Table of Contents
- What is a student hardship fund?
- How does hardship funding work?
- How to apply for a student hardship fund?
- How much will you get?
- SHF for international students
- What should you do if your application is turned down?
- How do student hardship funds help students with better financial management?
- Key takeaways
The student hardship fund offers limited financial assistance to students who are experiencing financial difficulties and cannot manage basic living expenses and those who have encountered unexpected occurrences or changes in their financial circumstances. Applying for the fund is straightforward and can be done entirely online.
Awarded funds are not repaid and are based on a ‘means test’ of a student’s income and expenses. Please keep in mind that all payments are made at the discretion of the student finance center, and the fund should not be viewed as a primary source of income or a replacement for parental support but rather as a safety net for students in need.
What is a student hardship fund?
Universities provide the student hardship fund (SHF) to help students experiencing genuine and unavoidable financial difficulties and struggling with living costs.
Your university or college decides the amount you can get, which will either be paid in a lump sum or in installments.
How does hardship funding work?
You may have financial troubles, and you must also be one of the following to qualify for the funding-
- A student with children, often a single parent
- A mature student with existing financial responsibilities
- Coming from a low-income household
- Studying with a disability
- A student who was formerly in care (sometimes known as a “care leaver”)
- Homeless or living in a hallway
How to apply for a student hardship fund?
To apply for SHF, contact your university’s student services department, and they will determine whether or not you qualify.
You will need a copy of your student financing England letter indicating how much student finance you get and any financial documents, such as bank statements and rent data.
Unless it is for day-to-day living expenses, money from your university or institution will not normally be recognized as income when calculating your claim for benefits or tax credits.
How much will you get?
The SHF is a discretionary grant that provides up to £2,500 in help every academic year and does not require repayment.
So, applying is worth your time if you believe you are eligible.
SHF for international students
- International students from the EU and other countries can apply for the International Hardship Fund (IHF).
- The IHF fund can provide up to £1,000 in financial assistance per year to students in an emergency situation or who have a financial imbalance throughout the academic year.
- The fund cannot be used to pay for tuition. Applications will be accepted until the 16th of June 2023 or until funds are depleted, whichever comes first.
What should you do if your application is turned down?
- If your hardship fund application is denied, you can appeal the decision at some universities.
- If your initial application is denied or your appeal is denied, there are some alternative cash sources to consider.
Student bursaries and grants
Most institutions will require you to look for bursaries, grants, and scholarships before applying for hardship support. If you haven’t already, it will be worthwhile to spend some time looking for non-repayable money.
DSA (Disabled Students Allowance)
DSA is not only for students with physical disabilities. Suppose you have a sensory impairment, a mental health condition, a learning disability, or any other medical condition that interferes with your ability to study. In that case, you might be eligible for this non-repayable assistance.
Overdraft on a student bank account
This is one of the safest forms of student borrowing, so if you are approaching your agreed-upon limit, contact your bank to see if they will increase your allowance. Understanding how these rates change after you graduate is important, so talk to a financial adviser to learn more.
How do student hardship funds help students with better financial management?
- Navigating the world of education is difficult at the moment as education fees keep rising.
- The spike in hardship funding claims, combined with the current cost-of-living problem and rising inflation, makes higher education feel more like a privilege than a right for many students.
- Despite this, students understand how important their education is for their future, and student hardship funds keep them going.
- Student hardship fund (SHF) assists students experiencing genuine and unavoidable financial difficulties and struggling to meet their living expenses. The university often provides these funds.
- Students with children, existing financial responsibilities, or those who come from a low-income household or have some type of disability can avail of the student hardship fund.
- To apply for SHF, you can contact your university’s student services department, and they will decide whether you qualify or not. You will need a copy of your student financing England letter and financial documents such as bank statements and rent data to apply for SFH.
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Q1. What is a financial hardship grant?
Ans- Grants to aid people in financial need without constraints on who they can serve. Small grants are utilized to get through short-term difficulties. You can apply for funds to purchase white goods, necessary household products, baby necessities, etc.
Q2. How long does student hardship fund payment take to process?
Ans- Normally, the SHF payment is made within 20 working days. But this period changes depending on which university is awarding the funds.
Q3. What is the energy hardship fund?
Ans- The Energy Hardship Fund is a collaborative effort between the social housing industry and its partners to assist social housing households with their energy expenditures during winter.