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Student Support Fund

The Student Support Fund provides non-repayable discretionary awards and emergency support to assist students in financial difficulty, who might otherwise be at risk of leaving their courses because of financial hardship.

The 2023/2024 new application opening and closing dates for the Student Support Fund are detailed below. 

It is currently taking four weeks to process Student Support Fund applications from the date that all required evidence has been submitted. We may require specific income or expenditure evidence from you to assess your application. Please email this as soon as possible to enable us to complete the assessment.

The Student Support Fund may be available to provide help for full time (and eligible part time) students who have serious financial difficulties or whose access to higher education might be inhibited because of financial reasons. The fund is also open to students on an apprenticeship programme. This is a means tested fund and is designed to provide a financial contribution to support those whose expected reasonable expenditure exceeds their income. However, please note there is no automatic entitlement to an award.

If you are a part time student who commenced your course on or after August 2018, if eligible you may also qualify for support according to the intensity of your programme of study, pro rata.

If you are a part time student who commenced your course before August 2018, whose income is below set thresholds, if eligible you may also qualify for support with specific course-related expenses.

An application is required, and a means test of your income and certain expenses for the academic year is carried out to determine whether you qualify for an award. If you qualify, you won’t have to pay back the money you receive.

Before applying to the Student Support Fund, you must have explored and exhausted all of the below:

  • Subject specific bursaries
  • The new NHS Learner Support Fund (September 2020) for eligible Health courses
  • Student bank accounts
  • Budgeting considering realistic and practical ways of managing spending, such as setting a spending target to help monitor and stretch your money over each term
  • Cash-flow
  • Part-time work
  • Postgraduates are encouraged to explore all forms of additional funding to maximise the amount available to support the payment of tuition fees and living costs

Who is eligible to apply?

All UK undergraduate and postgraduate students and students studying on an apprenticeship programme are eligible to apply. Overseas and EU students can apply to the Student Support Fund, but please be aware that support is limited and would only be offered in exceptional circumstances. If you are on a Health course and receive NHS LSF funding, please book in an appointment with the Money Advice Team for a pre-assessment before you complete your application to the Support Fund.

When can I apply?

The application window opens and closes according to which course you are studying. Please see the table at the bottom of this page for details. Students in receipt of NHS LSF funding can apply, following a pre-assessment appointment with the Money Advice Team.

How are applications assessed?

We will look at your household* income and that of any partner/spouse and we will then compare this to your expected reasonable expenditure, including your partner/spouse’s travel costs. If there is a deficit between these figures, we can pay a percentage of this up to a maximum of £4,000. This is known as a Standard Award.

It is expected that students will also be able to supplement their income from a variety of routes, for example, part-time work, vacation work, student bank overdrafts at 0% charges, savings or additional parental support where appropriate.  The standard assessment usually includes an ‘assumed income’ figure to cover these additional elements of income rather than taking into account the actual amount.

*Students who find themselves in financial hardship because their parents are no longer able to meet the cost of the household contribution due to a drop in income (of 15% or more) should contact their relevant Student Funding Body for a Current Year Income assessment.

If you are facing an unforeseeable financial emergency (such as an unexpected house move, essential household repairs or other emergency situations) we may be able to make a contribution towards these costs, however, please be advised this does not include home improvements. This is known as a Non-Standard Award.

In some circumstances, we may make payments in the  form of shopping vouchers.

My student funding is delayed, is there any support I can receive?

You must have applied and been fully assessed for your student funding BEFORE applying to the Student Support Fund. If you have not yet received your student funding, we may be able to offer you some emergency support as a contribution towards your living costs. Please visit our money worries webpage for more information.

To apply for emergency support, you need to make an appointment with the team.

Student Support Fund frequently asked questions

What evidence will I need to provide with my application? 
Can I receive help with tuition fees?
Can I apply more than once?
How much could I receive?
How will payments be made?
Can I appeal the decision?
Can you help me to complete the application form?
How long will it take me to find out if my application has been successful?

Application forms

If you require any support in completing your application form, please book an appointment with the Money Advice Team using the link and a member of the team will be happy to assist you. If you are studying part-time or on an apprenticeship programme, please ensure you complete the relevant part-time application form.

Student Support Fund closing dates

Course you are studying Fund opens Fund closes
Medicine students – 5th year of study in receipt of NHS Bursary7 August 2023Academic year end date of course
PGCE and QTS18 September 202328 June 2024
Undergraduate and postgraduate9 October 202331 May 2024
Nursing/Midwifery/ODP/Paramedic Practice (except final year)9 October 2023 (**or two weeks post academic year start date of course)Academic year end date of course
Final year students (excluding Nursing/Midwifery/ODP/Paramedic Practice final year)9 October 2023 26 April 2024
Final year Nursing/Midwifery/ODP/Paramedic students9 October 2023 (**or two weeks post academic year start date of course)Five weeks prior to academic year end date
Student Support Fund opening and closing dates

** There are several start and end dates for these programmes. If you are a Nursing/ Midwifery/ ODP/ Paramedic student, view online and search under Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine to check the start and end dates for your programme BEFORE making an application.  

If your official course end date is not as shown above (non-standard term dates), you may apply up to the last day of your course.