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Student Support Fund

The Student Support Fund is there to help if your are experiencing financial difficulties, particularly if you need support to meet extra costs not covered from other sources of funding. The fund can also be used to help with any unexpected financial hardship.

The fund provides grants (non-repayable awards/money you do not have to pay back) of between £200 and £2,500, with applications assessed on individual need. The average award is £250 and is based on the shortfall between income and outgoings. However, students in their final year or those with additional study costs, such as childcare, are likely to receive more than those who have fewer outgoings.

You can apply annually, and you can also make a second application if your circumstances change resulting in financial difficulties within an academic year.

  • Who is eligible?

    You are eligible to apply for the Student Support Fund if you are:

    • Enrolled on an Undergraduate or Postgraduate programme
    • Normally resident in the UK
    • Studying at least 30 credits on any year of the programme
    • Are eligible for and receiving your maximum statutory funding entitlement e.g. Student Finance England maintenance loan and/or NHS bursary (for Undergraduate and eligible Postgraduate student)
  • When to apply

    The student support fund will reopen on Monday 1st November 2021. Further information will be available here at that time.

    If you are facing financial difficulties at this time, please submit an enquiry. We operate an emergency fund during this period for students facing unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    • Am I eligible for the student support fund?

      How can the Student Support Fund help me?

      The Student Support Fund provides discretionary financial assistance to help students whilst they are studying. It is aimed at helping students to meet extra costs associated with their education that are not met from other sources.

      It is important to note that the fund cannot help you to pay for tuition fees. If you have to pay tuition fees for your course, you will be eligible to apply for a fee loan through Student Finance England and you should do this before any application to this fund is made.

      Postgraduate students applying to the fund will be expected to have made realistic provision at the start of the course to fund both their tuition fees and living costs and applied for a Postgraduate loan if eligible.

      Who can Apply?

      Before completing the form please check that you are eligible. To be eligible for this fund you must:

      • be registered as an undergraduate or postgraduate home* student
      • be fully enrolled with the university
      • be a full time student, or if you are a part time student you must be studying at least 30 credits over the year. The only exceptions to this are:
        • if you are taking a short period of time out of your course (and are therefore still considered to be a full time student)
        • or you are a disabled student whose disability prevents them from studying 50% of a full time course, but is studying at least 25% ( old scheme)
      • have applied for and received the maximum loan from Student Finance England
      • have applied for and received an NHS bursary if you are eligible**
      • have applied for and received all other support to which you entitled

      *Home students are usually defined as those who have an unrestricted right to enter and remain in the UK, and have been resident in the UK for five years prior to the start of the course or have been assessed as a migrant worker (normally these are the same conditions used to determine entitlement to the maintenance elements of the student support package).

      **Students who receive either a means tested or a non means tested NHS bursary or grant and NHS secondees are eligible to apply to the fund.

      NHS secondees are eligible for a Maintenance Loan through Student Finance England and must apply for this funding before making an application to the Student Support Fund.

      If you are now in receipt of the NHS training grant, parental support grant (and / or specialist subject grant) this will have an impact on your assessment.   Any funds received will be included in the student support fund assessment and will likely result in a reduced shortfall between your income and expenditure.

      Who is not eligible to apply?

      In normal circumstances the following students are not eligible for assistance from this fund:

      • Students who have not applied for their full funding entitlements
      • EU students - those who are not eligible to receive the maintenance element of student support
      • International Students
      • Asylum seekers

      If you are in any doubt as to whether you are eligible to apply, please contact us or speak to a member of the Student Welfare Advice Team based in the Sheppard Library and who can be contacted by submitting a UniHelp enquiry (use the subject Student Welfare Advice Team in the enquiry)

      Who will get priority access to the fund?

      Whilst all eligible students can apply, it is worth noting that priority will be given to the following groups:

      For full time students the priority groups are:

      • Students with children
      • Mature students, especially those with existing financial commitments, including priority debts
      • Disabled students (especially where the DSA does not meet particular costs)
      • Care Leavers
      • Students from a FOYER or who are homeless
      • Students receiving the final year loan rate who are in financial difficulty

      For part time students the priority groups are:

      • Students with children
      • Students in receipt of the full statutory support package
      • Students who are disabled, including those who are ineligible for Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs).

      If you are not in one of the priority groups you can still apply, but you must show as much evidence as possible to show why you have a particular need.

      Bridging Loans from the Student Support Fund

      If you are in your first year of study and have not yet received a payment from the SLC/ NHS, you may apply for a Bridging Loan. You will be expected to repay this when your first loan/bursary instalment is paid. In exceptional circumstances a loan may be made on other occasions.

      Applications for loans should be made through the Student Welfare Advice Team based in the Sheppard Library and the team can be contacted by submitting a UniHelp enquiry (use the subject Student Welfare Advice Team in the enquiry)

    • How will my application be assessed?

      All applications are assessed to determine an entitlement to a standard award.

      In the assessment we will include your total income (to include your student loan, ‘assumed income’ and any statutory benefits) and all essential expenditure (to include your ‘composite living costs’ and all other outgoings that you evidence eg rent, travel, course costs and childcare).

      If your expenditure is higher than your total income, we will pay a proportion of the shortfall.

      Students are expected to exhaust all methods of funding available to them before applying to this fund. This includes utilising student bank accounts including interest free overdrafts. If you do not have this facility please explain why on your application.

      In addition to a standard assessment, students who provide evidence of exceptional or unforeseen costs will be considered for an Emergency award. We will require evidence of such costs and a detailed explanation as to how they are impacting upon your ability to cope financially.

