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Financial support, bursaries & scholarships

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You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship scheme during your time as a student.
Bursaries and scholarships are non-repayable, but do have varying eligibility criteria which you should review before making an application. In addition to the opportunities listed on the left, we also offer:

Financial help

If you need extra financial help in addition to any monetary support you may already have gained for your studies, please contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre.

Bucks Hardship Fund

The Bucks Hardship Fund (BHF) has replaced the Access to Learning Fund and provides extra financial support to UK students who have serious financial difficulties. It is there to meet particular costs that are not covered by other grants and can offer support if you’re in financial hardship or facing an unexpected financial crisis. Payments are usually given as grants, which do not have to be repaid.
Full and part-time students who are in receipt of their maximum financial statutory support package are eligible to apply. Part-time students must be studying the equivalent of 50 per cent of a full-time course.

The BHF provides discretionary financial assistance for students to help them access and remain in higher education.
It is particularly aimed for those students who need financial help to meet specific course and living costs that cannot be met from other sources of support. The Fund can provide emergency payments for unexpected financial crises.

Students who may be considering leaving higher education because of financial problems are particularly encouraged to apply. You can apply for the BHF at any time during the academic year from 1 October to 31 July or until the funds are used up.

Help with tuition fees
The Fund cannot help with paying for tuition fees. If you are a full-time or part-time undergraduate student you can apply for help from Student Finance England. The Fund can only help with the payment of fees if you are a continuing part time undergraduate ‘home’ student in receipt of the Additional fee support scheme (AFSS), who is studying for at least 50% of a full time equivalent course (or 25% in the case of disabled students).

How Your Application will be assessed
Your application will be treated either as a ‘standard’ or a ‘non-standard’ claim.
We will assess ‘standard’ applications under a new additional need method that looks at the difference between accepted reasonable expenditure and expected income. If you have unforeseen circumstances, then your application can be considered under a ‘non-standard’ assessment.

The assessment process for ‘standard’ and ‘non-standard’ awards is designed to identify students who have particular financial needs and those who are in unforeseen financial difficulty. This should result in most of the available funding being directed towards students with a low income and those who have exceptionally high course related costs.

Who can apply?
The Bucks Hardship Fund is for home students registered on a course in one of the following categories:
undergraduate students, either full time or part time, including part-time distance learners, following a higher education course, including sandwich courses and any periods of placement.

Postgraduate students, either full-time or part-time, following a course of higher education at a level above first degree, including those who are writing up their thesis and not therefore attending the institution.  Postgraduate students must be able to demonstrate that they have explored and applied for grants to fund their course. 

A ‘home student' is defined as a person who meets certain residency conditions, usually this means you must have an unrestricted right to enter and remain in the UK, and you have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of the course. None of this time must have been wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

Overseas and EU students who are eligible for tuition fee support cannot apply for the BHF, but may apply for assistance from the Bucks Advantage Bursary Scheme (BABS)

Intercalating Students
If you are a home student and you have not permanently withdrawn from your studies and you intend to return after your time out, you are eligible to apply for help from the BHF or the BABS scheme.

For example, if you are unable to attend your course for health or caring reasons or for some other unavoidable circumstance, you can apply for help.  You must provide evidence from your Faculty and your GP to support your claim.

Priorities for assistance
The Fund is there to help any eligible student who has a particular financial need but we cannot meet every application we receive and we cannot always meet all of the costs that you might apply for.

The Government asks us to give priority to the following groups of students when deciding how to allocate the funding. For full time undergraduate students the priority groups are:

  • students with children (especially lone parents);
  • mature students, especially those with existing financial commitments, including priority debts;
  • students from low income families;
  • disabled students (especially where the DSA is unable to meet particular costs);
  • students who have entered higher education from care;
  • students from Foyers or who are homeless;
  • students receiving the final year loan rate who are in financial difficulty.

For part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students the priority groups are:

  • students with children (especially lone parents);
  • students without sponsorship or other funding (postgraduate students);
  • disabled students (especially where the DSA is unable to meet particular costs).

If you are not in one of the priority groups you can still apply but you must provide as much evidence as possible to show why you have a particular need.

You may apply more than once during an academic year for help but only if your circumstances have changed. You will be asked to provide documentary evidence for the change in circumstance.

Bucks Advantage Bursary Scheme (BABS)

Although international and students from the European Union are expected to have sufficient funds to complete their course, BABS can sometimes help those students who face changes in their financial situation due to unexpected and unpredictable circumstances. If you are ineligible for assistance from the Bucks Hardship Fund or find yourself in financial hardship, it’s always worth making an application. Funds are limited, so you are only able to apply if you are already in your second year or beyond. Payments are usually given as grants and do not have to be repaid.

Short-term loans

Short-term Loans are available to home students in financial difficulty where students have no alternative source of funds and have not yet received their loan instalment through no fault of their own. Applications are subject to supporting documentary evidence.

1. If you have applied in good time but haven’t received any money yet.
Please see below for the circumstances where we may be able to offer some assistance:

  • you have applied but your application is still being processed;
  • you have applied and Student Finance England is requesting more information;
  • your loan application has been delayed because you have been through clearing;
  • you were deferred in 2013-14 and referred to the September Exam Board and this delayed your application (we will need evidence from your faculty confirming the board’s decision).

2. If you have been informed by Student Finance England that your Loan will be delayed more than two weeks.
Any assistance offered in the form of a short-term loan will primarily be to help with food and travel costs for up to four weeks. We are unable to cover your rent or tuition fees costs. If you cannot pay your accommodation you will need to try and arrange deferment of rent payments with the accommodation/finance office or landlord directly.

How can I apply for a hardship grant or short term loan?
In the first instance you should make an appointment to speak with a Student Union Welfare Advisor, the telephone number is 01494 603 016.
For more information, please visit the Student Union Advice Centre 

Useful websites for financial advice
If you are looking for further financial advice and guidance you can find out more information from the following