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Overview

Support statements are required from a student's College Tutor (and Academic Supervisor for the Postgraduate Hardship Fund) when applying for hardship funding. Students are asked to talk to their College Tutor (and Academic Supervisor) about applying before submitting an application. 

Academic Supervisors and College Tutors who are providing supporting statements for students should carefully read the General Eligibility Principles and Guidance of the University's Hardship Funds in addition to each Fund's individual criteria to ensure the eligibility of the student. In particular, they should note that applications cannot be accepted without their support. 

The Student Funding and Fee Policy Team will look favourably upon cases where financial support from Departments and Colleges has already been committed, or where the Department or College is willing to match fund a hardship award. When a Department or College has provided or is willing to provide such support, please indicate this in your statement. 

Please note that if you have not submitted the support form in support of a student's application, you will be sent a reminder a week after the application submission (for the Special Hardship Fund and Medical Support Fund) or a week before the support form deadline (for the Undergraduate Hardship Fund and Postgraduate Hardship Fund). 

Guidance for Academic Supervisors 

Academic Supervisors should provide a statement commenting on the student’s academic progress so far and how their circumstances have impacted their studies (eg if thesis submission date is delayed). Please do not provide detailed information about the student’s research unless necessary.  

Guidance for College Tutors 

College Tutors should provide a background on the student’s circumstances which have led to unforeseen financial hardship.  

To guide your support statement, you should ask the student for sight of the following documentation regarding their income and expenditure: 

  • Evidence of funding (eg notification of student finance arrangements, or scholarship award letter)  

  • Evidence of other income (eg family contributions, loans, wages) 

  • Evidence of capital/savings 

  • Evidence of government benefits or Tax Credits  

  • A rent or mortgage agreement  

  • Bank/Building Society statements  

  • Evidence of significant expenditure commitments, eg childcare costs.  

  • Evidence of visa extension application 

If the student’s funder has withdrawn funding, we will require evidence from the student’s College Tutor that they have contacted the funder asking them to uphold their pledge as this should be the first course of action before applying for hardship funding.  

How to submit the support form

When a student submits their application form, you should receive an automated email with a PDF copy of the student's application and a link to a MS Form. Please follow the instructions below to submit the form:

  1. Please access the form at the link provided
  2. You will be asked to log-in so that you can access the form - please ensure you use your CRSid@cam.ac.uk email address and Raven password to log-in - if you are already signed into an alternative Microsoft Office 365 account on your device, you will need to sign out of this account and clear your cache in order to access the form. If you have forgotten your Raven password, please visit this page.  
  3. The form asks you to write a support statement as well as respond to a few specific questions about the student's circumstances
  4. Please note that College Tutors will be asked to provide the amount requested with the application (students are not asked this question) and the expectation is that College Tutors will agree on an amount with the student 
  5. Draft your support statement and responses to questions offline (you cannot partially compelete your online application and return to finalise and submit it, it must be completed in one session). Please note that the limit for the support statement question is 4,000 characters. 
  6. Complete and submit the online form within one week of receiving the request (or by the deadline for the Undergraduate Hardship Fund and Postgraduate Hardship Fund) - we recommend that you save a copy of your form for your records
  7. The student will receive an automated email confirming your response

Please note that if you do not support the application, we would expect you to inform the student accordingly. 

If you experience any technical problems or wish to discuss your response before completing the form, please email the Student Funding and Fee Policy Team at hardshipfunding@admin.cam.ac.uk