HE Financial Hardship Fund provides limited discretionary financial support for students on higher education programmes who are experiencing unforeseen financial difficulty where their ability to continue their studies is compromised because they are unable to meet basic or unexpected additional costs from other sources of support. The fund can also offer limited support to students who have experienced a change in financial circumstances due to unforeseen events which compromise their ability to study.
The HE Financial Hardship Fund is intended to act as a safety net for those in financial difficulty rather than as a main source of income. The size of the fund is limited and so may not be able to meet your need in full or guarantee that funds will be available, especially towards the end of the academic year. Awards are discretionary and are paid in the form of a non-repayable grant.
The HE Financial Hardship Fund cannot fully compensate for the lack of parental contribution, especially where a student has only been able to take out the non-means tested part of the Student Loan though some limited support may be available. If you already hold an HE qualification which is the same or higher than the course you plan to study, then you may not be eligible for statutory funding from the Student Loans Company; you may still be eligible to receive an award from the HE Financial Hardship Fund.
What’s it worth?
The maximum payable for each individual award is £250.
You can apply to the fund during any and every year of study, and there is no limit on the number of requests that can be made during each academic year. The fund is open to full and part-time students.
Students studying on a franchised HE course should, in the first instance, seek support from the hardship fund of the relevant awarding university. If they are unable to access support due to circumstances such as the fund at the university having been exhausted, they may make a subsequent claim to the Activate Learning HE Hardship Fund.
Who is eligible?
- You are eligible to apply for the HE Hardship Fund if you are an active student on an undergraduate programme or PGCE student and are normally resident in the UK.
- You must be up to date with the payment of tuition fees.
All applications must be made using the online form and will need to be supported by evidence of financial hardship and need, including the last 3 month’s bank statements.
How are applications assessed?
Applications will be assessed based on individual needs preventing attendance or full participation in the programme of study.
If you are entitled to welfare benefits, these should be applied for before submitting an application to the fund. Any award from the fund may affect your benefit payments, but on request, we can produce a letter for your Job Centre Plus/Housing Benefit office, which will confirm whether or not the award will affect your benefits.