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Student Success (Support) Fund

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If you’re struggling financially and worried this could impact on your ability to continue with your studies we have a fund that might be able to help you.

You'll also find lots of information and helpful tips on our managing your money page

 

What can I apply for?

Our Student Success (Support) Fund is a discretionary fund available to students experiencing severe financial hardship and each application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The fund can also assist with the costs of diagnostic tests (i.e. dyslexia full screening) and DSA equipment contributions (up to the value of £200).

What can’t I apply for?

The fund can’t  be used to pay tuition fees, library fines or any other fines imposed by the University or a third party (e.g. parking/speeding fines), or to support "lifestyle choices". Similarly, the fund can’t be used to pay off store cards or any other debts you have accrued before starting your course.

Who can apply?

To apply you must be:

  • A current and active student (you cannot have withdrawn or taken a break in studies).
  • Classed as Home for fees.
  • Studying full or part time on an eligible course (if studying part time, you must be studying at 25% of a full-time equivalent course).
  • Enrolled onto a course which is a minimum of 1-year duration.
  • Enrolled onto a course that leads to an award such as a HND, Foundation Degree, BA, BSc, BEng, Masters or Doctorate.
  • Entitled to funding from Student Finance England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.
  • In receipt of the full tuition fee loan or comparable funding.
  • In proven genuine financial hardship.
  • Able to show that reasonable provision was made prior to commencing your course to cover expected tuition and living costs.

You will not be eligible for support from the fund if you:

  • Have not made reasonable provisions before the start of your course to cover all related costs such as rent, tuition fees and general living.
  • Have used all your available funds on non-essential expenditure. This can include, but is not limited to, purchases such as holidays, gambling, clothing from premium brands, regular takeaways and meals out in restaurants.
  • Have sent some or most of your available funds to friends and/or family.
  • Have applied for assistance with arrears/debt incurred before commencing your current course registration.
  • Are studying at one of our partner colleges. If studying at a partner college you will need to contact the college directly to check what support is available to you and apply to them directly.

Are certain students given priority?

Although we will consider applications from any student, priority is given to students who are:

  • Lone parents.
  • Disabled students (especially where DSA is unable to meet particular costs).
  • Mature students.
  • Students who are care Leavers.
  • Students who are estranged from their parents.
  • Students who are carers.
  • Students from low income families.
  • Students whose courses have additional costs.

If you’re not in one of the priority groups listed you can still apply, but you need to provide as much evidence as possible to show why you’re in need of additional funds.

When can I apply?

You can apply for help from the Fund at any point throughout the academic year.

Can I apply more than once?

Yes, you can make a repeat application, but only if your financial circumstances have changed significantly during the year. You’ll need to provide evidence to show your circumstances have changed.

How do I apply?

You can apply to the Fund through our partner platform Blackbullion, using the following link: 

Student Success (Support) Fund

If you've not already registered with Blackbullion you'll be asked to register with them, using your student email account before completing your application. Registration is free and will give you access to all Blackbullion's online resources and learning modules designed to help you develop essential money skills, as well as exclusive competitions. For more information on Blackbullion please watch the video Hi, we are Blackbullion (Youtube)

The application will ask you questions about your course and your individual circumstances. You'll also need to upload evidence to support your application. We won't be able to process your application without the required evidence.

If you require help applying please contact our Money & Guidance Advisors or the Student Union Advice Centre (Tel. 01782 294629) or pop to their reception above the Ember Lounge) to arrange to speak to an Advisor.

Please note: Your application will not be considered complete and can’t be assessed until all supporting evidence has been received. To see what you need to supply use the evidence checklist below.

What evidence do I need to send?

To support your application please send:

  • Your most recent bank statement for each account you/your partner hold. You must explain any credit or debit transactions over £50 that appear on your statements.
  • Current funding evidence:  Notification of Entitlement letter from Student Finance.
  • Accommodation costs: Tenancy agreement or recent mortgage statement. If you pay board you will need to provide a signed letter from your parent/guardian stating the amount you pay.

