Students Staff

Hardship loans and funds

We can offer you help and advice with:

There are also various organisations who may be able to help you fund your studies:

Final Year Fund (All Students)

Applications for the Final Year Fund have now closed. Information regarding applications for 2019/20 will be updated later in the academic year.

Late Funding Loan (Home UK students only)

Late Funding Loans are available to undergraduate and postgraduate students who are eligible and have applied for funding from Student Finance or the NHS, but have not yet received any payments.

We'll help with a loan towards basic living costs. It will not be sufficient to cover rent or tuition fees. If you have dependent children you will receive a higher payment.

These loans are interest-free. Repayment conditions apply and will be discussed when you apply.

If you originally applied to a different university and haven't yet updated Student Finance then this will delay your payment. Please contact the Funding Team by emailing with details, including your Student Finance Student Support Number (SSN), and we can update your records.

  • Eligibility

    Your first funding instalment

    At the start of your first term at Essex, you'll receive your first instalment of NHS funding or undergraduate Student Finance normally three to five days after Registration. This means you may not receive payment until the end of the first teaching week. This is the standard timescale and no Late Funding Loans will be issued when this is the only issue affecting payment. You may still be able to apply for an Emergency Loan from SU Advice.

    Eligibility criteria

    In order to apply you should:

    • be fully registered at the University of Essex for the current academic year
    • be classed as a Home (UK) student
    • be eligible and have applied for maintenance support from Student Finance or NHS (you will be required to provide evidence that you have done so)
    • not yet have received any payments from your funding provider
    • be aware of the reason why your funding has been delayed (if you are not aware, we will ask you to contact your funding provider before submitting your application)

  • How to apply

    1. Check you meet the eligibility criteria above.
    2. Print the application form (.pdf).
    3. Complete the form and take it to your Student Services Hub with all of the required evidence.
    4. Hub staff will go through your application form and the repayment terms with you.
    5. If you're happy with the terms, your application will be processed and payment arranged.

    Loans are normally made by a combination of cash and BACS payments. Cash is available the next working day, but is not available at our Loughton Campus. BACS payments will be made as soon as possible.

University of Essex Hardship Fund (Home UK students only)

This fund is available to students in the following groups who are experiencing or expect to experience severe financial difficulties during the academic year:

  • UK undergraduate students who receive maintenance support from Student Finance or the NHS
  • UK postgraduate students who can show they have made reasonable provision towards their tuition fees and living costs
  • Application deadlines

    • Undergraduate students: 26 June 2020
    • Undergraduate Nursing (Adult or Mental Health) students: 28 August 2020
    • Undergraduate Oral Health students: 28 August 2020
    • Undergraduates on other ‘long courses’: please contact
    • For all postgraduates this will be 28 August 2020

  • Eligibility

    In order to apply you should:

    • be fully registered at the University of Essex for the current academic year
    • be classed as a Home (UK) student
    • have taken all support available to you via Student Finance, Postgraduate Loans from the SLC and/or NHS
    • have taken all other funding that you may be entitled to, including welfare benefits and tax credits
    • show that, across the academic year, you have/will have sufficient funds to cover your full tuition fees, plus at least £5,000 towards living costs (postgraduate students)

  • How to apply

    Applications for 2019 are open.

    1. Please check you meet the eligibility criteria above.
    2. Carefully read the guidance notes at the start of the form and complete the application form (.pdf).
    3. Complete the form and take it to your Student Services Hub with all of the required evidence.
    4. Hub staff will go through your application form and supporting evidence with you.

    Incomplete applications will not be accepted. You will be asked to return once your application/evidence is complete.

  • Submitting your application

    On the back page of the form is a list of documents you will need to submit with your completed application form.

    If any evidence is missing your application will not be accepted and no assessment will be made.

    Please retain these notes for your information and return your completed application form and ALL supporting documentation in person. Your form and documentation will be checked-in by a member of staff who will try to ensure nothing is missing but required evidence will be different depending on your individual situation. Your assessment will be delayed if evidence is missing, so please look through the checklist to ensure that you are submitting all the evidence relevant to your situation.

    There are times when it is not apparent that evidence is missing until the assessment is being carried out. If this happens the assessor will email you to let you know what is needed and you will be given a three week deadline within which to submit the outstanding evidence. If we do not receive the additional information/evidence by the deadline your current application will be withdrawn. This does not prevent you from submitting a new application (so long as there are still funds remaining), however please be advised that you will be required to submit new, up-to-date, information/evidence and your application will be treated as a brand new application. All applications are dealt with in strict date of receipt/completion order.

    Provided your application form has been accurately completed and ALL the appropriate documentary evidence supplied, an assessment and decision should be made within four working weeks of submission.

