Finance Information for Postgraduates

The Student Finance Office is above Housekeeping, near the JCR Games Room.

UK bank accounts

It is essential to have a UK bank account set up, ideally in advance of your arrival in Cambridge or as soon as possible after you arrive. Please register your address using your room number, Churchill College, Cambridge, CB3 0DS.

On request, the Postgraduate Student Administrator will provide a letter confirming your student status for a bank.

Email Postgraduate Student Administrator

University Cards

Most students will be provided with a university/college card, which you should collect from the Student Accounts Office. If your department gives you one, you will need to get it programmed by the Student Accounts Office for college use. The card gives you access to various areas and facilities in college and university, it can be used in the dining hall and buttery to charge meals and food purchases to your account, and to borrow library books from the College library. It will also give you a discount in the Cambridge University Press bookshop and various other shops as well as on U buses into the town centre, train station and Addenbrookes Hospital.

Payments to College

The College’s preferred method of payment for fee and college account bills is by direct debit from a UK bank account. Direct debit forms can be obtained from the Student Accounts Office. Academic fees and college bills can be paid by cheque from a sterling bank account, UK debit card or bank transfer. If payment is made by credit card or a non-EU debit card the additional charge will be passed on to you — typically 2.3%.

A strictly enforced regulation is that students may not collect their degrees or certificates if they have any outstanding debts in Cambridge.

The College bank account details for electronic transfer can be obtained by emailing the Student Accounts team.

Email Student Accounts

Overdue accounts

A late payment penalty charge is levied on all overdue accounts at 0.5% per week, unless the Bursar excuses the student after consultation with their tutor.

If the account is still overdue at the end of a vacation, a student may be asked to leave accommodation, unless agreed on an exceptional basis by the Bursar or by the College Council on appeal.

Grants and funding

Grants and funding payments received by College

Where grants for living expenses from any other public bodies for UK, EU and Overseas students are made directly to the College rather than to the student, you should go to the Student Finance Office during normal working hours to collect your cheque.

Please complete the funding information form given to you by the Postgraduate Office promptly.

Student Loans Company

If you are a UK student on certain specified postgraduate courses (*MASt., clinical veterinary and clinical medical sciences) and will be receiving a loan from the Student Loans Company, this will be paid directly into your bank account. You will be sent a financial notification form. This must be taken to the Student Accounts Office as soon as possible after you arrive in Cambridge.

US Loans

For those Students receiving loans from the US Department of Education the following links should provide the information you require:

US Loans      Us Loans – Consumer Information

Academic fees

The College runs two accounts for you:

  • University fee account (academic fees)
  • College account (for other expenditure)

All academic fees are collected through the College. Self-funded students are required to pay their academic fees for the year before arriving in college. If you are funded by a public body, or other organisation and wish to vary these arrangements please see Theresa Brooks, based in the Finance Department. Approved fees for all other students are charged termly in advance and should be paid to the College at the start of term or at the latest within 14 days of the first day of full term.

If the payment of fees in advance causes you hardship, you should talk to your tutor immediately. You can check the fees you should be paying on the University website

The total fee you pay depends on your course.

UK and EU students following certain courses (see Note 1 under Incoming Funds above) continue to be eligible for the public support they received in their undergraduate study years and can apply to have the college element of their fees and in some cases, a means-tested contribution to the university element, or a fee loan, paid directly from public funds. Please note that even if your parental income is such that you do not qualify for the means-tested elements of public funding, it may still be necessary for you to provide proof of residence for home fees status, otherwise you will be personally liable for a college fee of up to £7,300 in addition to the university fee.

Details of course costs and fee status is available on the university website. General information for UK students regarding public financial support can be found on the government website.

Graduate Course Costs      Gov Website

College Membership Bonds (replaces Advanced Deposits)

All Postgraduate Students pay a Membership Bond of £250 plus 8 weeks rent. This will be held by the College against your final account when you leave College.

If you currently live in single-occupancy College accommodation you will have paid an advanced deposit when you first arrived. This will be released and used towards the rent payment, Membership bond and other bills due for payment in October 2021.

If you do not live in College Accommodation the £250 advanced deposit that the College currently hold will become your Membership Bond.

Council Tax (local property tax)

Full-time students have no liability for Council Tax provided that they are only living with other students. All students are expected to apply themselves to their studies for an average of 21 hours a week while in residence. Students living outside College accommodation may be asked to provide proof of student status for Council Tax purposes. A certificate for this purpose is available, on request, from Ms Rebecca Sawalmeh in the Postgraduate Office.

Do not ignore letters from the City Council about Council Tax.

Council Tax liability for dependents

Dependents of students living in the Wolfson flats or in external properties are liable for Council Tax unless they themselves are students or have a visa stamped ‘no recourse to public funds’. Dependents may be eligible for a reduction on the grounds of low, or no, income in the household if they complete a form for housing and council tax benefit. Legal liability for payment of the tax lies with the tenant and not with the dependent concerned or with the College. All Wolfson flat residents will need to complete a form showing the dependant’s status and provide evidence in the form of a copy of the visa in their dependent’s passport.

