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
- 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.
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.
Student Support Fund frequently asked questions
The application form on page nine provides a list of suitable evidence. The fund cannot assess the application until full evidence is attached to the application. The fund will need the full break down of Student Finance loans and grants, a spending target or budget, three months bank statements, a document to evidence housing costs and one example of travel costs from home to university.
Additional evidence will be required based on individual applicants’ situations. Please use page 9 of the application form as a guide. It’s a good idea to submit all your evidence with your application to help avoid delay.
We are unable to provide financial assistance towards the cost of tuition fees.
We assess your application over the whole academic year so it is not usually possible to re-apply to the fund. However, if your financial situation changes, you can ask to be re-assessed.
If your application is successful, we will award a figure between £100 and £4,000. The exact amount that you receive will depend on your individual financial circumstances.
Payments will be made directly to your bank account. Students who are in receipt of means-tested benefits will receive their award in one instalment but other students may receive a number of instalments. There may be times when we will make payments direct to a third party such as childcare provider.
The request for an appeal should be made in writing to the Money Advice team within 4 weeks (28 days) of the original decision. This is an opportunity to review the original decision, to check the accuracy of the calculations and ensure that all relevant information and evidence has been considered. The appeal can also consider any subsequent evidence you wish to provide with the appeal request.
You will normally receive a response within 10 working days. It is important that you explain fully why you are requesting an appeal and submit any additional supporting evidence/information with your request(s). The Money Advice team may request additional information at this stage. You should email your appeal request.
Please read the information provided in pages 1 to 3 of the application form, follow the instructions in each section and use the Supporting Evidence Checklist when completing the form. We are happy to answer any further questions you have regarding the Student Support Fund by email or during an appointment.
At this time, it may take up to four weeks to process Student Support Fund applications from the date that all required evidence* has been submitted. This replaces any prior mention of four weeks on any application forms.
*If we requested additional income evidence from you, you will have four working weeks to provide this. After this period, if we haven’t received the requested information from you, we will be unable to process your application and your application will be closed down.
*If we request additional expenditure evidence from you, you will have four working weeks to provide this. After this period, if we haven’t received the requested information from you, we will process your application using the evidence you have provided.
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 Bursary||7 August 2023||Academic year end date of course|
|PGCE and QTS||18 September 2023||28 June 2024|
|Undergraduate and postgraduate||9 October 2023||31 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 students||9 October 2023 (**or two weeks post academic year start date of course)||Five weeks prior to academic year end date|
** 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.