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Before you apply

You should try to access relevant services from the University and NHS before applying for financial assistance from the Crane's Charity. This will often be a quicker way to get the support you need. It also helps the Charity to support other students who require more specialist treatments. 

The University offers the following services to students free of charge, all year round:

If you are unsure what NHS service to use, the NHS Symptom Checker might be helpful. 


The Crane's Charity provides financial assistance to students in financial need who need treatment for physical or mental illness. The treatment applied for should not be conveniently or readily obtainable under the NHS or the University. 

Students are expected to have discussed their application with their College Tutor before applying. The Distributors of the Crane's Charity expect Colleges to make a financial contribution towards the total cost of treatment and where no College contribution is indicated, Colleges may be contacted for more information. 

The application process is managed by the Student Funding and Fee Policy Team and applications are carefully reviewed by a Medical Advisor (also referred to as the Apothecary). 

More information about the Crane's Charity is available here


These eligibility criteria should be considered in addition to the General Eligibility Principles and Guidance of the University's Financial Assistance Funds

Students may apply for financial assistance towards:

  • Recommended specialist mental health treatment (eg services not provided by the Collegiate University such as EMDR therapy)
  • Medical treatment and travel costs associated with medical treatment 
  • Medical diagnostic assessments for Autism and ADHD may be supported where you have an ADRC (Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre) screening report, GP referral letter, or an educational diagnostic assessment. Please note that a medical assessment for Autism or ADHD is not required to allow academic adjustments to be considered through the ADRC if you have a positive screening assessment or an educational diagnostic assessment report. Students may also apply for financial assistance for the initial titration of ADHD medication only (up to a stable dose) and are expected to have arranged sufficient resources to cover ongoing costs for treatment. 

Applications should be made before the treatment has commenced. Retrospective applications are not permitted and only treatment received after the date of the award will be supported. 

If your application is successful, all treatment must have occurred before your course completion date (UG and Masters students) or soft bound thesis submission date (PhD students). 

Students who are on intermission are eligible to apply to the Fund. 

Disabled students are generally expected to seek financial assistance through the ADRC, which provides information and access to a wide range of support. However, the Medical Advisor will review applications relating to a disability on a case-by-case basis; assistance may be provided, for instance, where a student has acquired a disability since matriculation and where no other financial assistance is available. 

Please note that the Medical Advisor will not normally approve an application if:

  • The treatment is unproven or not in accordance with NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines. 
  • The student has access to private medical insurance for the treatment they are applying for financial assistance with. 
  • The treatment or associated travel costs occurred outside the UK; exceptions may be made, however, when it is necessary during a visit overseas to continue UK-based treatment for a serious medical condition or if the student is intermitting or working away from Cambridge. 
  • The application is for financial assistance with ordinary dental treatment (eg root canal work), glasses/contact lenses, or a diagnostic assessment for Specific Learning Difficulties (eg Dyslexia). 

How much support is available?

Students may apply for up to a maximum of £1,800 per academic year. This may be more than one application but should not exceed £1,800. 

Please carefully consider your application and what you are applying for support for. 

How to apply

Application form

Please ensure you complete the following steps before completing the application form:

  1. Talk to your College Tutor about applying 
  2. Read the eligibility criteria above to ensure you are eligible 
  3. Read the application guidance

Guidance for College Tutors supporting student applications for financial assistance

Word copy of application form (to be used to draft your responses only)

Applications for financial assistance may be made at any time during the academic year between 3 October 2023 and 31 August 2024 (this allows preparations for the next academic year to take place in September). 

In order for your application for financial assistance to be accurately assessed, you will be asked to upload a clinical letter of support which should provide a clinical diagnosis and explicitly recommend the type of treatment that you are requesting financial assistance for. This letter should be dated within the last 3 months and should be provided from an appropriately qualified source who is independent of the treatment provider you are proposing to use, these include:

Applications which have been accompanied by your College Tutor's support form are normally reviewed on a weekly basis. 

Applications will be automatically withdrawn after 1 month if the College Tutor support form has not been received.

Outcomes will normally be communicated within two weeks. However, students are advised that the application process may be extended if further opinion or advice is needed. If your application is missing any information (eg details of the treatment provider), you will be contacted by the Student Funding and Fee Policy Team.

In exceptional circumstances, College Tutors may apply on the student's behalf; for instance, if the student feels unable to complete and submit an application. Please email the Student Funding and Fee Policy Team for further information.

Payment of awards

If your application is successful, payment of your award will take place at the end of the treatment applied for. It is the expectation of the Distributors of the Fund that Colleges will provide funding to students whilst they await retrospective payments of their award. 

Colleges will be reimbursed upon the receipt of a College Tutor's report and invoices/receipts at the end of the course of treatment. Please note that from the award date, College Tutors have two years in which to provide this information, after which the funding will not be able to be claimed. Please inform the Student Funding and Fee Policy Team at the earliest opportunity if the student did not go ahead with the treatment they applied for financial assistance with. 

College Tutor report form


Please contact the Student Funding and Fee Policy Team using the email address if you have any questions about your eligibility and the application process.