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Hardship Support Fund

Financial Help

Success for All Fund

The University, in partnership with its alumni community, has created a fund to offer additional financial support if you are experiencing unexpected financial hardship which is affecting your ability to study within your current academic year.

The fund is to assist with costs associated with your ability to study and cannot fully compensate for lack of parental contribution or over expenditure on non-essential items.

How is hardship defined by the University?

A student is considered to be in financial hardship when their allowable expenditure is higher than their income.

We would consider income, where applicable, as including:

  • Savings
  • Wages
  • Student loans
  • Benefits
  • Family contributions
  • Assumed income

Allowable expenditure includes (but is not exclusive to):

  • Accommodation fees
  • Travel
  • Childcare
  • Course costs
  • Living costs
  • IT equipment costs
  • Unexpected one-off costs

Who can apply?

All registered Undergraduate and Postgraduate University of Exeter students are eligible to apply, irrespective of fee-status.

Priority will be given to students undertaking their first degree who are from low income households or without family support. The majority of funds are means-tested and you will be asked to provide evidence in support of your application.

Before applying to the fund, there is an expectation that you will have exhausted all avenues of funding available to you, including all Student Loans you are entitled to.

Students are expected to utilize any significant savings available to them before applying to the fund. An application can be refused if significant savings are available to you. Please read our FAQ’s to see what we would class as significant savings.

What help is available?

The fund aims to provide financial support to contribute to particular costs which are not already being met from statutory (or other) sources of funding such as:

  • Lack of funds for rent and general living costs
  • IT repairs or laptop costs incurred to enable you to meet the requirements of your course
  • Unexpected one-off costs NB: you will be asked to provide supporting evidence of the unexpected cost with your application.
  • Diagnostic assessments or specialist equipment
  • Graduation costs
  • Summer costs for specific student groups (e.g. estranged students, care leavers, carers, refugee and asylum seekers)
  • Providing extra support if you are considering leaving higher education because of financial problems

What costs will the fund not cover?

  • Tuition fees
  • Credit card debt
  • A debt which pre-dates your enrolment
  • Loan repayments

If you are struggling to pay your tuition fees, please log a SID enquiry to the Accounts Receivable team to discuss a monthly payment plan.

For independent advice on how to manage your finances, please contact the Exeter campus based Student Guild Advice Unit or Penryn campus Student Union for money management advice and support.

Points to consider before applying to the Success for All Fund

  • Have you applied for all Student Loans available to you?
  • If you receive a lower maintenance loan, do you receive a parental contribution towards living costs?
  • Do you have significant savings available to you? (e.g. ISA, cryptocurrency/trading portfolio)
  • Are your outgoings larger than your expected income? And the reason for this.
  • For Postgraduate students, have you made reasonable provision for your expected living costs and tuition fees prior to starting your course? (e.g. student loan, significant savings, parental contribution agreement, scholarship stipend)
  • Have you considered the travel costs you will incur throughout the year? (e.g. flight tickets)

Please note that the assessors endeavour to take into consideration everyone's circumstance while maintaining a standard and thorough approach to assess applications in a fair and consistent way.

Submit an application

Please review our FAQs before you apply. Our FAQ’s provide more information about the types of funding available and the evidence you will need to support your application. It will also include advice on how to access this evidence.

Click here to begin your application to the fund. If you are applying for multiple types of financial support, please only submit one application with all the necessary information.

Should you need support in completing an application, your Student Union Advice Unit is an excellent source for information and will be able to help you with your application.

Students' Guild:  advice@exeterguild.com
Exeter and Falmouth Students’ Union: advice@thesu.org.uk

Applications may take up to 4 weeks once all evidence has been received.

Frequently asked questions

No, absolutely not. We don’t want you to drop out or fail in your studies because of money worries. We fund around a quarter of our undergraduate home students through our Access to Exeter Bursary and pay grants to many more students during the course of the year to help them overcome hardship or deal with unexpected financial challenges. We are here to help.

Applying for funds is simple but needs a little preparation. All you have to do is fill out an online application form providing information about yourself and your financial circumstances. In the majority of cases you will be asked to upload evidence of your situation along with your application e.g. copies of your bank statements, a breakdown of your outgoings or information about the computer you need help to buy. So, to make the process as easy as possible, do a bit of preparation beforehand and pull together information about your income and outgoings. 

