Student support through Hardship funds

9 February 2021

UCL understands that sometimes unexpected circumstances that impact you financially can take place. Find out more here on how you can gain more financial support during such times.

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On this page you can find out:

About the Financial Assistance Fund

During a student's time at university, there are different avenues of support that UCL provides to manage and cover various areas in a student's academic journey. One area of support in which UCL assists students financially in through Hardship funds.

Unfortunately, in a new country, new area and new university, unexpected circumstances take place which can directly impact that financial provision and put you in a more difficult situation. This is where one of the many Hardship fund support resources, known as the Financial Assistance Fund, comes in which is directly aimed at students who are experiencing financial difficulty and hardship. 

How do I know if i'm eligible?

The UCL Financial Assistance Fund is for all UCL students who find themselves in unexpected hardship. You must be able to demonstrate that you have made reasonable and realistic provision at the start of your programme of study to fund your tuition fees and your living costs. 

2021 Financial Assistance Fund application deadlines:

  • For UG students - Friday 11 June 2021 
  • For PGT and PGCE students - Friday 20 July 2021

Please note, Postgraduate Research Students should apply to the separate Financial Assistance Fund for Postgraduate Research Students

I think I'm eligible, how do I apply for the fund?

Step 1: To apply for the Financial Assistance Fund, you must firstly read the guidance notes to gain a full understanding of the fund and how it works. 

Step 2: You must complete the following Financial Assistance Fund application form. Once you have completed this, you will also need to 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 the entire academic year
  • Evidence of any unexpected costs

If you have any questions regarding your application or supporting documentation, please contact the Student Funding Team

Step 3: Provide/update your bank details on Portico for the payment of the possible award.

To update your bank details on Portico for the Financial Assistance Fund:

  • Login to Portico and click on the "My Money" section
  • Select the "View/update your bank details" option and enter your bank details under the "Studentship Stipend" heading. (Please ensure you enter a reference, this is for your own information and is what will appear on your bank statement when the possible payment in made in to your account). 
  • It is important that you only enter UK bank details. Overseas payments can only be made under exceptional circumstances, however this can take several weeks to reach your account. You must specify an international payment request in your application form if you wish to receive the possible payment in this way. 

Step 4: Submit the application form along with any relevant evidence to the Student Funding team. All applications are submitted via askUCL

To submit your application and evidence via askUCL: 

  • Log in to askUCL
  • Select "Log an Enquiry"
  • Choose "Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) as the category for your enquiry
  • Ensure you attach your application and all your relevant evidence documentation to the enquiry and enter your student number in the subject area.

When should I expect to hear back about my application and funding?

Once your application and all evidence has been received, the Student Funding team will send you an email (to your UCL email address) directly letting you know that a decision will be made in 4 working weeks.

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

If your application is successful, you should normally expect to receive your payment within 10 days of the notification of your successful application.

Top tips to be mindful of whilst applying for the Financial Assistance Fund

  • More than one application per academic year is not permitted
  • You may apply for the Financial Assistance Fund more than once during an academic year, only if your circumstances have changed materially or significantly from the time of your original application
  • All decisions made by the Student Funding team are final and appeals cannot be considered
  • It is important that you complete all sections for your application form to the best of your ability, as this supports the decision of your application
  • All funding is subject to availability and the deadlines may be brought forward at a short notice if the funds are exhausted. You are therefore encouraged not to delay your application if you are in financial difficulty

Further information

Get in touch with a Student Funding Advisor for financial support advice, including budgeting and managing finances at university

Take a look at the UCL Cares blog pages for further support around student health and wellbeing 

Read through our Student Money Blog pages for news and updates on Student Money

Follow @UCLFunding for regular funding tips and tricks