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Student Support Fund

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

Important Notice: We recognise that many of our students are facing unforeseen difficulties because of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and are pleased to announce that we are now able to extend this fund to all students who are experiencing hardship due to the direct and indirect impacts of COVID19 - including international, distance learning, and postgraduate students

What can I apply for?

You can apply to the fund if you’ve an unexpected emergency to deal with, such as the repair of essential household equipment, or travel home due to a serious family illness or bereavement

You can also apply for assistance with additional course related costs you’d not previously anticipated such as, books/equipment and travel. For final year students this could include additional costs associated with your final year project.

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  • A current and active student (you cannot have withdrawn or taken a break in studies).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, EU or Overseas 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 (criteria temporarily suspended due to ongoing Covid-19 outbreak).
  • In receipt of the full tuition fee loan or comparable funding (criteria temporarily suspended due to ongoing Covid-19 outbreak).
  • 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 and services such as holidays, clothing from premium brands, gambling, regular takeaways and meals out in restaurants (criteria temporarily suspended due to ongoing Covid-19 outbreak).
  • Have sent some or most of your available funds to friends and/or family (criteria temporarily suspended due to ongoing Covid-19 outbreak).
  • Have applied for assistance with arrears/debt incurred before commencing your current course registration criteria temporarily relaxed due to ongoing Covid-19 outbreak).

Are certain students given priority?

The Fund is there to help any eligible student who has a financial need. 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 time during the academic year.

Can I apply more than once?

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 change in circumstances.

How do I apply?

You can apply to the Fund using the following link: Student Support Fund Online Application Form

If you require help and support applying please contact our Student Guidance team at support@staffs.ac.uk or the Student Advice Centre (Tel. 01782 294629 or pop to their reception above the Ember Lounge) to arrange to speak to an Adviser.

Please note your application is not 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 £40 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.

Where do I send my evidence?

All evidence needs to be sent to feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk and submitted no later than 7 working days after completing your application.

Please make sure you appropriately name any documents you send to us and include your name and student number.

What format do I need to send my evidence in?

We can only accept:

  • PDF’s
  • .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. This will depend on individual circumstances. If further evidence is required, it may 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 evidence has been received.
  • The application form has been signed and dated.

Stage 2: Once your application has passed Stage 1 it will be forwarded to a standing panel to be assessed. The panel will decide whether you receive an award and how much you’ll be awarded.

How do we access your application?

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 write to you with details of how much you’ve been awarded.

There is an upper limit for awards of £1,000 per student per year.

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

Do I have to repay the Student Support Fund?

Payments awarded through the Student 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 in your first year of application won't still be unforeseen if you apply for the same need again the following year.

My student funding is delayed, is there any support I can receive?

Yes, for further information and to apply online please visit our Delayed funding page.

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 our Student Hub or sac@staffs.ac.uk or the Student Advice Centre (Tel. 01782 294629 or pop to their reception above the Ember Lounge) to arrange to speak to an Adviser.