Five step application process:

  1. Apply online and upload the evidence requested. Be as open as you can; the more we know about your circumstances, the better equipped we are to help you.
  2. We will confirm via email that your application has been received
  3. An assessor will review your application and ask for more information if necessary
  4. We will inform you of our decision
  5. If you have been successful, funds will be paid electronically using the bank account details on your student record unless you request otherwise

Study Abroad Bursary

If you are applying for support with study abroad, please note there is a separate application process. Apply online for the Study Abroad Bursary.

You may be able to apply for some types of financial support such as IT support, DSA contribution or a Diagnostic Assessment Bursary, before you arrive. We will not process any payments however until you register with us and provide us with your bank details. You will able to do this online via the New Students’ Guide.

Please note that there is an expectation you have made reasonable provision to support yourselves during your study period prior to commencing your programme, either through savings or employment.

We will do our best to process your application as quickly as we can but will prioritise depending on individual circumstances, so we can deal with the most urgent cases first.

To help us respond quickly, please provide as much information as you can upfront and where requested, attach relevant supporting documentation.

We will aim to make decisions on the most urgent cases within five working days, with payment made as soon as possible after that time. In all other cases we will do our best to respond to your application as quickly as we can and within appropriate timescales based on the information you have provided. At peak times however, assessments may take up to one month. 

Please note: we have been experiencing a high volume of applications which has affected turnaround times. We have brought in additional staff to help and streamlined some of our processes to speed things up. We appreciate your patience and will get to your application as soon as we can.

If you are experiencing ongoing hardship because your bills and outgoings regularly exceed your income, a Living Costs Allowance will help by supplementing your income. You won’t have to pay the money back and the amount you receive will depend on your individual financial circumstances.

If your financial challenges relate to exceptional circumstances e.g. a family crisis or unexpected bill, you may be given an Extraordinary Costs Payment. This is a one-off grant which won’t need to be paid back. In these circumstances we will usually ask for evidence relating to the particular cost (e.g. car repair bills, flights etc).

Depending on the type of support that you are applying for, you will be asked to submit relevant supporting evidence. As a general rule, you are likely to be requested to provide:

  1. Evidence of your financial situation: as a minimum we will require the most recent three months bank statements for each of your current and savings accounts, including ISA accounts and cryptocurrency portfolios
  2. A written explanation of any transactions £100 or over for each bank account statement.
  3. Evidence of your income (e.g. Student Loan letter, wage slips, scholarship/bursary letters, benefit letters etc.)
  4. Evidence of your outgoings as a minimum we will require tenancy agreement/ mortgage statement)
  5. Evidence of specific one-off costs (e.g. invoices/quotes relating to the cost you need help with)
  6. Supporting statement (why you are asking for financial assistance)

You can upload this information easily within your application in a variety of formats such as images from your phone. More information is provided on the application form and you won’t be able to complete your application without attaching the required evidence.

The University has put funds aside to help students struggling with the cost of paying for computer equipment to study, or repairs to an existing laptop. We recognise this is particularly important due to the impact the pandemic has had on teaching and also with reduced study spaces on campus because of social distancing.

If you can’t afford computer equipment, we may help you in the following ways, depending on the information you provide on your application

  1. We will give you a full or partial IT bursary covering all or part of the cost of your equipment (up to a maximum of £400). This will be paid into the bank account you have registered with us unless requested otherwise
  2. We will offer you a short-term 0% loan to help you spread or defer the costs involved to make them more affordable

Apply online for IT support. Eligibility for support is linked to household income and your application will be fast-tracked if you receive the Access to Exeter Bursary, a Care Leavers tuition fee waiver or Sanctuary Scholarship. You will need to provide details of the computer you have purchased or wish to buy as part of your application. We would only support one application to the IT bursary scheme per student per degree unless in exceptional circumstances.

The University has put aside funds to help students struggling with the cost of paying for an assessment for dyslexia or other learning disability. Depending on your circumstances we may cover all the costs or make a contribution. If you receive the Access to Exeter Bursary, a Care Leavers’ fee waiver or Sanctuary Scholarship, you will be fast-tracked for funding support. If you are not part of these schemes you may need to provide additional information in support of your application. Apply for financial help for a diagnostic assessment.

