King's Hardship Fund 2019-20
The King's Hardship Fund is now open for applications.
If you are experiencing problems with your funding or are worried that you will not have enough money to cover all your costs Advice & Guidance in Student Services can assist you by checking that you have received all the funding and benefits that you are entitled to. They can also review your budget with you to ensure that you have accounted for everything and considered all potential sources of funding, possible expenditure and how to access student discounts and exemptions.
We strongly advise that you fully review your financial situation before applying to the hardship fund. The information on the Advice & Guidance Budgeting pages, along with the free financial education tools from Blackbullion are designed to help you calculate your income and expenditure for the year ahead. Should you have a shortfall (i.e. not enough money to cover all your costs) these exercises should put you in a stronger position to clearly explain your personal situation when applying for additional or discretionary funding. This will also enable the Student Funding Office to promptly assess your financial need and provide support which is targeted to your individual circumstances. If you are finding it difficult to explain your situation or are in urgent need please contact Advice & Guidance who may be able to arrange emergency support for you.
Advice & Guidance runs weekly drop-in sessions, can be contacted via email and have a dedicated AdviceLine. Full information about Advice & Guidance and the wide range of advice services they offer can be found on their webpages.
The King’s Hardship Fund (KHF) is available to help undergraduate students in need of financial support during their studies. Awards made from the Fund aim to assist with day-to-day living costs such as rent, utility bills, travel, etc.
An award from the KHF cannot be used to pay tuition fees.
Can I apply?
To be eligible to apply to the KHF you must be a home fee status student, which means that you will be paying the home rate of tuition fees. Generally, this will mean that you will have been a UK resident for at least five years before you started your course at university.
Please note, EU students facing financial difficulties would usually need to apply for the International Hardship Fund, unless they are in receipt of the maintenance loan from Student Finance.
Applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:
Be an undergraduate student with a household income of over £42,875
The KHF is intended to provide support to students who do not meet the financial eligibility criteria of the King’s Living Bursary. This may mean that you are from a slightly higher income household, yet still need help to meet your day-to-day living costs if not receiving enough funding from elsewhere.
You must be in receipt of the maximum Maintenance Loan available to you from Student Finance England/Wales/NI/SAAS. This involves sending evidence of your household income to Student Finance to be means-tested.
If you are not taking a student loan for religious reasons you should be aware that the assessment of your application will reflect the amount of funding that you would have received if you had accepted the loan. For us to determine the level of support you would have received you need to be means-tested by Student Finance. You will also need to complete this Declaration Form and ensure you have made other arrangements to fund your studies.
Be on an NHS-funded year of study
This category will usually only apply to students who are studying Dentistry/Medicine from year 5 onwards, or students on an Allied Health course such as Nursing that began their studies before 2017.
You will need to have successfully applied for the maximum amount of funding available to you from the NHS Bursary and Student Finance and be able to prove this with your Notification of Award letter and Student Funding Entitlement Letter.
Be studying a postgraduate pre-registration course
Students enrolling onto a postgraduate pre-registration course are entitled to apply to undergraduate funding from Student Finance England (if ordinarily resident in England).
You will need to have applied to receive the maximum statutory support available to you if you are eligible.
Be studying postgraduate degree programme at King’s
The KHF welcomes applications from both full-time and part-time postgraduate students who have met the following criteria:
You need to have applied to receive the maximum statutory support available to you if you are eligible (Postgraduate Masters Loan or Postgraduate Doctoral Loan from Student Finance).
You must be able to prove that you have made sufficient provision to begin your studies, by supplying evidence that you meet the Notional Postgraduate Income (NPI).
The NPI has been set at £250 per week for students living alone, £190 for students with dependants or a disability preventing work, and £180 for students living at home. Students are expected to meet the NPI with savings, grants, earnings, benefits, family contributions,etc.
How much could I receive?
If your application is sucessful, you coul receive betwen £100 - £3,500. Awards will be made at 75% of any your calculated shortfall, unless you have dependants or a work-limiting disability. The exact award amount is determined on a case-by-case basis and maximum awards are granted only in exceptional circumstances. The assessment will factor in your individual circumstances and the award that you may receive will reflect the overall level of financial need that the assessment has demonstrated.
An award from the KHF is not guaranteed and it should not form any part of your planned budget until you have received formal notification that you have been granted support.
When should I apply?
You can apply to the KHF from the beginning of your academic year.
Our Hardship Funds aim to remain open for the entire year. However you should apply as soon as you feel that you need additional help, as they may close earlier if funds have already been distrbuted.
How do I apply?
Step 1: Preparing your application
You will need to explain your financial situation in your application. To help you to do this, you should complete the Budgeting pathway module on Blackbullion. If you have not already signed up for Blackbullion please register for free using your King’s email address.
This is a free online module that takes less than 25 minutes to complete. 85% of King’s students stated that they felt more confident about money management after they completed the budgeting module and we hope that you will too. Regrettably hardship funds are limited and can only cover up to 75% of the shortfall calculated by the assessor. Consequently, we want to make sure that you have the tools and information necessary to stretch your funding as far as possible and to evaluate any money saving or money generating options that may also help you.
If you have previously applied for Hardship Funds and have already completed this module, then please choose another pathway to complete when preparing your application.
Preparing your application is an essential step in this process and will support the speedy assessment of your application. The Student Funding Office will check the Blackbullion system when we receive an application to verify the modules you have completed. As this is part of the application process please note that we can only begin to assess your application once you have completed a module and achieved at least 85% in the end of module assessment.
If you are in immediate financial difficulty please contact Advice & Guidance to discuss your personal circumstances and any difficulties you are having completing your application for hardship funds and this requirement may be waived.
