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The following eligibility guidance applies to the following funds:

Objective: to support current, partly or fully self-funded students who are in unforeseen financial need and can show a gap in their budget that is sufficiently small to be covered by an award of up to:

Priority: funds are limited and priority will be given to self-funded students nearing the end of their course who arrived at the University with a clear and viable funding plan. 

General Guidance

Students may apply directly to each fund using the online application form (see individual fund links above). Please note that your College Tutor will be required to complete a support form in support of your application and will receive a copy of your application. If you are applying to the Postgraduate Financial Assistance Fund, your Academic Supervisor will also be required to complete a support form and will receive a copy of your application.

Before completing your application, you must refer to the application guidance and checklist on the application form to ensure that all parts of the form have been completed properly. 

If you have applied multiple times for financial assistance during your course, please note that your award amount will be capped at the annual limit multiplied by the number of fee-paying years of your course. 

The University's Financial Assistance Committee oversee decisions on financial assistance applications and the group includes College representation. 

In the event of an unsuccessful application, an explanation will be provided as part of the outcome email but appeals are not permitted. 

Please note that the College you are at will not make a difference to the outcome of your application. 

General Eligibility Principles 

These principles should be applied in addition to the specific rules of the individual funds listed above. 

Financial planning and budgeting for the course

1. Students need to show they had made adequate financial provision for their course before they began and that their financial need is unforeseen. For PG students, the Financial Guarantee completed before admission will be referred to as part of the assessment. 

2. For all applications for financial assistance, students will be required to provide a budget of income and monthly expenditure for the current academic year in which they are applying (and upcoming academic year if applying during the long vacation). 

The University's Financial Assistance Committee will not normally consider living costs above the indicative amounts provided by UG Admissions and PG Admissions for entrants in 2023/24 unless there is a justification for higher living costs. For undergraduates, the indicative amount for 2023/24 is £11,090 and for postgraduates, the indicative amount for 2023/24 is £17,667. Please be aware that not all students will require as much as the indicative amounts indicate. 

3. Students need to show a gap in their budget that is small enough for financial assistance from the University to make the difference to meet the gap and show a viable funding plan for the rest of their course. This will allow the focus of the limited resources to be on students for whom it can make the difference and allow them to complete their course. 

4. Students with evidence of capital/savings will ordinarily be refused and may reapply when their savings are used or virtually used up. 

5. Visa and Health Surcharge costs are not usually covered, as a matter of course. 

Applying for loans and approaching funding sponsors

6. University Financial Assistance Funds should be a last resort after Government, Funding Sponsor, College and Department resources have been exhausted. Students should take advantage of the maximum Government educational loan that might be available for their studies (eg UK UG and PG loans, US and Canadian educational loans). 

7. The University's Financial Assistance Committee have adopted the position, as indicated by the UK Fatwa Council in 2017, that taking a loan should be acceptable for most Muslim students and the Committee therefore expects all students from the UK to have taken the full amount of loan available to them from their loan authority before applying to the University for financial assistance.

Please see the guidance here for more information: Student Funding and Sharia Law

Who is eligible for financial assistance?

8. Awards are made to support students directly. They should not be passed on as a means of financial support for parents/family members or be used to replace monies already passed on to support parents/family members. 

9. Students who are fully funded by an internal funding sponsor at the University (eg the Cambridge Trust) are not usually eligible to be considered for financial assistance from the University and should approach their funding sponsor instead. This allows the focus of the limited resources to be primarily on self-funded students who do not have recourse to a funding sponsor. 

10. Students may apply for financial assistance up to 2 months in advance if they anticipate that they will be in financial need (eg if you have encountered unforeseen circumstances which have required you to extend your doctoral studies, such as the Covid-19 pandemic). 

11. Awards are not normally given to students who are applying for financial assistance because of a situation that happened some time ago. The reason behind applications should not normally have occurred more than one term prior. 

Please note that for applications to the Crane Fund, retrospective applications are not permitted and if your application is successful, only treatment received after the date of the award will be supported. 

12. Awards are not given to support tuition fees. 

13. Students who face financial need whilst on intermission (when funding is normally suspended) may apply to the Realise Financial Assistance Fund if they meet the eligibility criteria and the Crane Fund or financial assistance with medical costs. Students eligible to receive sick pay from their funding sponsor should pursue this option in the first instance. 

14. Financial assistance is not normally provided towards laptop and IT equipment costs. It is the expectation of the University's Financial Assistance Committee that a student should view their laptop as a key element of their personal property, and they should therefore take out insurance for damage or theft. 

The following students are not eligible for support:

Ineligible courses/modes of study:

  • Non-award (degree) bearing courses at the Institute for Continuing Education (ICE) or elsewhere. 
  • Higher doctoral students 
  • Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Master of Studies students - if their course does not appear on the course directory and/or it is less than 9 months in length. 

Ineligible student statuses:

  • Students who are off the register/withdrawn and/or do not have a registered student status at the University. 
  • Applicants (ie not registered students at the University)
  • Students on intermission, unless meeting the eligibility criteria for the Realise Financial Assistance Fund or applying for financial assistance towards medical costs from the Crane Fund

Cut off dates for eligibility to apply:

  • Undergraduate students - after the completion of course requirements. Also, in line with the University's Care Leavers Covenant and Stand Alone Pledge, care leavers and estranged students may apply for financial assistance during the first 10 weeks after graduation.
  • Masters' students - after the completion of course requirements/course completion date, whichever is sooner. 
  • PhD students - after the submission of their soft-bound thesis. 

Applications received after these dates will not be accepted.