go there for first year.  I have had the experience of being at university in two different universities in two different cities. At the moment the fact that I only have twelve months left of my degree means I'm thinking a lot about what I'd like to do after university, up to now I think I might carry on and do a master's degree. I’d also like to go to Australia at some point. I’d again like to thank the Trust for all their support and help as they have made my time at university a lot less stressful financially and allowed me to do things that would have been a struggle otherwise.
 
I’ve now completed my three year degree in Liverpool University. I achieved a 2.1 BA in Geography which I was really happy with. On deciding my next step I haven’t rushed into any decisions just yet. My plan is to spend the next twelve months working and then return to university once I have some money behind me and undertake a Masters. The two areas I am interested in are renewable energy and property, a bit different I know! Both options have a Master’s programme, either Building Surveying at JMU or Environmental Governance in Manchester University. As everyone is aware funding is tough enough for undergraduates at the moment so that’s why I want to try and save money from working before committing myself to the course.

Once again JMET was invaluable in my third year. It meant that I could replace my battered laptop at the beginning of the year and get a new one. This was really important as it was dissertation year for which my laptop was invaluable. I achieved a first for my dissertation and this would not have been possible with my old laptop which may have just lost all my work at any time! The grant also took pressure off having to work part time as I had in other years but I had hardly any time to work this year. Having that money there meant I could just focus on my studies which obviously helped towards the results I achieved.

Thanks again to all at JMET for being such a huge help during university and providing such excellent support through emails as well as financially.