Supporting students/PGR’s who need financial support
This section covers the main financial assistance routes for all students, including support in relation to the cost of living and accessing paid employment and links to Scholarship and Bursary information.
Financial Assistance Fund (FAF)
The Financial Assistance Fund is available to help students and PGRs who are facing genuine or unexpected financial difficulties and who may need additional financial support. This could be due to a change in circumstances such as. loss of contracted work, ill health or where statutory funding (such as Student Loans) does not cover all of their essential living costs.
The FAF is administered by the Funding Team and can provide non-repayable financial awards from £100-£4,500. Following the assessment there are four possible outcomes:
- A financial award
- A financial award together with a referral to a specialist service*
- No financial award but the student is referred to a specialist service for support*
- No financial award. An explanation will be provided and there is an appeals process.
*As part of the application students provide consent to share information with LUU Help and Support and the Plus Programme if a referral to a specialist service is identified.
The scheme is open to students/PGRs (including home, international, UG, TPG, RPG, full-time, part-time). Students on a study abroad or placement year can apply. Degree apprenticeship students are not eligible.
Students/PGRs need to be registered (including those on part year temporary leave or external)
As the FAF is available to specifically help towards living costs it therefore cannot offer financial support to help towards payment of tuition or examination fees.
Students who have little or no money available to them are identified through questions and evidence within the FAF application form, and a low value award will be paid to them whilst they are waiting for a full assessment of their financial situation. They do not need to submit a separate application in this circumstance.
If a student needs financial support, don’t feel you have to determine if they will be successful or go into a detailed discussion about their circumstances. The experienced staff within the Funding team can assist students through the application process. If you feel a student could benefit from a supporting statement to highlight their need and/or help completing the form, you can do a referral to LUU and an advisor will be happy to help – email email@example.com or see Help & Support - Leeds University Union (luu.org.uk)
A student doesn’t have to be in a financial crisis to apply as assessments are taken over the full academic year (or Summer months if out of term).
It is expected that students will only need to apply once as the assessment covers up to the end of the academic year, but if there has been a further change in their circumstances then they should contact the Funding Team to seek advice about submitting a second application.
When a student does not receive any money from FAF
A student may tell you that they have applied and either not received any financial support or received less than what they feel they need. When students apply they are assessed on their personal situation and the information and evidence they provide. The FAF assessment considers all available funding, including money in a savings account(s), even if this was intended for a specific purpose, so it may be that there wasn’t a shortfall of funds at the time of application, or the student may not have shared the full extent of the difficulties they are facing.
If you have concerns that a student needs financial support from the information they are providing, please ask them to speak with the Funding Team in the first instance to request a full explanation of the outcome. It might be that new information will result in a reassessment.or a request to submit further evidence. You can also refer them to LUU Help and Support to discuss their circumstances and assess what other support may be needed,or to provide help to resubmit their application.
It can be very frustrating and upsetting to support a student who feels that they haven’t received financial support when they are struggling. Referring the student is essential to ensure It is important to ensure that they access the right support for their full circumstances to be discussed as other options may be available. Please don’t offer the student money directly as this can cause significant complications and implications, for you, the student, and other staff members.
Scholarships and Funding
Whilst most students will have their main funding in place when they start, there may be bursaries and school-based maintenance awards that your student isn’t aware of.
Students eligibility for benefits
This section provides guidance on the benefit system.
Some students may be eligible to apply for benefits including universal credit, child benefit and some contributory benefits. However, the benefit system can be very complicated, has criteria that must be met and can be dependent on what income a student already has.
Those who may be entitled to benefits include students who:
- are studying part time
- have dependants
- have a disability
- have caring responsibilities
Appropriate advice and support can be beneficial for a student to ensure they are receiving what they are entitled to. Getting advice before applying can help students navigate a challenging system. You can do a referral to LUU and an advisor will be happy to help – email firstname.lastname@example.org or see Help & Support - Leeds University Union (luu.org.uk)
Part time work
Some students may need to supplement their income through part time work and/or they may want to get the experience of work to enhance their CV. There are a lot of part time work opportunities across campus and the city that can work around a student's academic timetable.
A good place to start is LUU’s Joblink
Students worried about debts
It can be very distressing for a student to owe money, especially when their income is limited so it may feel like they are unable to pay what they owe. This can be a reason why some students decide they can no longer continue at university.
It is important that students can be reassured that there is a lot of support available that can help them to manage their debts, negotiate payment breaks and/or look for additional income that can help. They don’t have to do this on their own.
With the student's permission you can make a referral to LUU. Making a referral with a small amount of background information can help the student to follow through on the support as they are likely to feel more supported. You can email email@example.com or see Help & Support - Leeds University Union (luu.org.uk)
The Step Change charity also offers free independent support on managing debts so is another tool you can share with students.
Additional Resources to share with students
This section includes some useful student related links that identify funding possibilities, give money saving guidance and budgeting advice.
Here are some links that you can share with students, giving useful tips on where to get money off, save money and provide information about banking.
Save the Student– Student Finance - Save the Student
Money Saving Expert - 50+ student money saving tips: stretch student loans - MSE (moneysavingexpert.com)
Student Discounts NUS Totum card - Student Discounts - NUS UK