The Sutton Trust is collaborating with JPMorgan Chase to launch a new £4.8m bursary fund, to improve access to employability opportunities for low-income students over ten years.

From this summer, Sutton Trust alumni who are currently studying at university will be eligible to apply for bursaries of up to £5,000. The one-off payments could cover the costs of an internship, a semester abroad, additional training, as well as participation in activities and events beyond their core academic course.

This bursary collaboration is announced as new research published today by the Trust, which finds that there has been a big drop in students taking part in extra-curricular activities due to Covid-19, with those from low-income backgrounds most affected.

Extra-curricular activities, according to a second report published today, can help students to develop essential life skills, such as communication, resilience, confidence, motivation and leadership; skills which previous Sutton Trust research has shown are highly valued by employers.

Therefore, the loss of these activities may lead to students missing out on crucial life and employability skills.

The collaboration with JPMorgan Chase aims to address this issue. The fund aims to remove barriers to in-demand, well-paying careers for lower-income university students – 60 percent of whom will be Black and other ethnic minorities – by helping them access extra-curricular and enrichment activities that help improve their employability skills.

Bursaries will be offered in every academic year for the next decade or more. JPMorgan Chase will manage the investment of the bursary fund at no cost. From 2022, the bursaries will be open to Sutton Trust alumni and other students who meet similar social mobility criteria.

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