 

Details of Council Tax discounts and exemptions can be found on the Cambridge City Council website:

Council Tax Exemptions

 

For more information contact the Postgraduate Office.

Email Postgraduate Student Administrator

Childcare

If you or your partner discovers that you are expecting a child during your time as a student, you should inform your tutor. Childcare is very expensive in the UK (approximately £10,500 a year for a full-time nursery place) and there is only limited financial assistance available. There are registered childminders, who look after children in their own home, as well as nurseries to choose from.

Churchill College is a partner in the Wolfson Court nursery opposite the college, next to the maths site, off Madingley Road. Churchill students and staff have a priority on places and so if you apply you should state your connection to the College. To see the nursery and discuss an application, please contact the Manager at wolfsoncourt@kidsunlimited.co.uk.

The University also has a nursery on the West Cambridge site and the waiting list for places is run by the University Childcare Office, where you can also get advice on pre-school and after-school childcare, applying for schools and other areas of support.

All support is means-tested. UK and EU students can apply to the Access for Learning Fund administered by the University for childcare support and overseas students can apply for pre- and after-school childcare to the Childcare Bursary Scheme, funded by the colleges and  administered by the University Childcare Office. Forms are available from the College’s Postgraduate Office and will need to be counter-signed by your tutor. There is a requirement that the childcare provider, whether an individual or organisation, is officially registered and inspected.

The University Childcare Office also runs school holiday play-schemes for older children and some places are subsidised for students’ children.

Additional childcare and University childcare bursary information is available on the University and Graduate Union websites.

‘Over-running’ PhD students

Some PhD students are now funded for 12 terms, but many for just nine terms. For those who fail to submit in time there are a number of sources of help. You should plan your finances to allow for some extension over nine months. Talk to your research supervisor as well as your college tutor, particularly if the delay is no fault of your own. Many departments also have funds available to assist.

A graduate student is liable to pay full university and college fees for the minimum required number of terms of research required for their degree, even if they receive leave to work away from Cambridge. Students wishing to continue to make use of college facilities while completing their PhD may do so, on condition that they maintain an advance deposit of £250 with the college. In exchange for the maintenance of this deposit the following facilities will be granted:

  • A pigeon-hole for mail.
  • The possibility of a college room/flat paying normal student rents.
  • Non-fee-paying students (NFPs) will be low on the priority list for such rooms, but the Postgraduate Tutor may make them available in certain appropriate cases.
  • Those occupying college accommodation for a period of more than four weeks would be required, before entering that accommodation, to increase their deposit to an appropriately higher figure. You will be expected to rent your accommodation for a minimum of nine months unless agreed otherwise in advance.
  • The ability to apply for conference travel grants, on the understanding that an application from a NFP student (particularly one who has already received a conference travel grant) will have lower priority.
  • The ability to apply for hardship funds, on the understanding that the over-run is for unforeseen and unforeseeable circumstances and that the student has sought department funding first.
  • The holding of a college account card, which at present gives entitlement to college computer and laser-printing facilities, access to the College library and the ability to borrow books, access to squash courts and the gym, and the ability to purchase meals in college.
  • Access to administrative assistance from the Postgraduate Office, including letters for visa renewal, certification of student status etc.
  • MCR membership.
  • Invitations to one Postgraduate Students’ Dinner per annum (subject to availability).

The following obligations shall also be incurred:

  • To sign the Redit Book at the start of each quarter and the Exeat Book whenever they take leave to work away or are going to be away from Cambridge for an extended period for any other reason.
  • To keep the Porters’ Lodge informed of their current address.
  • To pay all college accommodation and meal accounts by the due date.
  • To notify the Student Accounts Office and provide a forwarding address when they finally leave Cambridge.

Failure to comply with these obligations may mean that the facilities are withdrawn.

Students who choose not to maintain their deposit would have the rights of a former member of the College. Any person removing their deposit who then wishes to regain the facilities of a deposit-holder will be charged a non-returnable administration fee of £40, as well as the advance deposit.

If you think you may over-run your PhD time allocation, you should talk to your research supervisor as well as your college tutor, particularly if the delay is no fault of your own. Many departments also have funds available to assist.

Payment to Southern African Bursary

Churchill College and Sidney Sussex College jointly fund a Southern African Bursary, which provides the cost of a Cambridge University education for a student from Southern Africa. The bursary holder is selected on academic merit and on social and financial need. Administration of the bursary is in the hands of a committee of staff and students of both colleges although the colleges hold control of admission standards. The bursary holder alternates between the two colleges and is usually a graduate student. The bursary is funded by a voluntary subscription from members of the College; more than 70% of students contributed last year.

Contributions of £5.50 are included on your college Lent and Easter terms’ accommodation account unless you opt out of the scheme. If you wish to opt out, please inform the Student Accounts Office at the start of Michaelmas term.