UCL Financial Assistance Fund

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


Before you apply

The Financial Assistance Fund supports students who are in financial hardship. Support is available for living costs only.

We particularly encourage applications from those with caring responsibilities, students estranged from their family, care-experienced students, and those in hardship due to the current cost of living crisis.

About the fund

The UCL Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) supports students who have encountered unexpected circumstances that put them into financial difficulty. This can include an inability to meet essential costs such as rent, food and utility bills – along with unexpected one-off events. 

Before submitting an application, you must have applied for all Government funding that is available to you (such as Student Finance England Loans and/or NHS Bursaries).

Once we receive your completed application, we will assess your expected income and reasonable expenditure. Where we identify you have a shortfall of funding a non-repayable grant can be awarded.


The fund is open to all students currently enrolled on a UCL programme and paying tuition fees to UCL, but note:

  • Students studying MSc Speech and Language Therapy, MSc Orthoptics or MSc Dietetics should apply to the Exceptional Support Fund (ESF) for financial assistance. 

We’ll ask you to provide proof of what financial preparation you have made for your programme of study, for both tuition fees and living costs.

Please note - applicants with an outstanding tuition fee debt to the university are not eligible to apply to the fund.


Priority students

The following groups of students will have their applications expedited and may be eligible for additional funding at the point of assessment. This is in line with UCL’s Widening Participation Policy.


For 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

For Postgraduate Taught and PGCE students the priority groups are:

  • those with children, especially single parents
  • students with disabilities

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

How much is available

Awards are for living costs only and will vary depending on individual circumstances and availability of funds. We are able to award funds up to the following amounts:

 Students without dependantsStudents with dependants
Full-time students£2,500£3,000
Part-time students£1,250£1,500

When can I apply?

The deadlines to apply for 2022-23 are below:

-    For UG, Diploma and affiliate Students – Friday 9th June 2023
-    For PGT and PGCE students – Friday 28th July 2023

Please note funding is subject to availability and we encourage you to apply as early as possible. 

Applications for the summer vacation period are not normally considered. However, depending upon circumstances and available funds, we may be able to consider making an award. For example, to those with disabilities unable to work during the summer, those who have caring responsibilities, students who are care experienced or estranged from their families, and for students whose home country is impacted by conflict and/or economic crisis.

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 further advice.

To make an application

Step 1.

Read the Guidance Notes

Step 2.

Complete the Application Form:

We’ll also need the following supporting evidence from you:

  • Proof of your Student Loans / any other income you receive
  • 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

Step 3.

Provide your bank details.

To do so you will need to go Portico, to the “My Money” section and select the “View/update your bank details” option and enter them under the “Studentship Stipend” heading. Please ensure that a reference is entered; the reference is for your information only and is the wording that will appear on your bank statement if an award is paid in.

Note that you can only enter  UK bank account details. (In exceptional circumstances, payment can be made into an overseas bank account, but please note that funds can take several weeks to reach the account. If you would like to receive payment this way, please state this in your application form and we will provide further instructions if your application is successful). 

Step 4.

Send your application 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 3 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 incomplete 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

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.