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Cost of living


Advice and support to help you manage your money

Information for students at the Cornwall Campuses

We know you may be feeling anxious about the rising cost of living, and managing your money at University. We have lots of information and advice to help you manage your finances, and we have support available if you’re struggling.

Tell us what you think

We realise that budgeting and cost saving can only go so far, and so you can keep getting the most out of your time with us at Exeter we’re continuing to look for more ways we can help support you through the cost of living crisis. We’re working together with all our campus partners to identify more practical help and opportunities where we can lessen the impact of rising costs on our students.

If you have ideas about ways we can do this, or suggestions for areas to explore, please let us know by giving your feedback through your Students' Union representative.

13 November

Warm study spaces

If you’re looking for somewhere on campus which is heated in the winter months, there are lots of study space options on our campuses to help you keep warm.

Truro Campus (The Knowledge Spa)
The Common Room has comfy seating, plus tables for eating or working. You can plan ahead and book a study space at the Knowledge Spa library. They have study spaces where you can work individually or in groups, casual areas for reading or small group discussions, University networked PCs, and power sockets available for your own devices. You can also apply to have out of hours access to the Knowledge Spa library if you need it, when you’re a registered user.

Penryn Campus
The library is open for you 24/7 and you can walk in and grab a seat in the libraries, learning lounges and other social spaces, including the Stannary. There are areas for groups, solo working, and silent study in the library.

You are also welcome to use any seminar room on Penryn campus that is not being used for teaching – check the screen above the door to see if it’s free, or use the Free Space Checker to find a room. Find Penryn campus study spaces and opening times.

If you’re studying on campus or travelling to and from home at night, please stay safe. Avoid travelling alone, try to stay with a group of friends if possible, and stick to busier and well-lit areas. In an emergency, call 999 or contact Campus Safety and Support if you’re on Penryn campus, through the SafeZone app or their emergency line 01326 254444.

Bringing your own food to campus

At the Truro Campus (the Knowledge Spa) the kitchen area in the common room area has free hot water, plus a microwave and fridge for your use.

At Penryn Campus there are microwaves available for everyone's use upstairs in The Stannary and for Masters’ students, in the kitchen area outside the Masters Suite (opposite the Students’ Union office).

Student Art Pass – a year of art and opportunities for £10

A Student Art Pass lets you dive into culture on a budget with free entry to hundreds of museums and galleries across the UK, and 50% off major exhibitions. Plus, you’ll gain access to paid arts opportunities and grow your network by joining the #WeAreArtful @StudentArtPass community. All for just £10 a year. Available for a limited time. Get your £10 pass.

6 November

Eat Well for Less

Check out the Eat Well Spend Less recipe videos from Healthy Cornwall.

Try a tasty curried lentil and sweet potato soup, or an easy chilli. They demonstrate a range of healthy, easy recipes that you can make at home for a tasty, low-cost meal, and can easily adapt to your own dietary choices. Let us know what you think of them, send us your pics and share your own low-cost recipes with us at

Too Good To Go

By signing up to the Too Good To Go app you can access special offers on unsold food at The Penryn Campus shop and the Fox Cafe at Falmouth campus. For Truro students WHSmith in Royal Cornwall Hospital and Costa Coffee at Treliske Retail Park are also listed. You can buy a 'magic bag' of goodies that are at the end of their use by, or best before dates. Bags cost around £3, and the RRP of the contents is around £10.

Secure and easy ways to pay Tuition fees

The Tuition fee payment date is Monday 13 November. Did you know that you (and parents and sponsors) can pay student fees via bank transfer, credit/debit card, or eWallet options, using our secure online payments platform?

 If you are unable to pay your tuition fees all in one go, you can set up an automated payment plan, which splits the fees into monthly instalments. Get more details.

Make sure you only use these official and recognised University payment methods. To avoid any payment scams, please don’t give your personal details to anyone else unless you know and trust them.

If you are in financial difficulty and struggling to pay your tuition fees, please log a SID enquiry to the Accounts Receivable team.

30 October

New to paying tax? 

If you’re working alongside your studies, be aware of tax scams to protect yourself and your money. Criminals posing as HMRC may contact you offering a tax refund or to tell you your National Insurance number has been used in a fraud. Make sure you’re on your guard!

Find out more about tax scams and how to report them, on the HMRC website.

Something broken? Fix it don’t ditch it

Visit the Penryn or Falmouth repair cafe to see if the expert volunteers can help you fix your household items, for free. Save money, reduce waste and get free coffee and cake while you’re there.

