Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Hardship Fund?

The Hardship Fund is designed to support UK students studying on a USW campus, who are experiencing financial difficulties.

2. Who is eligible to apply for assistance from the Hardship Fund?

  • Only those students deemed to be 'Home’ for the purpose of student funding are eligible to apply. The University also requires that:
  • Full-Time Undergraduate students must have taken the maximum student Loan available to them.
  • Part-Time Undergraduate students must have applied for the statutory government funding available to them prior to applying to the Fund. This would be their Tuition Fee Loan and Course Grant and/or the Fee Waiver Scheme.
  • Postgraduate and Self-Funding students will be expected to have secured appropriate funding prior to embarking on their course (e.g., Postgraduate Loan or equivalent, scholarship, savings etc).
*Students are enrolled at a USW campus (Partner Colleges have their own hardship fund schemes)

3. When can I submit an application?
The Hardship Fund 17/18 opens for standard applications on Monday 2nd October 2017. If you are experiencing urgent financial difficulties, please see an adviser.

4. What is the deadline for applying to the Fund?
If you are in your final year and due to end your course in June 2018, you must submit a fully completed application by 11th May 2018. If you are in your final year and your course is due to end after June 2018, please contact us directly for advice. Final year Nursing March intake students must submit a fully completed application by 9th March 2018. The Fund will close to applications when funds are exhausted or on 31 August 2018, so applications from continuing students should be submitted by 10 August 2018 at the latest, in order to allow 15 working days for your application to be processed.

5. Can I apply to the Hardship Fund more than once in an academic year?
You can only apply to the Hardship Fund once per academic year. If your circumstances have changed, it is necessary to submit a review. If you require assistance submitting a review, please make an appointment with a Money and Support Adviser.

6. How is the decision assessed?
Your individual circumstances are considered and looked at by the Hardship Fund Panel. Applications are assessed by looking at the difference between students’ income and expenditure to identify if there is a financial need.

7. Can I have help completing the Hardship Fund application?
Yes. Should you require help completing the form please book an appointment with an Adviser. Please ensure that you complete the form as fully as possible and bring it along to the appointment with supporting documentation.

8. What are the composite costs rates?
The table below outlines examples of the rates we use for composite living costs.

Student Profile Monthly Composite Cost
Single student living at parental home £150
Single student living alone £350
Single student in shared accommodation £325
Single student in halls £350
Student living with a partner £600
Student living with a partner and 1 child £850
Single parent with 1 child £600

9. What is included in composite costs?
Composite costs include general livings costs such as food and usual household costs (e.g., utility bills, mobile charges, entertainment etc). Composite costs are set depending on your circumstances (see above).

10. I am experiencing short-term hardship and would like to apply for a loan, how do I do this?
If you are experiencing short-term hardship, please book an appointment with a Money and Support Adviser.

11. I have a bank account that I have not used in over a year, do you still need bank statements for this account?
Yes. It is necessary that you provide evidence of all accounts that you/your partner hold, even if you are not currently using them or if they have a nil or low balance.

12. I have no transactions on my statements in the last two months, what do I do?
If no transactions have taken place on your account in the last two months please provide evidence from your bank detailing when the account was last used.

13. Are mobile banking statements acceptable?
Print outs from mobile banking are acceptable providing they include your name/your partner’s name, account number, credits, debits, dates and a running balance.

14. Do I need provide my partner’s information, even though we are not married?
Yes, if you are living with your partner, you must provide their information including income and expenditure and statements for any bank accounts they hold.

15. Will my parents’ income be taken into account?
We usually look at student’s income, although we will use an assessed parental contribution, as assessed by Student Finance, as well as any parental contributions detailed on the application or bank statements.

16. If I am successful in receiving an award, how will my award be paid?
If you are successful, you will be sent an email informing you that an award is due. If you haven’t already submitted your bank details, the email will contain instructions on how you can do this. Please note that the account you provide must be in your name. There are occasions when the Hardship Fund Panel will pay third parties directly and this will be communicated to you in your award email.

17. How much will I be awarded from the Fund?
Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and awards vary.

18. How do I review my Hardship Fund application?
You can request a review, if the information given on the original application if your circumstances have changed. You can download a review sheet or request a copy from Please ensure you have read the guidance notes attached to the front of the review sheet before submitting a review.

19. I’m not happy with the Hardship Fund Panel’s decision how do I appeal?
If you are unhappy with the decision made by the Panel or you feel you should be given a higher award you can appeal. Please be aware that an appeal is the last action that may be taken on a case in any academic year and the decision will be final.

20. How long will it take to assess my Hardship Fund application?
Applications can take up to 15 working days (or 3 weeks) to process. If your application is missing evidence/information crucial to your case, your application will be delayed. We will communicate with you via your University email address if we require further evidence or information in support of your application. You may also be asked to attend an appointment with a Money and Support Adviser to clarify information given in your application.