      Definitions of income and expenditure

      ‘Assumed income’

      For full time undergraduate and new part time undergraduate students we use an assumed income of £2,062per year (this will be pro-rated for new part time students in relation to the number of credits you are studying). This assumes income from part time earnings/parental or partner contribution/savings/ overdrafts etc and means you don’t have to send us details of your part time earnings. However, no assumed income is used for those with children or disabilities

      For full time postgraduate students a weekly notional postgraduate assumed income figure is used when students are unable to evidence that they have a regular income. This is set at £196.  For students with children or who are unable to work due to disability this amount will be £157. This figure is used because it is expected that postgraduate students will have made realistic provision to fund their time on the course.

      For undergraduate part time students who are not eligible for a maintenance loan and all part time postgraduate students we use a threshold assessment assumed income model. This targets support to those who are unable to meet the additional costs that studying involves, such as books, travel and childcare assuming that your living costs are met either by employment or statutory benefits.

      ‘Student income and benefits’

      We will assume that you are in receipt of the correct statutory entitlements and benefits. The Student Support Fund will not replace income that should be being received from other sources.

      When assessing entitlement to the Student Support Fund we use the income that we think you should be receiving, so it is important that you check out your entitlements thoroughly.

      In some cases students are entitled to apply for benefits, both over the academic year and the summer vacation. If we think that you should be claiming benefits, or if we think that you are claiming benefits when you should not be, we will usually let you know.  However, it is your responsibility to inform the Benefits Agency and/or your Local Authority when you become a student, or your circumstances change.

      The Student Welfare Advice Team provides advice on your entitlements and benefits, and publish a wide range of information leaflets on funding

      ‘Composite living cost’

      There will be a set expenditure level, known as a composite living cost.This is an amount that it is assumed is sufficient to meet general living costs such as food and household expenses, and is set according to your circumstances. The amount will be £133 per week for a single student and £181 for students with a partner. An amount will be added for each child.

    • Can I get support with childcare costs?

      Some support towards childcare costs (up to certain limits) will generally be available to students whose childcare costs exceed or are not being met through the Child Care grant or the Child Care element of Working Tax Credit. However, because our funds are limited, we will generally only be able to assist you with a proportion of the costs and will only do so when we consider that your childcare requirements are necessary and being charged at a reasonable rate.

      Students applying for help towards the costs of UNREGISTERED childcare must submit this form which must be completed by your child care provider. We may wish to contact the child care provider for further information.

      Please note that assistance towards the costs of childcare can only be made in line with maximum awards that we are able to make to any one individual student. It is important you understand that our funds are limited. We will use capped figures when assessing expenditure for childcare, and generally will only be able to make an award based on a maximum of 50% of any assessed deficit.

      If you have any queries about this please speak to us or the Student Welfare Advice Team who can be contacted as below:

      • Call the Student Welfare Advice Team on 020 8411 3008 between 11am - 1pm and
        2pm - 4pm Monday to Friday.
      • Submit an enquiry (use the subject Student Welfare Advice Team in the enquiry)
      • Or make an appointment 
      • Or use the live chat function
    • Can I get support with informal childcare costs?

      Students applying for help towards the costs of UNREGISTERED childcare must submit an informal childcare application form which must be completed by your child care provider. Please note that we may wish to contact the child care provider for further information.

      Once your child carer has completed the form please upload the document against the informal childcare section in the expenditure section. Please note that we will not be able to meet the costs of informal childcare in full and that we will have to cap the amount claimed if it exceeds the caps used by Student Finance England.

    • How are postgraduate students assessed?

      Postgraduate students must have applied for and be in receipt of the maximum Student Finance England postgraduate loan before applying to the student support fund. If you have been refused a loan you must include evidence to that effect.

      How will my application be assessed?

      All applications are assessed to determine an entitlement to a standard award. These can help to meet general living costs and specific course related costs such as childcare, travel, books etc.

      For full time postgraduate students a weekly notional postgraduate income figure is used. This is set at £196. For those with children or who are unable to work due to disability this amount will be £157. This figure is used because it is expected that postgraduate students will have made realistic provision to fund their time on the course.

      Part time students are assessed by using a threshold assessment model. This targets support to those who are un- able to meet the additional costs that studying involves, such as books, travel and childcare.

      There will also be a set expenditure level, known as a composite living cost. This is an amount that it is assumed is sufficient to meet general living costs such as food and household expenses, and is set according to your circumstances.

      In addition to a standard assessment, students who provide evidence of exceptional or unforeseen costs will be  considered for an emergency award. We will require evidence of such costs and a detailed explanation as to how they are impacting upon your ability to cope financially.

      Students are expected to exhaust all methods of funding available to them before applying to this fund. This includes utilising student bank accounts including interest free overdrafts. If you do not have this facility please explain why on your application.

    • Are travel costs included in the assessment?

      Students applying for help with Private Vehicle Costs

      Please note that such costs will only be included in exceptional circumstances– i.e., if you have children or a disability which necessitates the use of a car.

      Travel Costs

      Travel costs for all other students will be worked out by calculating the weekly cost of public transport to and from University, assuming the use of a Student Discount. We can work out the cost of your weekly travel card using the latest figures from Transport for London.  If you are travelling to Hendon from outside of Zone 6, it would be useful if you could include a copy of a recent weekly or monthly travel card which clearly states the station from where you start your journey.

    • If I am living with a partner, do I have to include their income?

      If you are living with a partner you will need to provide evidence of your partner’s income as well as their recent bank statements. We will take their income and basic expenditure into consideration when assessing whether you are entitled to an award. We will also assume their expenditure when setting the composite living costs and your total monthly rent or mortgage costs.

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