UCL Financial Assistance Fund

The Financial Assistance Fund is a hardship fund for UCL students who are in unexpected financial need.

About the fund

The UCL Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) is made up of funds generously provided by alumni, friends, donors and staff and is there to assist students who are in financial need with their living costs.

It is intended to support students who began their academic year having made realistic and adequate financial provision, who have encountered unexpected circumstances that put them into financial difficulty. However, any student experiencing financial difficulty is encouraged to apply -  particularly those who are considering leaving UCL due to financial hardship.

It is expected that students will have tried to meet their financial need through other reasonable sources (for example government funding such as Student Finance loans and NHS Bursaries if they are eligible for them) before applying to the fund.

Awards are not guaranteed and applicants may not receive the total amount that they request. However, the aim is always to help eligible applicants as much as possible with the resources available.


The UCL Financial Assistance Fund is for students currently enrolled on a programme at and paying fees to University College London. This includes students:

  • At any level of study (Undergraduate, Taught Masters, Research or Teacher Training)
  • Studying in any academic department, including those studying the Preparatory Certificate in the Language Centre
  • On any year in their programme, including placement and study abroad years
  • On any mode of study (full-time, part-time, modular/flexible or distance learner)
  • With any fee status (UK, EU or Overseas)

Students on Completing Research Status (CRS) are not normally eligible but may be considered on a discretionary basis.

Self-funding students must be able to demonstrate that they have made reasonable and realistic provision at the start of their programme of study to fund both their tuition fees and living costs.

Applicants that have outstanding tuition fee debt to the university are not eligible to apply for the fund.

Priority students

UCL gives priority to the following groups of students when deciding how to allocate available funding. This is in line with UCL’s Widening Participation Policy.

For full-time undergraduate students the priority groups are:

  • students with children, particularly single parents
  • students from low-income families
  • mature students, especially those with existing financial commitments, including priority debts 'where non-payment would give a creditor the right to deprive the debtor of her/his home, liberty, essential goods and services or place in the community’
  • students with disabilities, especially where the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is unable to meet particular costs
  • students who have entered higher education from a care environment
  • students from Foyers, or who are homeless
  • students receiving the final year loan rate who are in financial difficulty (including those who are unable to work due to academic pressure)

For graduate students and part-time undergraduate students the priority groups are:

  • those with children, especially single parents
  • students with disabilities
  • students who are self-funding (graduate students)
  • part-time undergraduates in receipt of the full statutory support package

Applicants do not need to be in one of the above groups to apply for support, but students in these groups are prioritised for support.

How much is available

Up to £2,000 can be awarded for students without dependants and, depending on circumstances, up to £2,500 for students with dependants.

Awards are for living costs only.

When can I apply?

Applications can be accepted from 1 October 2019. We encourage applicants to submit their applications before the end of the third term as the fund has limited resources.

The deadlines to apply are the below:
-    For UG Students – Friday 12 June 2020
-    For PGCE Students – Friday 31 July 2020
-    For PG Students – Friday 31 July 2020

Applications for the summer vacation period are not normally considered. However, depending upon circumstances and available funds, we may be able to consider modest awards for those with disabilities unable to work during the summer or those who have caring responsibilities.

If you wish to apply for an award during the summer, please make an enquiry by logging into askUCL, select Log an Enquiry and choose Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) from the categories. Write a personal statement detailing your situation. The team will then respond with appropriate measures.

To make an application

Step 1.


Step 2.

Complete and collect the following:

Step 3.

Submit the above along with any relevant evidence of Income, Expenditure, Children or Partner (as described on page 1 and 2 of the application form) to the Student Funding team.

To do this, log into askUCL, select Log an Enquiry and choose Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) from the categories. Attach all of the relevant documents to the enquiry and put your student number in the subject line.

When a decision will be made

Applications normally take four working weeks to be assessed from the point at which the full application with all necessary evidence is submitted. 

There may be delays if you have not submitted all the required evidence, or if your application is not clear for any reason.

You will be informed of the outcome of your application by email (to your UCL email account). If successful, you should normally expect to receive payment within 10 days of the notification of your award.

Re-applying and appeals

More than one application per academic year is not normally permitted.

You may only apply more than once during an academic year if your circumstances have changed significantly since your original application. 

You will need to provide all relevant evidence to demonstrate this change in your circumstances.

All decisions are final and appeals cannot be considered.