If you are facing financial difficulties or hardship the Financial Assistance Fund may be able to help.
This guidance about the UCL Financial Assistance Fund includes information on:
- priority students
- how much is available
- when to apply
- making an application
- when a decision will be made
- re-applying and appealing
The UCL Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) consists of funds generously provided by alumni, friends, donors and staff to support UCL students who find themselves in financial difficulties. The fund is intended to act as a safety net for those in need, and can help alleviate unexpected financial hardship – although we are unlikely to be able to provide all the funds you may need, we aim to help eligible students as much as possible within available resources.
Applications from students who may be considering leaving higher education due to their financial difficulties are particularly encouraged.
Please note the fund cannot be used to assist in the payment of tuition fees under any circumstances.
The UCL Financial Assistance Fund is for students enrolled on a recognised degree or diploma programme at University College London (UCL). The following criteria apply:
- you must be a currently enrolled UCL student at any level of study (Undergraduate, Taught Masters, Research or Teacher Training)
- applicants may be students in any academic department and in any year of their programme of study
- you can be studying full-time, part-time, or on a modular/flexible programme
- you can be a home (UK), EU national or international student
- you must not have an outstanding tuition fee debt - your fees must have been paid in full or prorated at the time of your application
- you can be on a Placement or on a Study Abroad programme
- you can be a part-time distance learner, following a higher education course
- University Preparatory Certificate in the Language Centre students are considered eligible
- Students on Completing Research Status (CRS) are not normally eligible but may be considered on a discretionary basis
Self-funding undergraduate and postgraduate applicants 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.
UCL gives priority to the following groups of students when deciding how to allocate available funding, based upon government recommendations and guidelines, which acknowledge the importance of increasing participation and supporting students from less advantaged backgrounds. The aim is to be consistent with UCL’s Widening Participation Policy.
For full-time undergraduate students the priorities 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.
Awards are for maintenance costs only. Up to £2,000 can be awarded for students without dependants and, depending on circumstances, up to £2,500 for students with dependants.
Applications can be accepted from 1 October 2018. 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 7th June 2019
- For PGCE Students – Wednesday 31st July 2019
- For PG Students – Friday 5th July 2019
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.
Complete and collect the following:
- financial statements for each bank account you hold covering the last 3 months in full, including annotations explaining debits and credits over £100. Printouts from online banking are accepted.
- tenancy agreement/s showing rent/mortgage costs for entire academic year
- evidence of any unexpected costs
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.
Provided your application has been accurately completed and the appropriate documentary evidence supplied, an assessment and decision should be made within four working weeks of submission. There may be delays if you have not submitted all the required evidence, or if your application is not clear for any reason.
You might be asked to attend an interview conducted by a member of the Student Funding team.
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.
You may only apply more than once during an academic year if your circumstances have changed materially or significantly from the time of your original application. All applications will be assessed for a full academic year, therefore an additional application will need to reflect a significant change in your circumstances.
You will need to provide all relevant evidence to demonstrate this change in your circumstances.
All decisions are final and appeals cannot be considered.