Living Cost Support Fund

The Living Cost Support Fund is a University scheme that exists thanks to generous donations from alumni and friends who want to ensure that no Manchester student is left struggling. If you are experiencing financial hardship, either as a result of the COVID-19 crisis or otherwise, please apply to us for support.

The fund is open to all students, regardless of level of study or nationality. It is open all year round and can award grants and loans to help you overcome financial hardship or unforseen expenses.

You may feel that there are more deserving cases than yours, however if you’re genuinely struggling, please apply. The fund is intended to assist as many students as possible, and our assessment process will determine the level of assistance that we may be able to offer to you.

Office for Students distributes £50 million hardship funding

In order to support university students impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis, the government has distributed an additional £50 million to help students in hardship.  

The extra funding means that universities will be able to help students impacted by the pandemic, for example those facing additional costs for alternative accommodation, loss of employment, or extra costs to access their teaching online.

What do we mean by financial hardship? 

If you find yourself struggling to make ends meet and you're unable to cover essential, day-to-day living costs, then you may be experiencing financial hardship and be eligible for support. 

We recognise that the financial impact of the current COVID-19 crisis will impact on all students, including but not exclusively:

  • Students who rely on part time work to supplement their living expenses, and who are not covered under the Government’s support package
  • Care leavers and care experienced students
  • Estranged students
  • Students with refugee or asylum seeker status.
  • Students whose sponsors have withdrawn funding, or where payments are delayed as a result of restrictions imposed.
  • International students experiencing difficulties in transferring funds from overseas.

Before you apply for assistance, you should have accessed all other sources of funding available to you, including your full entitlement of student loans/NHS Bursary. The fund cannot assist with the cost of tuition fees for any student. The University funds are discretionary with a maximum non-repayable award of £2,000. Awards are granted on a case-by-case basis after consideration of each application, and we cannot guarantee financial support to every student who applies.

Eligibility

To apply for the Living Cost Support Fund, you must be registered on a full-time programme of study (or at least 60 credits if part-time) to apply. In addition, you must:‌‌

Undergraduate UK/EU

  • Have taken your full entitlement of student loans/NHS Bursary

Postgraduate UK/EU

  • Have taken your full entitlement of student loans (if you are eligible for these)

Undergraduate & Postgraduate International Students

  • No further eligibility criteria 

Architecture Students studying joint course with MMU

  • Home students are only eligible for funding from MMU, please visit their website for more information.

  • EU/International students need to contact MMU to enquire about applying for their Access to Learning Fund (hardship fund). If deemed ineligible please email funding@manchester.ac.uk outlining your financial difficulties, to see if you are eligible to apply to the Living Cost Support Fund. 

All normal eligibility criteria apply, please review the guidelines document.

What can be supported?

We will generally only look to support students that have started their course with adequate funding in place. For example, first year students who have started their course knowing they do not have enough funding in place to cover their living costs are likely to be turned down. 

Examples of what can be supported: We will consider supporting students with any living costs they may be struggling to meet whilst studying, including private accommodation costs, utilities, food shopping, childcare, study related costs, e.g. placement travel costs etc. 

Examples of what cannot be supported: Tuition fees or cash awards towards newly purchased laptops/desktops/tablets.

Students with University accommodation debts are encouraged to speak to staff in Accommodation and Credit Control (self.funding@manchester.ac.uk) to agree a payment plan before applying for the Fund. 

All students who meet the criteria and are experiencing genuine and unforeseen financial difficulty while at university, despite having applied for and received all other financial support, are encouraged to apply for support from the fund.

Application

The Living Cost Support Fund for the 2020/21 academic year is available for all students to apply to via a portal on MyManchester:

Start your application to the Living Cost Support Fund

If you are struggling with the application form please refer to our step by step guidance..

Your online application should take around 30 minutes to complete. Before you start your application, you will need to have some wider  information and documentation available, to evidence as part of your application. This may include copies of your bank statements, letters from your Student Finance provider showing how much Maintenance Loan and/or Grant you receive and details about your family income.

How long will the assessment take?

Once you click ‘submit’ on your online application, you will receive an acknowledgement of your  application, including a checklist of supporting documents you will need to provide. If you cannot access the checklist from the email it is available here.

The assessment time can vary depending on the complexity and number of applications received. However in the most cases, once we receive all supporting documentation it can take up to two weeks to process the application. If successful, you will be notified and can expect to receive payment within five working days, provided you have submitted your bank details online.

Still not sure whether to make an application? 

You may feel that there are more deserving cases than yours, and that you should not submit an application. If you’re genuinely struggling, there’s absolutely no shame in seeking help. The fund is intended to assist as many students as possible, and our assessment process will determine the level of assistance that we may be able to offer to you. 

If you have questions or problems with the application process, please contact the Funding Team via email at: funding@manchester.ac.uk.

Further support

If you are in need of  emergency funding support, we would encourage you to seek advice about managing your ongoing financial commitments. The Student Support website has lots of information and resources to help you develop skills to make your money go further, search for funding opportunities, and learn more about your current funding/finances options.

  • IT Services can help you get online if you don’t have your own laptop or access to Wi-Fi for your studies and meet the criteria for additional support. Read the eligibility criteria and further information in our Help Me Get Online guide

  • If you are experiencing financial struggles but are not eligible or do not wish to apply for the Living Cost Support Fund, The Students' Union offers short term loans of up to £100. See  more information on their website.