UCL Financial Assistance Fund

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

Before you apply

Before deciding to submit an application, it may be worth reviewing your budget and looking at how you can make your money further.  Our money management tips page has some general tips and tools, including a budget calculator, which you may find useful. UCL also offers a Student Funding Advice service for those who are struggling with money management or are experiencing complex funding issues.  

About the fund

The UCL Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) supports students who began their academic year having made realistic and adequate financial provision, but 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 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. 

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 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 Posgraduate 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. Maximum awards are currently as follows:

 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 2021/22 are below:

-    For UG, Diploma and affiliate Students – Friday 10 June 2022
-    For PGT and PGCE students – Friday 29 July 2022

Please note funding is subject to availability and the deadlines may be brought forward at short notice if the funds are exhausted.  We therefore encourage you not to delay your application if you are in financial difficulty. 

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

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.


Step 2.

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

Step 3.

Provide your bank details for payment of possible award.

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 when the award is paid in.

Note that you can only enter details of a UK bank account. 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.

Submit the application form along with any relevant evidence (as described on pages 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 and you did not receive the maximum award amount in your first 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.