2. University and college hardship funds

The Access to Learning Fund has been replaced. Contact your university or college to find out if you’re eligible for extra money.

You could get extra money from your university or college if you’re experiencing financial hardship. You may be, for example:

  • a student with children, especially single parents
  • a mature student with existing financial commitments
  • from a low-income family
  • disabled
  • a student that was previously in care (a ‘care leaver’)
  • homeless or living in a foyer

What you’ll get

The amount you can get is decided by your university or college. It’s paid in a lump sum or instalments.

You usually won’t have to pay the money back, but in some cases you’ll get a loan that you have to repay.

How to apply

Contact the student services department at your university or college - they’ll decide if you qualify.

You’ll need:

Money from your university or college won’t usually be counted as income when working out your entitlement to benefits or tax credits, unless it’s for day-to-day living costs.