Penryn, Temperance Hall: Thursday 2 November, 18:00 – 20:00 (and first Thursday of each month)

Falmouth, Princess Pavilion: Sunday 5 November, 13:30 – 16:00 (and first Sunday of each month)

23 October

Stay warm with us

There’s no denying, winter is coming. As the weather gets colder, remember there are lots of places on campus where you can keep warm, without having to hike your heating bill, whether you’re studying or just hanging out. Find warm study spaces in our campus libraries, learning lounges and social spaces on Penryn and Falmouth Campuses, and Truro (Knowledge Spa). Make yourself comfortable in our warm social spaces and campus cafes, where you’re welcome to spend your time with no obligation to buy anything.

Money help and advice

We have a range of bursaries and hardship funds in place to help you if your financial situation is affecting your ability to study. They don’t need to be paid back and can help with the cost of things such as IT equipment, accommodation, travel, childcare, living costs, additional course costs and other unexpected outgoings.

Our Success for All Fund is available to help students in financial difficulty. So, if your financial situation is affecting your ability to study, please apply for help.

Dealing with debt?

We’re working with the UK’s leading debt advice charity, Step Change, to provide you with free, impartial and personalised support with your money and debt worries. If you’re worried about debt, it can be tempting to ignore the problem and hope it’ll go away on its own. But waiting often makes things worse – so it’s best to get help sooner.

Use the online debt help tool to get advice now.

The Students’ Union’s advice team can also help you with financial and budgeting advice.

16 October

Housing advice

You may be starting to think about where you are going to live next year. Moving into new accommodation can be expensive and bring problems you’ve not had to face before. Whether you’re living in halls or renting in the private sector, alone or with friends, the Students’ Union Advice Team can help. See the SU website for factsheets and checklists and how to book a free advice appointment.

Hot meals from just £2

Grab yourself a bargain breakfast or lunch on Penryn Campus, with our low-cost food deals from just £2 in The Stannary.

  • Breakfast – Start your day with a hot meal, £2 for beans on toast, £2.50 for scrambled egg on toast, or for £3.50 get a 3-item bap with a hot drink.
  • Lunch – Get a Vegan Hot Pot for just £2, grab a jacket potato and salad for £1.90, or try mini lentil nachos for £2.80. There are also halal options for £2.95.

For the latest food and drink offers on campus follow @foodanddrinkoncampus on Instagram.

Whether you’re just starting out at University or are returning to your studies, we have some tips to help you keep on top of your money. 

1. Consider opening a student bank account. 

If you’re getting a maintenance loan you’ll need it to be paid into a bank account. Banks offer a range of different accounts with different benefits and incentives. Find out more about the types of account available at Money Helper or check out Money Saving Expert for their advice on choosing the best account for you.

2. Work out your budget

  • Look at your money and how long it needs to last you. If you’re receiving a maintenance loan it will come in 3 termly instalments.
  • Work out how much you need for all your essential contracted fixed costs, such as rent and your phone bill – make sure you can pay these first.
  • Next how much do you need to live and study – for food, books and transport?
  • Then look at what’s left for other things you want to do, and balance what you can afford.

The Money Helper Budget Planner may help you, or there are other free budgeting tools online. And the Students’ Union can help you with budgeting advice.

3. Make sure you’re getting all you’re entitled to

Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for extra financial support, bursaries or benefits. For example, if you have caring responsibilities, need help to join a society, or need additional equipment to support your learning, there may be extra money available to you. Find out more in our Success For All Fund FAQs or ask your Students’ Union Advice Service. 

4. Look out for deals and savings

Lots of places offer student discounts and special deals. Check out Save The Student for the latest deals and freebies out there. Consider shopping together with your housemates so you can make the most of 'Buy One Get One Free' deals and bulk buying economies of scale.

5. Up your income

Consider a part time job if you can fit it around your studies. Career Zone advertise part time jobs that can help you gain experience and earn money while studying. Follow them on Instagram @uoecornwallcareerzone for the latest vacancies.

Save The Student has a whole host of other money making tips, from shopping on cashback sites to completing paid surveys.

6. Don’t be tempted to use loan sharks, illegal money lenders, or quick-money schemes that may not be legitimate

If you’re struggling you can apply to our Success for All Fund for help during your time at Exeter. 

7. Deal with your debt

Although it can be stressful, problems with debt only get worse if you ignore them. Talk to your creditors about your situation and try to negotiate an affordable payment plan. If you’re struggling with paying your tuition fees, or the rent on your University accommodation, talk to us. You can contact us through the Student Information Desk (SID).  You can get advice on managing your debt from your Student Union or Student Guild advice service, or from debt organisations such as Step Change or National Debtline.

7. Ask for help

If you’re worried about your money, or dealing with debt, don’t keep it to yourself. Please speak to your Students’ Union Advice Service. They can help find the right advice and support for you.