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The Hardship Committee encourages all students to access the support available to them at the College level prior to applying to the University's hardship funds. 

You are expected to have spoken with your College Tutor and shared an offline word copy of your application form with them prior to completing the MS application form. In the MS application form, you will be asked to confirm that this discussion has taken place before progressing to the questions in the form. 

Hardship Fund Application Update: Following the Michaelmas Term Hardship Application Round we have reviewed applications to assess the impact of the cost of living crisis affecting students and have decided to increase the maximum grant for hardship awards for the current academic year (2022-23).  Students many now apply for up to £3,500.  The usual £2,000 cap for unforeseen hardship and an additional £1,500 for cost of living support.  As this is a change for the Lent Term students who applied in the Michelamas Term may reapply.  Applications are open now!


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 hardship funding. 

The Undergraduate Hardship Fund provides financial assistance to undergraduate students in 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 prior to applying. 


These eligibility criteria should be considered in addition to the General Eligibility Principles and Guidance of the University's Hardship 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 Hardship Fund
  • If parental income has collapsed, please ensure you have applied for a reassessment by Student Finance before applying to the Undergraduate Hardship Fund. 
  • If your Student Finance loans are delayed, please talk to your College Tutor about the support available at the College before applying to the Undergraduate Hardship Fund. 

How much support is available?

The Fund provides awards of up to £2,000 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 
  2. Read the eligibility criteria above to ensure you are eligible 
  3. Read the application guidance 

Guidance for College Tutors supporting student applications for hardship funding

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

Application timetable for 2022/23

Term Applications open Deadline to share application with College Tutor Application deadline Support form deadline Outcome communicated to student
MT 2022 Tue 4 October   Tue 15 November Tue 29 November December 
LT 2023 Tue 17 January Tue 14 February Tue 21 February Tue 7 March March 
ET 2023 Tue 25 April Tue 23 May Tue 30 May Tue 13 June June


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.