UCL Financial Assistance Fund

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

Application processing times

We are currently dealing with a high volume of applications and there may be a delay in the current advertised decision times. We apologise for the inconvenience. 

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 should have applied for all Government funding that is available to you (such as Student Finance England Loans and NHS Bursaries).

Please note:

  • The funds support living costs (maintenance) only and cannot be awarded to pay for tuition fees
  • If you are in need of short-term financial assistance due to a funding delay, you can apply for a UCL Short term Loan instead.
  • UCL also offers a range of additional welfare support and guidance here.

If you have any questions about these funds you can contact the UCL Student Funding Office via askUCL.

After we receive your completed application, we will assess your expected income against reasonable expenditure. Where we identify you have a shortfall of funding a non-repayable grant may be awarded for your living costs (note: we are unable to consider applications for tuition fees).


The fund is open to all students currently enrolled on a UCL programme.

We’ll ask you to provide proof of what financial preparation you made for your programme of study, for both tuition fees and living costs, as well as evidence showing that you have taken out the maximum entitlement for statutory loans (if applicable). 

Please note - applicants with an outstanding tuition fee debt to the university are not eligible to apply to the fund, nor those who are currently on interruption/not in attendance.  Postgraduate students who had not made realistic provision to fund their studies before enrolling are also generally ineligible. 

Priority students

Certain groups of students will have their applications expedited and may be eligible for additional funding at the point of assessment.

The priority groups differ depending on study level and applies to students who:

UndergraduatePostgraduate Taught & PGCEPostgraduate Research

Have children, particularly single parents

Are from low-income families

Are mature students

Have disabilities

Are/have been homeless

Are from care-experienced background

Are estranged from their parents

Have children, particularly single parents

Have disabilities

Have children, particularly single parents

Have disabilities

Are self-payers (paying their own tuition fee and living costs without a full studentship/loan)

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 2023-24 are:

UndergraduatePostgraduate Taught & PGCEPostgraduate Research
Friday 7 June 2024Friday 26 July 2024No deadline

Applications past the deadline are not normally considered. However, depending upon circumstances and available funds, and provided you have not finished your course, we may be able to consider making an award - for example, if you are unable to work during the summer due to a disability, have caring responsibilities, are care experienced or estranged from your family, or if your home country is impacted by conflict and/or economic crisis. 

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

To make an application

Step 1.

Read the Guidance Notes

Step 2.

Provide your bank details:

  • Login to your Portico account
  • Navigate to the ‘My Money’ section
  • Select the ‘View/update your bank details’ option
  • Enter your bank details 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 statement and we will provide further instructions if your application is successful. 

Step 3.

Complete the application form:

  • Log into your Portico account.
  • Navigate to the ‘My Money’ section
  • Click on ‘Financial Assistance Fund’
  • Click on ‘Start Application’

If you have any questions about the process, or encounter any issues, please let us know by logging into askUCL, select Log an Enquiry and choose Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) from the categories.

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.

Application processing times

We are currently dealing with a high volume of applications and there may be a delay in the current advertised decision times. We apologise for the inconvenience. 

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 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 not normally considered.