Yes, all registered Undergraduate and Postgraduate students are eligible to apply regardless of fee status. If you are an International student on a Tier 4 Visa, you will have demonstrated you have sufficient funds to pay for your tuition fees and living costs in the UK as a Home Office requirement. However, you may still apply to the Fund for additional support.

Applying to the Success for All fund will not affect your Visa.

Yes, all registered postgraduate students are eligible to apply. You will be expected however to have made sufficient provision to cover your costs while at university and you will be ineligible for some forms of bursary specifically designed and funded for undergraduate students.

No. Your application will be considered in the same way as if you were a full-time student – in other words according to need. You must be studying at least 25% of your course during an academic year to be eligible for funding.

As a general rule, you will not be considered eligible for support if you have interrupted your studies. There may be exceptions, however, particularly during the first four weeks following your interruption to support your transition away from University and also during the period after we receive your intention to return. If in doubt, we would encourage you to apply so we can fully assess your circumstances and support you if possible or signpost you to other forms of help.

Yes, you can still apply as long as you remain enrolled on an eligible course. We also understand that repeating elements of your course such as retaking exams may cause additional financial pressures.

No, you are entitled to apply for this scheme whatever your circumstances. You will need to provide details however as to why your current funding does not cover all your needs at this time.

All you need to do is make a single application for support. Based on your information, the assessor will consider which support you are eligible for and offer help accordingly. Depending on your circumstances, we may offer a variety of help up to a maximum value per individual in any academic year.

Applications are based on need and must be evidenced, so you should only apply for what you need. Payments can vary from £100 to a maximum of £4,000 per student per academic year. IT Bursary support is capped at a maximum of £400 per individual, per programme.

The amount awarded will be based on your circumstances and an assessment of living costs which uses a standard calculation for items such as rent, groceries, household bills, entertainment etc. This ensures that all applicants are treated fairly, regardless of where they study and their individual lifestyle choices. This fixed calculation is used for all assessments for Living Costs Allowance.

You can borrow up to a maximum of £1,000 but we won’t offer you a loan unless we are satisfied you can afford to pay it back within the timeframes agreed. Bridging loans are usually offered over one or two months and aim to help with cash flow problems (e.g. if you need to pay your accommodation deposit but are still waiting for your first grant or loan payment). In these cases we will advance you money so you can manage in the meantime.

Loans will be issued with 0% interest and must be repaid within a maximum of 12 months, although usually the amounts offered are lower and paid back over a shorter period of time. We will only enter a loan agreement with you if we are both comfortable that the repayments can be made.

If you are having trouble paying back your loan, please contact us immediately by raising a SID enquiry for the Accounts Receivable team. We will work with you to give you more time to pay. If you default on your payments without contacting us, you may incur penalties such as interest charges for the period during which your payments are outstanding

If you are a UK undergraduate student who has been in local authority care for a period of 13 weeks or more, with some period of care after your 16th birthday, you may apply through the fund for a Care Leavers’ Bursary to support your accommodation costs during the summer. If you meet this criteria, you should already receive a Care Leavers’ tuition fee waiver.

We may also provide bridging support if you are facing financial challenges immediately after graduation.

If you have experience of care but do not meet the eligibility criteria above, you won’t automatically qualify for a bursary but you may still be eligible for financial support depending on your circumstances.

See our WP Student Support web pages for more information about the support available for care experienced students.

If you are a home undergraduate student and estranged from your family, you may be eligible for our Estranged Students’ Bursary which aims to help you with the some of the additional financial challenges you may have to face. The Student Advice Service at the Student Guild will support your application, whether you are studying in Devon or Cornwall. Contact: advice@exeterguild.com. You can find out more on our web pages for estranged students. Impartial advice is also available from Stand Alone.

You may be eligible for financial support during the summer vacation if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are not in your final year
  • You are a Care Leaver at any stage of your studies, including your final year
  • You are an Estranged student at any stage of your studies, including your final year
  • You have parental responsibilities
  • You are re-taking/re-sitting parts of your course
  • You are unable to work e.g. due to illness or disability
  • You have no alternative means of support

Yes, but please note we will take into account the funding you have already received during the academic year when assessing your application.

If you have made an application for this academic year within the last three months, you don’t need to submit all your evidence again. Instead please send us details of how your circumstances have changed. If you are re-applying after a three month period or for a new academic year, please submit evidence in full.

