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 unforeseen circumstances or financial hardship, either as a result of the COVID-19 crisis or otherwise, please apply to us for support.
The fund is what was known as the Manchester Hardship Fund and provides financial support to students - helping overcome food insecurity, supporting with utility bills, and addressing any other issues arising from financial hardship. It is open to ALL students, regardless of level of study, nationality, or social background and is open all year round and can award grants to help you overcome financial hardship or unforeseen 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.
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:
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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. The LCSF should not be regarded as a bursary to support study when budgeting for University.
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.
Large increases in UK energy bills has been the subject of intensive media coverage over recent weeks. If you are struggling to meet day to day expenses as a result of increased energy costs, or being threatened with the loss of basic utility services then please consider applying to the Living Cost Support Fund.
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 (email@example.com) 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.
The Living Cost Support Fund for the 2021/22 academic year is available for all students to apply to via a portal on MyManchester:
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.
Applications are assessed on a holistic basis, taking into account students' financial circumstances, alongside any specific elements of need or disadvantage. Therefore, students are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible regards their personal situation in their supporting statements, so that all matters can be considered when assessing applications. For example, this might include highlighting if you fall into one of the following categories, and the challenges that might present:
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.