Step 2: Submit an online application
If you meet the eligibility criteria listed above, you will be able to make an application online through the King's Student Records Portal.
On the first page of the portal, find the ‘My Fund Application’ box and select 'Click here to view your Student funding options'.
The application involves series of questions about your current income and expenditure and requires you to write a personal statement explaining your financial situation.
Please be as detailed as possible in your personal statement. It is important that you explain why you require financial assistance and that you include any information that may support your case.
NOTE: The application form will only allow numerical values to be entered for each answer. If a section does not apply to you or you wish to indicate a value of zero/none/nil, please enter ‘0’.
Step 3: Submit your supporting documents via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once we have received your online application we will email you requesting supporting documents to enable us to make an assessment.
Please read the email carefully and refer to our Application Checklist for detailed guidance.
All supporting documents must be legible:
Scanned/electronic copies, preferably saved in a PDF format
Entitled in the following format: SURNAME, Name – document title (e.g. SMITH, John – March bank statement)
Please email your documents to email@example.com and include your King’s Student ID (as on your ID card, not your K Number) in the email text.
We cannot accept paper copies under any circumstances.
Missing or incorrect evidence will significantly delay the assessment of your application so please do double check before submitting your documents that everything is in order!
If after 8 weeks we have not received any documents from you, your application will be cancelled. Do not worry, we will send you a reminder after 4 weeks about outstanding evidence.
Step 4: We assess your application
Applications are assessed using an ‘additional need’ method that looks at the difference between accepted reasonable expenditure and expected income for the academic year. Your expenditure will be offset against your income and where there is a shortfall (additional need) for the year, an award will be considered from the fund.
We assess undergraduate students’ applications over 39 weeks, unless the student has dependants or has declared a disability impacting on their ability to work, in which case it is assessed over 43 weeks. Some courses are longer and cover over 45 weeks (for example Nursing), in these cases students will be assessed over the actual weeks of the course. Postgraduate students are assessed over 52 weeks.
Where awards are granted, they may not cover the full extent of your financial need. In some cases, where excessive non-essential expenditure is visible, award amounts may be reduced, or applications may even be rejected. Some examples of non-essential expenditure include private healthcare, gambling and excessive spending on recreational activities, deliveries, take-away food etc.
If you would like more information about the assessment, please see the Assessment Guidelines.
When assessing your application, we may ask your consent to refer you to other departments for additional support. For example, we may find it appropriate to direct you to Student Advice for support in correcting your funding entitlement, in applying for benefits, or for extra budgeting support. We will always ask for your consent before sharing any information with another team within King’s.
Step 5: We let you know the outcome of your application
Once the assessment has been completed and a final decision has been reached, you will receive notification of the outcome via email.
If your application is successful: the email will detail the award amount and will give you instructions on how to receive the payment.
If your application is unsuccessful: the email will provide you with the next steps you can take if you are still concerned about your financial situation and will explain the appeals process if you wish to appeal the decision.
Application process explained! Get to grips with the documents you will need to provide as part of your hardship application - get it right first time!
Want to better understand how we assess your application? See here for a detailed explanation of how
the hardship assessment works including figures and case studies.
Still unsure about making an application?
Did you know that last year we were able to provide support to around 72% of applicants?
Students who may be considering leaving higher education because of financial problems are particularly encouraged to apply. You may find it helpful to talk through your situation with a Specialist Money Adviser before applying, please contact Advice & Guidance to arrange this.
Please do read all the guidance and ask any questions you may have, to give you every chance of receiving support.
Can I apply more than once?
Usually, we will only consider one application per academic year (September-July). This means that if you need to you may be able to apply in subsequent years.
We will only consider a repeat application in the same academic year if you have experienced a significant change of circumstance, that has negatively impacted your financial situation since your previous application. This is because our assessment reflects the entire academic year and all outcomes have been carefully decided.
If you do feel that this applies to you, you will need to explain the changes and submit additional evidence alongside your second application to support this.
Can I appeal a decision?
You should read the Assessment Guidelines before submitting an appeal.
An appeal may be submitted on one or more of the following grounds:
- After reading the Assessment Guidelines you feel that your application was incorrectly assessed
- You did not initially provide significant evidence or information
- You feel that the assessment did not consider all the relevant information or evidence provided
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your application and you meet the grounds for appeal listed above, you may appeal in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please make sure to relate to the assessment, explain your situation clarifying any details that you think may alter the outcome and provide any relevant evidence that you wish us to consider for the reassessment.
If you are still concerned about your financial situation you should contact a Student Advisor for confidential advice.
The Advice & Guidance Service runs weekly drop-in sessions, can be contacted via email and has a dedicated AdviceLine. Full information about Advice & Guidance and the wide range of advice services they offer can be found on their webpages
If you are studying Nursing, Midwifery or Medicine, you may also be eligible to apply to a subject specific hardship fund.
Medicine: Dr Margaret Bond Medical Hardship Fund and the King's Medical & Dental Hardship Fund
Students who started an undergraduate Nursing and allied health courses from August 2017, or a pre-registration Postgraduate healthcare course from August 2018, may be able to claim supplementary funding from the NHS bursary system in the form of the Learning Support Fund (LSF).
The LSF aims to help students with dependants, in severe hardship, or with excess travel and dual accommodation expenses due to attending practice placements.
If you require tailored one-to-one advice on all your options, please contact Advice & Guidance as above.
To find out more about the King's Hardship Fund, please contact the Student Funding Office or if you require help with application please contact Advice & Guidance in Student Services.
Although every effort has been made to ensure that information provided is both helpful to prospective and existing students, and is accurate at the time of publication, it is possible that some information may be outdated or superseded before the start of the 2019-20 academic year.