If you find yourself in unexpected financial difficulty during your studies, UCL’s Financial Assistance Funds (FAF) may be able to provide some support.

The Financial Assistance Funds are intended to support you if you started this academic year having made realistic and adequate financial provision, but have had unexpected circumstances that put you into financial difficulty.

There are two separate funds, both of which are now open for the 2021/22 academic year:

The principles of the Financial Assistance Funds are:

  • Awards cannot be used to pay tuition fees.
  • Applications are considered for the current year only.
  • Awards will not be made if you did not make a realistic financial provision for your studies.
  • Awards will not be made if you have savings (even if these are set aside for another purpose).
  • Awards will not be made simply to avoid incurring debt.
  • Awards are unlikely to be made to clear pre-existing debts.
  • Awards are only offered where there is a financial shortfall.

To apply to the FAF, you will need to fill out an application form and provide the required evidence. This will include:

  • Financial statements for the last three months for each bank account you hold.
  • Tenancy agreement/s showing rent/mortgage costs for the entire academic year.
  • Evidence of any unexpected costs.

If you would like any support completing your FAF application, you can contact our Advice Service. UCL’s FAF Guidance Notes might also be helpful.

If your FAF application is unsuccessful, or you require a different kind of funding, UCL has some alternative funding options which might be able to help:

Emergency Loans

Limited cash loans of up to £250 (interest free, usually for a period of 1 month) are available to you if you’ve experienced a delay in your normal funding being paid, for example your student loan. Payments are currently made by bank transfer.

Doctoral School Fellowship

Doctoral School Fellowship can support you if you’re a research student who, due to unforeseen circumstances, have had your funding interrupted or completely withdrawn. To qualify you must be progressing well academically and show that without financial assistance you would not be able to complete your studies. The amount of the award is based on the annual standard rate for UCL Studentships and will be pro-rated to cover the period support is needed.

Your Head of Department must apply on your behalf (by email to the Head of Student Funding).

Medical Student Support

The UCL Medical School has various funds available, including hardship funds. They also provide links to external sources of financial support for our medical students. 

The NHS Hardship Grant may also be able to provide support.

Sarah Douglas Hardship Fund 

The Sarah Douglas Hardship Fund is run by our Advice Service. We aim to provide help if you are experiencing financial difficulty and have no other form of support available (including support from UCL student hardship funds). If you’re successful, we offer a grant to help you through a period of financial difficulty. You’re usually expected to have applied for the UCL Emergency Loan and/or FAF first.

For advice on hardship funding, including the Sarah Douglas Hardship Fund, or other money issues, please use our registration form to make an appointment with an Advisor.