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Prior to starting their course, all undergraduate students are expected to have arranged sufficient funding for the duration of their studies. It is possible, however, that you may encounter unforeseen financial difficulties during this time, and you may be eligible to apply for financial assistance. 

The Undergraduate Financial Assistance Fund provides financial assistance to undergraduate students in unforeseen financial need. The awards are intended to support students who would otherwise be unable to complete their course of study. The scheme is funded by the Bell, Abbott and Barnes Funds. 

Students are expected to have discussed their financial circumstances with their College Tutor before applying. 

Report on 2022/23 academic year


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

  • All registered undergraduate students (BA, MusB, BTh, MB BChir, VetMB or an integrated Masters degree (MEng, MMath, MSci) taken as Part III of a Tripos) are eligible to apply. Affiliated students (those who already have a degree from another University and are taking the Cambridge BA in two years rather than three) are also eligible. 
  • Postgraduate students reading for the degree of Advanced Studies (MASt) and Clinical Medical students reading for an intercalated PhD during the MB BChir are not eligible for the duration of the PhD and need to apply to the Postgraduate Financial Assistance Fund
  • If parental income has collapsed, please ensure you have applied for a household income reassessment by Student Finance before applying for financial assistance. 
  • If your Student Finance loans are delayed, please talk to your College Tutor about the support available at the College before applying for financial assistance. 

Students studying on a Year Abroad

Financial assistance is available for undergraduate students studying on a Year Abroad who have not received funding from the Turing scheme or equivalent University funding. Please answer yes to the question in the application form asking if you are applying for financial assistance for your Year Abroad. 

Students must be able to demonstrate that without this award they will be placed in severe financial difficulty. In addition, and in accordance with the General Eligibility Principles and Guidance of the University's Financial Assistance Funds, it is expected that students would have taken advantage of the maximum Government education loan that might be available during their Year Abroad. You may also be eligible to receive a travel grant, please see here for more information: Travel grants for students studying abroad or on placements

This scheme is managed by the International Student Office and the Student Funding and Fee Policy Team. 

How much support is available?

The Fund provides awards of up to £2,500 to assist students with living costs. 

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 (in the application form, you will be asked to confirm that this discussion has taken place before progressing to the questions in the form)
  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 and share your application with your College Tutor before applying)

Applications which have been accompanied by your College Tutor's support form are reviewed in the month following application submission. 

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

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).

Outcomes will normally be communicated by the end of the month following application submission. Please see the timetable below for when you should expect to receive the outcome of your application. Please do not contact the Team unless you have not received the outcome of your application by the month shown. 

Application submitted Application outcome
October 2023 November 2023
November 2023 December 2023
December 2023 January 2024
January 2024 February 2024
February 2024 March 2024
March 2024 April 2024
April 2024 May 2024
May 2024 June 2024
June 2024 July 2024
July 2024 August 2024
August 2024 September 2024


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.