College funds & hardship grants
Hardship Grants may be made from College Funds, but before resorting to these funds, you should show that you have applied to all appropriate University Funds, particularly e.g. the Cambridge Bursary Scheme, Cranes Fund and the Bell, Abbott & Barnes Funds (see below).
College Funds are administered by the Financial Adversity Support Committee (Senior Tutor, Bursar, Senior Postgraduate Tutor, Finance Tutor plus two other Fellows) and are available to any student, undergraduate or postgraduate, whose financial situation merits help by the College because of financial adversity. Applications for such grants usually come from the Tutor, accompanied sometimes by letters or documents from the student.
A definition of Hardship is not easy but the Committee is concerned to ensure that the expenditure was inevitable as a result of difficulties that were not the fault of the student and were unforeseen and unforeseeable at the time of admission. The Committee recognises that the assessment procedures used by the Student Loans company (upon the outcome of which Newton Trust and University Hardship Funds applications may necessarily depend) can be rather rigid, and may fail to take into account exceptional circumstances.
The Committee will normally require full information from Tutors (including possibly sensitive information about the resources available to the student’s family) to enable it to assess the size of the financial problem, together with advice from the Tutor on the validity of the information and the magnitude of the case. The Financial Adversity Support Committee relies heavily on this advice when making grants. The Committee is not in the habit of interviewing students directly and must rely on students, guided by their Tutors, to present an honest assessment of the need and the justification for the need for a grant.
See ‘Emergency Loans’ for information on how to apply for a grant.
When the need for financial support from the Hardship Fund is sufficiently urgent that it cannot wait until the next meeting of the Financial Adversity Support Committee, the Senior Tutor (for undergraduates) or the Senior Postgraduate Tutor (for postgraduate students) has the authority to approve an emergency loan from the Hardship Fund to a maximum of £250. The loan is free of interest and must have a repayment date not more than four months from the date of authorisation.
The Senior Tutor or Senior Postgraduate Tutor has to certify that in his opinion, the loan is required urgently for reasons of hardship that could not have been foreseen at the time of admission of the student, and that he has no reason to believe that the loan will not be repaid by the due date. Meetings of the Financial Adversity Support Committee are held termly soon after the application deadlines. The Committee reviews any emergency hardship loans that have been authorised since it last meeting and the Senior Tutor/Senior Postgraduate Tutor must be prepared to justify that the case falls within these conditions.
Tutors should apply directly to the Senior Tutor/Senior Postgraduate Tutor if they have a case where they believe that an emergency hardship loan is necessary.
If you want to apply for a College Hardship Grant or Loan:
- Complete the the first part of the application form
- Complete the income and expenditure form.
- Attach one to the other and take them both to your Tutor for further discussion.
- The deadlines for consideration are 15th November (Michaelmas), 15th February (Lent) and 15th May (Easter). In an emergency the committee can consider applications on an individual basis.
Cambridge Bursary Scheme
Bursaries are available to students for students with home fee status taking any undergraduate course of study at the University of Cambridge. The value of each bursary is calculated on a sliding scale based on your SLC assessment up to £3500 per annum.
All UK students applying for a student loan to the SLC will be automatically considered for a Cambridge Bursary provided they do not tick the box opting out of sharing financial information with the University.
Bell, Abbott and Barnes Funds
Bell, Abbott and Barnes Fund (annual expenditure approx. £31,500 )
This Fund deals with a range of student hardship applications; “applicants must be candidates for the B.A. who show proficiency in their studies and who need assistance.”
Applications are considered each term. The notes for guidance can be found at . Applications are made through your tutor for this and the Crane Fund.
University Financial Hardship Support
There are many funding opportunities at Cambridge from a wide variety of sources. For all the details of current funds please visit the University Website.
College Funds and Hardship grants
If you find yourself in a situation of unforeseen financial hardship, you should contact the Postgraduate Office. They are the best source of support and information.
You may apply for funds administered by the College’s Financial Adversity Support Committee: you will need to complete an application form and an income and expenditure form. The College has limited funds for this purpose and so help can only be given to those are in difficulty because of an unforeseeable change in circumstances.
University Financial Hardship Support
There are many funding opportunities at Cambridge from a wide variety of sources. For all the details of the current funds please visit the University website.
University Childcare Hardship Fund
Open to registered home student parents, this fund is intended for students in exceptional, unforeseen financial difficulty and it offers limited financial assistance towards confirmed Ofsted-registered childcare costs.