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Please note that this application process is new for 2022. We thank you in advance for your patience whilst we adjust to using the new process. 


The Special Hardship Fund is available for students who: 

• Are intermitting and have no other available financial support 

• Have incurred UK hotel quarantine costs in travelling to Cambridge for the academic year 2021/22 to commence/continue their studies which has put them into financial hardship 

• Are on a Year Abroad at the University of Cambridge.


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

Intermitting Students 

To be eligible for this fund, students need to be currently on intermission or about to commence a period of intermission.  

As the fund is limited, to receive an award, students need to demonstrate that they will be in extreme hardship during their intermission without support from this fund; this includes not having a place of support to which they can return to during intermission.  

UK hotel quarantine costs for study in 2021-22 

Students travelling to the UK from "red list" countries currently have to book a hotel quarantine package from 14 days before their date of travel – further information and advice is available on our webpage for international students travelling to the UK. Please read this before booking your travel and be aware that the situation is subject to change. 

The Collegiate University does not want the cost of hotel quarantine to deter our students from being in Cambridge. The University cannot cover these costs routinely, but has put the following support in place: 

  • Students will need to cover hotel quarantine costs upfront either themselves or through their funding sponsors (the University cannot offer financial support before a student commences their studies).  

  • If a student finds themselves in financial difficulties due to the cost of hotel quarantine, once they have arrived in Cambridge they may apply for hardship funding. This may cover up to the full cost of hotel quarantine in the following circumstances: 

  • Students can demonstrate financial hardship caused by the cost of UK hotel quarantine 

  • Students (on both full time and part time courses) make only one application for hardship funding based on UK quarantine costs per academic year (except in exceptional circumstances) 

  • Students are not applying for financial support towards quarantine costs outside the UK (eg for fieldwork purposes). 

The Collegiate University has agreed the following approach to access hardship funding in the first instance: 

  1. Students who have a funding sponsor should approach their sponsor first to request financial support. The leading funders of international students at Cambridge (the Cambridge Trust, Gates Trust and Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme) have agreed that students may approach them directly (with the exception of UKRI funded students who should approach the University Special Hardship fund – see 3 below) 
  2. Undergraduate students should approach their College Tutor and apply for College Hardship funding if necessary 
  3.  Postgraduate students, without a funding sponsor able to provide support, may apply to the University’s Special Hardship fund (from 1st October 2021). Students on Judge Business School (JBS) MBA, MFin, EMBA and MAcc programmes may approach their course co-ordinators if, in exceptional circumstances, they find themselves in unexpected financial difficulties for unplanned costs due to changes in quarantine rules post-enrolment. 
  4. Students in categories 1-3 above who find that their funding sponsor/College/Department is unable to provide support should request a written statement to that effect in order to apply to the University’s Special Hardship fund. 

Year Abroad 

To be eligible for this fund students need to be undergraduate students undertaking the year abroad portion of their degree and not be in receipt of funding under Erasmus or the Turing Scheme. Students must also be able to demonstrate that without this award they will be placed in severe financial difficulty. 

How much support is available? 

  • Students may apply for up to £3,350 per annum for intermitting students.  
  • Up to the full cost of mandatory UK Hotel quarantine (currently £2,285). 
  • Up to £1500 for Year Abroad students. 

How to apply 

Students are now able to complete and submit an application directly to the fund (previously students had to apply through their College Senior Tutor). 

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

  1. Talk to your College Senior Tutor (or their nominated representative) about applying 
  2. Read the eligibility criteria above to ensure you are eligible 
  3. Read the application guidance 

Applications for support may be made at any time during the academic year.  

Guidance for College Senior Tutors supporting student applications for hardship funding. 


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.