The Hardship and Retention Fund


Emergency Assistance Fund

The University in partnership with its alumni community has created an Emergency Assistance Fund to help you if you are experiencing unexpected financial difficulties due to the Coronavirus outbreak.  All registered undergraduate and postgraduate University of Exeter students facing financial difficulty because of the crisis are eligible to apply, irrespective of fee-status.

For further information on the scheme and details of how to apply, please see our Emergency Assistance Fund pages 



The Hardship and Retention fund

The Government gives every university funds each year to assist students who need extra financial support because they have higher than expected costs (such as single parents).  The Hardship and Retention Fund can be of particular help to the following groups of students: 

  • Mature students
  • Students with dependent children
  • Single parents
  • Students entering higher education from care
  • Students from low income backgrounds
  • Students with disabilities
  • Final year undergraduate students. 

Students may receive one of two types of awards:

Standard: This help may be given to meet course related costs such as childcare, books/equipment, travel or for general living costs.

Non-Standard: Help may be available to help in a crisis situation such as the repair of essential household equipment or for travel home for serious family illness or bereavement.

Most awards from the fund are in the form of grants, although some short term loans may be available to meet temporary hardship such as delayed Student Maintenance Loan or severe cash-flow problems.

Eligibility for the Hardship and Retention Fund is restricted to home fee status undergraduate and postgraduate students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of their course.

If you are a home (UK) postgraduate student studying at least 50% of a full time equivalent course, you will be eligible to apply for the Hardship and Retention Fund. As a Postgraduate student, you are expected to show that you can meet your tuition fees and have made reasonable provision to support yourself through your course before we will consider your application.

 **Please note, we are unable to accept applications and supporting evidence provided by post due to current Covid-19 circumstances. Please contact the Student Information desk with your information**

All applications are means tested and not all applications will be successful. 

Applying for Assistance

If after completing the form you still have concerns or require help and advice, you can contact the Students' Guild Advice Unit (Exeter based students) or (Cornwall based students)


Please be aware that all correspondence will, by default, be through your University of Exeter e-mail address, regardless of the e-mail provided on your application form. If you are not able to access your Exeter e-mail account please make this clear in your supporting statement.

Register and apply to the Hardship and Retention fund.

It is recommended that Firefox is used for the completion of the Hardship and Retention Fund and this should be free to download.

Contact us

If you can’t find the information you need please contact the SID Desk on 0300 555 0444 or +44 (0) 1392 724724 or