The Finlay Family Bursary for Scottish undergraduates

We are proud to offer this bursary to encourage Scottish students to apply for, and take up, the offer of an undergraduate place at St Catharine’s – an opportunity which would normally involve greater financial cost than attending a Scottish university.

From October 2025, the new Finlay Family Bursary will cover tuition fees and provide a living allowance for an entire 3- or 4-year undergraduate degree at St Catharine’s for a student who is living in Scotland at the point of application. Students who are also eligible for the Cambridge Bursary should thus find that their tuition and maintenance are covered. They would, however, still be able to apply for a range of other bursaries and grants available to undergraduates throughout their time at St Catharine’s.

St Catharine’s alumnus Euan Finlay (2004, Economics) and his wife, Emily Lamb Finlay, are passionate advocates for education and the opportunities a world-class university degree can offer – and were concerned that financial pressures could restrict the freedom of choice open to students in Scotland, particularly those from lower income households: 

“We are delighted to establish the Finlay Family Bursary at St Catharine’s and hope it will encourage students from Scotland to apply to St Catharine’s and enable them to accept an offer of a place, safe in the knowledge that they will have financial support throughout their studies at Cambridge.”

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for this bursary, you should meet the following criteria:

1. You should have been normally resident in Scotland in the three years preceding the September 1 of the year you start your university studies. This usually means that you lived with your parent/s or legal guardian at an address in Scotland. Brief trips outside the UK do not affect eligibility.

2. You attended schools in Scotland for the last three years of your school education.

3. Either (a) you received UK Government funded Free School Meals for at least three years at some time during secondary school – if we offer the bursary we will ask your school for confirmation of this – or (b) you will in your first year of university be eligible for the full Cambridge Bursary (currently £3,500) as detailed on

What is the application process?

First, you should apply to the University and St Catharine’s via UCAS in the usual way (see for details) by the usual October 15th deadline.

Then, please email the Admissions Office at St Catharine’s ( to indicate your interest in the Finlay Family Bursary.

Your university application will then be considered in the usual way, and you will hear the outcome of this in mid-to-late January.

St Catharine’s will then confirm by the end of February whether you have been awarded the Finlay Family Bursary. This will give you time to consider the outcome before you have to commit to your ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ offers on UCAS by the end of May.

The holder of this bursary will need to apply for Student Finance, as the household income information registered during this process is used to decide eligibility for support from the University of Cambridge and St Catharine’s. This will mean that:

  • The offer-holder selected for the Finlay Family Bursary has the option not to take the tuition fee or maintenance loans as these will be covered by the more generous Finlay Family Bursary; and
  • Any offer-holders who are not selected for the Finlay Family Bursary are still considered for other financial support such as the Cambridge Bursary Scheme.

If you have further questions, please contact