Hardship Fund

Page last updated:
29 Sep 2021

Our Hardship Fund provides additional financial help towards the essential costs associated with being a student.

This page explains eligibility, support available and a link to the application form.

What is the Hardship Fund?

Awards made from the Fund are usually non-repayable grants. Our Hardship Fund cannot help with the payment of tuition fees, resit fee payments or optional study abroad payments. The Fund has a financial limit, which is set, and this means that we can only make a contribution towards any assessed ‘additional need’ that you might have. Awards are not guaranteed and you can only apply to the Hardship Fund once per academic year.

When is the scheme open?

  • The Leeds Beckett Hardship Fund 2020/21 has now closed
  • The 2021/22 Scheme is now open

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)


The fund can be used to help students enrolled on a full-time or part-time higher education course (including distance learners) at either undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Part-time students must be studying at least 50% of a full-time course (25% for disabled students unable to study 50% due to their disability).

Students who have temporarily withdrawn from their studies with the intention of returning after time out are also able to apply.

Applicants must have applied for all other available means of financial support, including having taken their full Government Student Loan entitlement (where applicable) before applying to the fund.

For students studying at postgraduate level there is an expectation that reasonable provision will have been made to cover expected tuition and living costs.

During the summer period there may be limited support available for continuing students whose circumstances do not allow them to work. This includes students with no alternative means of support, such as those with children, with a disability where benefits are not available and those resitting elements of their course and having to remain in Leeds. For more information about that please consult the Summer Assistance Fund webpage.


Awards from the Leeds Beckett Hardship Fund for full-time students are calculated using a formula that compares income with essential expenditure. By deducting assessed expenditure from total income, any ‘additional need’ is identified and a contribution is then made towards this. Within the calculation there are certain allowances which result in priority being given to certain groups, including:

  • Students with children (especially lone parents)
  • Carers (not for a child)
  • Disabled students (especially where DSA is unable to meet particular costs)
  • Care leavers and students from Foyers or those who are homeless (see other support)
  • Students receiving the final year (reduced) Government Student Loan rate
  • Students that are estranged from their family (defined by the relationship between the family and student breaking down and becoming irreconcilable)

Non-standard awards

Students that do not receive an award from a ‘standard’ hardship assessment may be considered for a ‘non-standard’ assessment. Non-standard awards are agreed at the discretion of the Head of Student Money.

Where circumstances are exceptional, a student may be awarded a standard and non-standard award.

Students expecting their first child

Students who are pregnant with their first child are eligible to receive a non-standard payment of £500 which is paid to them in the form of a grant. The grant is in line with the Sure Start Maternity Grant which full-time students cannot apply for until their baby is born.

The grant is paid to the student 11 weeks prior to their due date and the student can also apply to the Hardship Fund in the normal way.


Applications to the Fund must be submitted along with all of the appropriate supporting evidence required in your particular circumstances. As you progress through the online application form you will be prompted to upload scans or screenshots of your supporting documentation. Please note that we are unable to carry out our assessment without all of the supporting documents required for your circumstances.

If you are unable to scan or upload any of the documents, please make it clear on your supporting statement that this is the case. As the application form will not let you progress unless you have attached a file, attach a Word document that states how and when this document will be submitted. We will accept emailed scanned copies or screenshots after the date of submission and up to two weeks after submission before the application is closed due to lack of evidence. If you are having any issues or have additional documentation to send in support of your application, please email studentmoney@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

In addition to the standard evidence requested, there could be circumstances where we ask for additional information. For example, if it looks as though we may be able to provide additional help with travel costs in instances, such as journeys to your parental home to care for a relative who is ill, we may ask for medical evidence relating to the illness.


Guidance documents

For more information about the assessment there is both our university and National Association of Money Advisers (NASMA) guidance, which inform our process.


If you feel you require a formal review of your assessment, please consult the Hardship Fund appeals procedure.

Appeals need to be put in writing to studentmoney@leedsbeckett.ac.uk setting out clearly the exceptional circumstances, material financial change or source of concern. Where applicable, evidence should be provided.

Already applied or need further information?

If you have applied for one of our additional funds and would like to discuss your application and circumstances in more detail, book an appointment.

If you have a query over the status of your application or would like more information about the Fund, you don’t need to make an appointment and we can usually answer your questions over the phone or via email.

Contact money advice

We offer advice about student funding, benefits, budgeting and debt, over the phone and at appointments. We run a Money Advice Line on 0113 812 5593. It is open Monday to Thursday between 10:00 and 12:00.

Looking for something else?

There's lots of helpful advice and guidance on our student information pages. Try searching if you know what you're looking for or if you're not sure where to go, you can browse our A-Z.