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Tips for applying for FAF

If you’re struggling financially, you can apply for the Financial Assistance Fund to help you with your living costs (eligibility criteria apply) – if you’re offered an award, you do not usually have to pay it back. The Financial Guidance team are aware that students sometimes have questions when they are making an application so we have created this post to help:

Don’t leave it until you have run out of money to apply

Please allow at least four weeks for the team to assess your application. If we ask for further information, it can take another four weeks. Sorry – we can’t fast-track applications; we assess these in strict date order to maintain fairness. But as we look at your income and spending over the full academic year, you don’t have to wait until you’re skint before applying.

Complete the application form

Many students don’t fill in all of the sections and this will delay assessment. Think about your expected costs – don’t forget travel, course costs (such as books, stationery, equipment, printer consumables, etc), prescriptions, etc. What are your financial problems? Have your circumstances changed since you started the year? Do you owe money to anyone? Give us as much info as possible so that we can have as full a picture as possible of your finances so we can help you.

We don’t want originals

If you don’t have pennies for the photocopier, please scan your documents and send them to us by email (we prefer PDF format as it is much easier to process). If you don’t have a scanner, computers are available in the library.

Don’t forget bank statements

If you bank online, you can usually download these in a PDF format – it is easy to then send them to us by email as an attachment. For further information, see our Financial Assistance Fund FAQs.

Be realistic

The assessment assumes that you will be budgeting and any award we make will be based on assessed need, so if you’ve gone on a spending spree and now can’t afford to pay your rent, we can’t guarantee that any award offered will cover this debt. However, if you’re worried about spending too much, we can provide further guidance on budgeting and money management.

Remember it is a discretionary fund and therefore not guaranteed

We don’t like saying no, but unfortunately not everyone is eligible for an award. Usually this is because your income is assessed as being sufficient for your expenditure. Due to service demands, we can’t automatically provide details of how the assessment was made on the outcome email, but this is available on request either by email or at a Drop-in – this can provide you with useful guidance if you would like to request a reassessment or appeal.

You can ask for a reassessment or an appeal

You can also ask us to reassess the application at any time during the year if your circumstances change. Further information about reassessments and appeals is available in the Financial Assistance Fund – How does it work booklet.

Don’t forget our deadlines!

The team can get very busy, especially up to and around deadlines – these dates cannot be moved. We also have a fixed budget for the Fund, so when this runs out, we can’t offer any more awards. Therefore please be aware that unfortunately the closer to the deadline you apply, the less likely it is that we can offer you an award.

If you have questions – ask!

We would much rather you handed in the correct evidence first time than having to ask you for further information – which will delay assessment. At certain times of the year (especially during the Autumn term, and from May onwards), we do get very busy – we might not always be able to give you an answer immediately but we will get back to you.

We hope you’ve found this helpful. If you have any further queries, please contact the Financial Guidance team.