What to Do if You’re Financially Struggling

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We all know that university can be expensive, and, with surprises around every corner, most of us will have found ourselves from time to time in a sticky situation when it comes to money. This can be incredibly stressful, which in return has a negative effect on our studies, but fret not, there is a support system out there set in place by the University to help those who are financially struggling. Depending on your situation and what has put you in it, there are two different approaches you can take in applying for financial help. 

Student Support Fund 

Firstly, there’s the Student Support Fund. This is described as ‘a pot of money that has been provided by the university to improve student success and progression.’ This fund is specifically designed for students who have experienced unforeseen events that have negatively impacted their finances. The fund is not supposed to be seen as a long term solution but rather a helping hand on the way to finding financial security. In order to apply for the fund, you must first request a Student Support Fund Application Pack through the University’s website. How long it will take to receive this depends on the current interest in the fund, as they can only send out a certain amount of application packs a week so as to ensure the service is not oversubscribed.

When you have received the pack, you must then fill out two questionnaires where you must supply a personal statement explaining your situation, bank statements and other supporting evidence. Once the form is completed, any and all supporting evidence should be sent to stufunds@soton.ac.uk. How long the application takes to be processed varies but for a member of Wessex Scene committee the application took approximately 10 days. Hereafter you may be contacted for further questions before a decision is made. If the fund decides in your favour, it takes approximately two weeks for the funds to be deposited into your bank account. If you wish to apply for the Student Support Fund and have any questions, please either visit the Advice Centre, phone the Student Services Centre at 02380599599 or email the fund at stufunds@soton.ac.uk

The University of Southampt0n Bursary

Alternatively, you may be able to qualify for the Bursary. This is a means tested cash bursary of up to £2,000. You may be eligible for the bursary if the following criteria fits you:

  • a UK/EU student
  • paying full undergraduate tuition fees
  • applying for a means-tested student loan from Student Finance (England, Scotland or Northern Ireland) and under the assessed household income threshold of £30,000.

You may also be eligible for this bursary if you are returning from a period of suspension. If this is the case, please contact Student Services Centre on 023 8059 9599.

Applicants for the bursary who have a household income of under £16,000 will receive £2,000 and applicants whose household income is under £30,000 will receive £1,000.

If you have been accepted to University through the Access to Southampton programme, you may be elegible for a bursary specific to this programme. To find out more, visit www.southampton.ac.uk/schools-colleges/access-to-southampton

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Opinion Editor 19/20, Features Editor 18/19. Third year BA English Lit student with a passion for traveling, feminism, dogs and iced coffee.

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