We may ask you to disclose whether you are receiving benefits. That is because we want to make sure you are receiving the statutory financial help to which you are entitled before accessing University funds. To find out more about the benefits you may be entitled to see our tab below for 'Budgeting and Debt Management'.

If you are living with your partner and are sharing household bills, we do ask you provide details of your partners’ income and outgoings to provide an overview your financial situation. Without this information, we are unable to fully assess your application.

If you are a home student and have applied to student finance for a maintenance loan this year and your household income has been negatively affected by Covid, you can apply to the student loans company and request your application be re-assessed using current financial year household income data. If your household income has gone down, you may be entitled to an increased loan and could be eligible for an Access to Exeter Bursary. Contact your student loans company for more information.

Advice and guidance

As a student you may be able to access a range of financial support and benefits depending on your circumstances.

If you are struggling with money, here are some sources of help and advice. Please click on the tabs to find out further information:

University-based support

Student Unions

Both student unions at the University of Exeter offer friendly and approachable advice on financing your studies and related support via their Student Advice Units, including help with your application to the Success for All Fund.

The Students' Guild has an advice service for students in Devon based at the Forum, contact: advice@exeterguild.com. The Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union offers impartial advice on money matters to students in Cornwall, contact: advice@thesu.org.uk

Wellbeing support

Money worries can be extremely stressful and affect your wellbeing. The University’s Wellbeing Service offers appointments, self-help tools and other support to students dealing with issues such as anxiety and depression.

Benefits

Depending on your circumstances you may be able to claim benefits.

Universal credit

If you’re 18 or over and in training or studying full-time, you can claim Universal Credit if any of the following apply:

  • you’re in further education, are 21 or under and do not have parental support, for example you’re estranged from your parents and you are not under local authority care
  • you live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit
  • you’re responsible for a child, either as a single person or as a couple
  • you’re disabled and entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have limited capability for work

Find out more about Universal Credit and how to make a claim.

Students with children

In addition to Universal Credit, you may be eligible for the following benefits:

Childcare Grant

If you are a full-time student who is eligible for student finance and have children under 15 - or children under 17 if they have special education needs - you may be able to get help with your childcare costs. Find out more about Childcare Grant.

Parents’ Learning Allowance

You may be eligible for help with your learning costs if you’re a full-time student with children. How much you get depends on your household income and the allowance is paid on top of your other student finance. Find out more about Parents’ Learning Allowance.

Student carers

Adult Dependant’s Grant

If you’re a full-time student in higher education and an adult depends on you financially, you can apply for an Adult Dependants’ Grant which is paid on top of your other student finance. This is not available however to students with a Postgraduate Loan. Find out more about Adult Dependants’ Grant.

Students with learning difficulties, health problems or disabilities

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) to cover some of the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability. If eligible, you will get the allowances on top of your other student finance. You can get help with the costs of:

  • specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
  • non-medical helpers
  • extra travel because of your disability
  • other disability-related costs of studying

If you receive a DSA for helping buying specialist equipment like a computer, you will be expected to pay the first £200 yourself. If you can’t afford this, we can help you with this contribution through the Success for All Fund.

Budgeting and debt management

If you are struggling to pay your tuition fees, please contact our Accounts Receivable Team, who may be able to arrange a payment plan.

Various charities, support services and online resources are available to help you with managing on a tight budget or dealing with debt.

  • UCAS offers advice on how to manage your student budget and has an online student budgeting tool.

  • The NUS offers money saving advice for students.

  • Citizens Advice has a range of information and resources available about getting help with your bills, budgeting and managing debt.

  • The Money Advice Service is a free and impartial service set up by Government providing an advice service, self-help tools and information on issues such as budgeting and saving, benefits, debt and borrowing.

  • Turn2us is a national charity providing information and support for people in hardship.

  • The UK Council for International Student Affairs provides advice for international students experiencing financial hardship after they begin their studies in the UK.

  • MoneySavingExpert has a wealth of advice about how to manage your money and to make savings. It also has web pages for students providing easy to understand guides to finance, access to discounts, tips on the best bank accounts for students and much more.

  • Step Change is a charity which specifically helps people in debt. Online advice is available along with practical information about how to manage down debt and deal with creditors.

  • GamCare is a national service providing free information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling. In addition to finance and debt management, the service offers a confidential advisory service.

  • The NHS offers advice about how to deal with stress caused by money worries.