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These principles should be used in addition to the specific rules of individual funds (where not already included).

i. Students need to show they had made adequate financial provision and therefore the hardship is unforeseen.

ii. Students need to show a gap in their budget that is small enough for hardship funding to make the difference to meet the gap. However, in the event that a student chooses to intermit, they will be eligible to apply for the Special Hardship Fund. This is needed so that we do not waste limited resources on students for whom it cannot make the difference.

iii. University Hardship Funds should be a last resort after Government, Funding Body, College and Department resources have been exhausted. This is needed as we have received applications to the Special Hardship Fund to replace lost family income that did not take into account the Government's furlough scheme.

iv. All claims for assistance with living expenses should provide a budget of income and expenditure for the annual year and take account of expected costs (e.g. the cost of repatriation should only be claimed where it is in excess of any expected cost of returning to the student's home country in that academic year). Evidence must be provided of exceptional costs where these are over £100 either to the Tutor or the Fund.

v. Internal sponsors should focus on supporting current students to completion even at the expenses of making new scholarships in subsequent years. This will be expected before hardship cases will be considered. University Hardship Funds should not provide extended funding for students supported by an internal body at Cambridge unless it can be shown that the internal sponsor cannot fund the extension. If evidence is provided, as part of the application, that the sponsor will not extend support, then the student may be considered. This is needed to preserve funding to help students who are self-funded and do not have recourse to a sponsor.

vi. Support is not currently given to support tuition fees. Any deviation from this policy must be approved by the appropriate University Fees/Finance Committee and the University Hardship Committee.

vii. Students will not be eligible for the Special Hardship Fund where they have made a similar application to another University Hardship Fund and have been found to be ineligible (e.g. because the hardship was not unforeseen).

viii. The following students are not eligible for support:

  • Students on non-award bearing courses
  • UG students after the first opportunity to graduate*
  • PG research students after the submission of soft bound thesis* 
  • Higher doctorates
  • Those who are off the register/withdrawn
  • Applicants to the University

*except where the student is following a 4-year integrated course. In line with the University's Care Leavers Covenant and Stand Alone Pledge, care leavers and estranged students may apply for support during the first 10 weeks after graduation.

 *except in cases where the soft bound thesis has been submitted on or before 15 March and as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic an offer of income has fallen through.