    We will use your @essex email address to request any additional information from you, and to notify you of the outcome of your application. It is, therefore, important that you check your email regularly and let the Funding Team know should your email address be out of action or you expect to be unable to check your messages for some time.

    If you would like us to use a different email address please state this clearly on your form. Decisions will not be given by telephone.

  • After you apply

    How your application will be assessed

    Your application will be assessed as a ‘standard’ or ‘non-standard’ claim. We will assess ‘standard’ applications under an additional need method that looks at the difference between reasonable expenditure and expected income over the academic year. The assessment process for ‘standard’ and ‘non-standard’ awards is designed to identify students who have particular financial needs and those who are in unforeseen financial difficulty.

    Standard awards can help towards general costs associated with being a full-time undergraduate student such as living costs e.g. rent, mortgage payments, food, utility bills etc.

    For full-time undergraduate students being assessed for a standard award there is an assumed income level set by the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) at £2,243 per year for full year students and £748 per year for final year students at Colchester and Southend and £2,613 per year for full year students and £871 per year for students at our Loughton campus. This assumes income from a number of sources including part time work (we do not include your actual earnings amount and any earnings over the assumed income are disregarded) and additional support from your parents / partner / savings etc.

    For full-time postgraduate students a Minimum Required Provision (MRP) amount is applied to standard assessments. This is set at £11,076 for those studying outside London and £12,896 for those studying in London (i.e. Loughton-based students). For students with children or who are unable to work due to a disability these amounts will be £8,892 for those studying outside London and £10,348 for those studying in London.

    (We allow Postgraduates to apply if they can evidence at least £5,000 towards their living costs (in addition to tuition fees) however we are required to use the MRP figure in your assessment whether you have this amount or not).

    We also apply a set expenditure level, known as the ‘Composite Living Cost,’ which is based upon state benefit amounts for general living costs such as food and usual household costs such as utility bills. The relevant amount will be set depending on your circumstances, for example if you have children.

    Non-standard awards can help to meet exceptional costs, such as high costs for students dependent on continuing medication not covered elsewhere. Emergency situations (such as travel costs for family illness or bereavement) can also be considered under the non-standard award assessment. In addition to these examples, costs for disabled students not met by the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) can be considered.

    You may only apply to the Fund once during an academic year unless your circumstances have undergone a significant change which has resulted in a loss of income (which was taken into account in the original assessment) or an increase in essential expenditure. Running out of money is not regarded as a Change in Circumstances.

    You will be asked to complete a Change of Circumstances application form (available upon request from the Funding Team) and provide documentary evidence for the change in circumstance.

    Reviewing your application

    Our Funding Team will process your application within four working weeks. Our Hub staff will try to ensure that your application and evidence is complete but this is not always possible. We may need additional evidence and we'll email you if this is the case.

    You will receive an email response letting you know the outcome of your application. If you are successful you will be required to complete some online money-management modules about budgeting and debt before your payment can be made.

    Successful applications

    • Payments are made by BACS into your nominated UK bank account.
    • If you request it we can make payment to a third party.
    • If you have an outstanding debt (other than tuition fee debt) to the University of Essex, your award will be put towards this debt. Any remaining balance will then be made available to you.

    Unsuccessful applications

    If you are unsuccessful then we will give you some information about other sources of funding that you may wish to consider.

    Appealing your application outcome

    If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your application there are two stages of recourse open to you:

    • Review: If you are unhappy with the outcome of your application because it was rejected and you feel this was the wrong decision, or the amount awarded was less than you think it should have been, you may request a review of your application, by email or letter, within four weeks of the original decision. Your review will be handled by a member of the Funding Team who was not involved in the original decision.
    • Appeal: Following a review, if you are still unhappy and believe that there were procedural irregularities with regards to the treatment of your application, you may submit an appeal within two weeks of the outcome of the review. Your appeal will be considered by the Funding Manager.

    The decision of the Funding Manager following appeal is final.

Vera Carmen Lord Fund

The Vera Carmen Lord Fund provides hardship funds for:

  • students who have resided in or have a connection to the Worthing area
  • students (or whose parents) are nationals of, or were born in Jamaica

Apply by following the application process for the University of Essex Hardship Fund (above) and submit additional evidence of your connection with the relevant area.

This fund was established thanks to a donation from a private individual.

Care leaver and refugee bursaries

Most of our scholarships and bursaries are only available to new students, but the following are open to current students too:

  • Care Leaver Bursary - Undergraduate students who were in UK local authority care before starting their course at Essex and Postgraduates who were under 25 at the start of their course
  • Refugee Bursary - Undergraduate and Postgraduate students with UK refugee status, or who are children of UK refugees