The social work bursary for England was introduced in 2003 for all students on qualifying degrees. Following a review of social work education funding, the bursary was capped in 2013. This meant that higher education institutions have had to develop policies for the allocation of bursaries and that student cohorts included students with a bursary and others who did not receive this financial support, thus creating an exclusionary system. This article presents the findings from an exploratory qualitative study that investigated the experiences of students who completed their placement under these new arrangements. The findings indicate that students who did not receive a bursary experienced additional stressors that had an adverse impact on their well-being. These findings may have significance for future research in light of considerations to abolish the bursary for all social work students.