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Cambridge students


If you are in need of financial support due to COVID-19 please speak to your College Tutor about the options available. Additional guidance is available here.

These web pages provide information for current students of the University about a range of funding, additional to statutory and other state support, that is available to students who find themselves in need of extra financial assistance or who are otherwise facing exceptional or unexpected financial hardship. The information here may also prove useful to the parents/guardians/advisers of students, as well as to College Tutors and other staff.  Prospective students, or current students seeking funding to begin a new course, should visit the funding pages for either undergraduate or postgraduate study.

There are a number of internal central sources of financial support students can access but students are encouraged in the first instance to approach their College Tutor to find out about College support or approach their funder if they are a funded student.

Fund Who for
Undergraduate Hardship Fund (Bell, Abbott and Barnes) Undergraduates facing exceptional or unexpected financial hardship
Postgraduate Hardship Fund Postgraduates facing exceptional or unexpected financial hardship
Crane's Charity (medical costs) Any student facing exceptional or unexpected medical costs leading to financial hardship
Special Hardship Fund Any student who has exhausted other options, including those intermitting or affected by COVID-19
DRC financial support Students with a disability
Childcare Bursary Scheme Students with dependent children
Sheikh Family Bursaries Undergraduate Muslim home students in financial need
Student Hardship Loan Fund Any student who finds themselves in unexpected financial hardship requiring a loan

If you are a postgraduate student funded by a Research Council and in need of an extension to your funding, please contact your Research Council administrator in the first instance.

Use this flow diagram to help identify which funds may be most appropriate for you to apply for.

Special Hardship Fund

In the Academic year 2020/21 the Special Hardship Fund is available for students who:

  • Are in genuine case of financial hardship not ordinarily covered by other funds.
  • Have exhausted other hardship funds.
  • Are intermitting and have no other available financial support.
  • Have incurred immediate expenses in excess of their usual expenditure due to COVID-19.

Applications to this fund must be made through the Senior Tutor of your College to Applications from students will not be accepted.

If your request is COVID-19 related, a special application form should be used. Your application should include details of other Departmental, College and University hardship funding you have applied for.

For the Academic year 2021/22 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 to commence/continue their studies which has put them into financial hardship

Students still need to seek their College Tutor's support of the application (through a supporting statement and signature of the form). An application form will be available on this site from 1 October 2021.

DRC Financial Support

Students with a disability may be eligible for the Government's Disabled Students' Allowances, to help with costs incurred as a direct result of their disability.

The Disability Resource Centre provides details of a range of financial support for students with disabilities including: Disabled Students' Bursary Fund; International Disabled Students' Fund; Charlie Bayne Travel Trust; Student Disability Assistance Fund; Snowdon Award Scheme.

Childcare Bursary Scheme

The Childcare Office publishes information about Government and University financial provision for students with children, and produces the Cambridge Guide for Student Parents.

The Office provides information about the Central Childcare Bursary Scheme, which offers limited, means-tested financial assistance towards the costs of registered or approved childcare to EU and Overseas students at participating colleges.

Sheikh Family Bursaries

The COSARAF Charitable Foundation has established The Sheikh Family Bursaries in order to award hardship funds to undergraduate Muslim home students in financial need.  The Bursaries will open to undergraduate home students who are in financial difficulties in all Cambridge Colleges and particularly to those suffering unexpected hardship. They provide grants of up to £2,000 per annum.  There is one application deadline in the middle of each term: you should, well in advance, give full details of your financial situation to your Tutor who can apply on your behalf.

COSARAF Application form

COSARAF Eligibility

Student Hardship Loan Fund

The Student Hardship Loan Fund (listed as Loan Fund I in the University's Statutes and Ordinances) is available to provide interest-free loans to undergraduate or postgraduate students who find themselves in unexpected financial hardship.

It is expected that students will have explored all other avenues before making an application for an advance from the Student Hardship Loan Fund. This means the student should have already applied for remission of fees (for more information click here) and assistance from their College and/or department. Prior to making an application for an advance from the Student Hardship Loan Fund, the student should have made applications to all appropriate sources of funds including Student Loan Company and the University and College hardship funds.

An application for an advance should be made via the College using the Student Hardship Loan Fund application form.

If an advance is granted, at the time the loan is made the student will be expected to agree a reasonable schedule of repayments following the completion of their course of study and to sign a Banker's Order form so that repayments can commence on the agreed date.

If you have any queries, please contact