Please note that mini statements will not be accepted. Statements must be in consecutive order and clearly show your name, bank details, transactions and available balance.

If you’re applying for support with a particular item (e.g. council tax arrears) you’ll need to provide evidence of the costs you’re claiming for. Where applicable you’ll need to send:

  • Evidence of Council Tax.
  • Evidence of rent arrears.
  • Proof of childcare costs.
  • Car costs – insurance certificate, PCP agreement.
  • Any other relevant evidence.

Applications submitted without the correct supporting evidence won’t be processed. You’ll be asked to provide any missing evidence, which could delay your application.

How do I send my supporting evidence?

All supporting evidence should be uploaded with your online application. Should you experience any difficulties in doing this please contact us at  feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk.

What format do I need to send my supporting evidence in?

We can only accept:

  • PDFs
  • .doc or .docx word documents. We accept these for personal statements only. These should only be included if you need to inform us of any additional information that supports your application.

We do not accept:

  • Image files of any sort (.png; .jpeg; etc). These are often too large and not clear enough for us to accept, and with the availability of scanners on campus should not be necessary.
  • Screenshots or photos of bank statements inserted into a Word document as these are rarely clear enough for us to accept.
  • Images of bank statements from mobile phones.

How long will it take for me to find out if my application has been successful?

Once your application is complete, you should hear back from us by email within 2 working weeks.

Once your application has been received you may be asked to provide further evidence. If further evidence is required, it could delay your application if you don’t send it to us in a timely manner.

If we require any further evidence we'll contact you via your student email. We'll also use your student email to notify you of the outcome of your application.

Applications submitted over Christmas, Easter and the summer break

Please note that the fund allows the 2 working weeks processing time to be extended to 4 weeks during the above vacation periods.

How is a decision made?

Stage 1: Your application will be checked to ensure that:

  • The eligibility criteria have been met.
  • The application form has been completed correctly.
  • All relevant supporting evidence has been received.

Stage 2: Once we've received all relevant supporting evidence from you and your application has passed Stage 1, we will assess your application.

How do we access your application?

We assess each application on a case-by-case basis and will take into account your individual circumstances wherever possible. When deciding whether we can make a payment to you, we’ll look at your expected income and what we consider to be “reasonable” expenditure on rent, travel, and course related costs.  

If you’re facing a financial emergency or there are special circumstances attached to your application, we'll look at this on an individual basis.  If you live with your partner, we'll need details of their income and expenditure, as well as your own income and expenditure.

How much will I be awarded?

As the fund has limited resources we can’t offer help to every applicant and we can’t always meet all the costs you might apply for. All awards will depend on individual circumstances. If you’re awarded a payment we’ll confirm how much you’ve been awarded by email.

There is an upper limit for awards of £1,000 per student per year. For those students studying on our London campus we will apply an additional weighting to your award.

If you wish to discuss your application or award further please contact us at student-support@staffs.ac.uk.

Do I have to repay the Student Success (Support) Fund?

Payments awarded through the Student Success (Support) Fund do not usually have to be repaid. If, however your attendance is poor, or you intermit/withdraw from your studies before the end of the academic year you may be required to repay all or part of the award.

Can I apply every year?

Yes, but bear in mind that the outcome of your application may not be the same year on year. The amount of funding we receive varies each year, so the amount we can allocate to students may also vary. 

Similarly, something that was unforeseen the first year year you apply won't still be unforeseen if you apply for the same need again the following year.

Where can I get additional money advice?

We have lots of information and helpful tips on our managing your money page.

Book a Financial Health Check appointment

An adviser can help you look into:
•    Maximising your income
•    Ways to reduce your spending
•    Creating your personal budget plan.

Contact the Money & Guidance Advisors  or the Student Advice Centre (Tel. 01782 294629 or pop to their reception above the Ember Lounge) to arrange to speak to an Advisor.