The University and the College are both committed to the principle that students should not be debarred from studying here because of cost, and a number of schemes exist to alleviate genuine hardship. Whatever their background or source of funding, students who consider themselves in severe financial need should, as a first step, discuss their situation in confidence with their Tutor.
All those in genuine need, irrespective of their fee status, are eligible for consideration for one-off hardship awards from the College, whether because of an unexpected and sudden change in circumstances, or for other reasons. If you are in any doubt about making an application, consult your Tutor. We expect Home students to normally carry an overdraft, but it is important to let your Tutor know if your overdraft is near its limit. Students should also talk to their Tutor if they are incurring large credit card bills as the College discourages students from running up such debts. Student Finance funded students should also remember that if their family circumstances have changed since they submitted their form, and the family income has reduced by more than 15%, then they can ask for a reassessment. The College expects students to supplement their income by taking, where possible, paid work especially during the long vacation.
If after talking with your Tutor you would like to apply for hardship support from the College you should complete a hardship form. Applications can be made at any time of the academic year. You will be required to give details of your finances, but these will be treated in confidence by your Tutor, the Senior Tutor and the Tutorial Bursar.
Awards may be either grants or interest-free loans. Loans are usually offered until the end of the summer, allowing students to pay them off with earnings. Late arrival of your grant or student loan can produce cash-flow problems; if you are unable to pay your College Bill, see Dr Coombs – it is often possible to defer payment in certain circumstances, but it is important to make a formal arrangement about deferral, or you will be fined and charged interest for non-payment.
Managing finances is a skill that comes more easily to some students than others. When loans are offered to individuals, they may be accompanied by some advice about better management of funds in future. Any hardship grant that is awarded will be based on a calculation of sensible levels of student expenditure rather than on students’ actual spending if this is deemed excessive. Tutors will be sympathetic to a one-off mistake in budgeting, but much less so to a regular pattern of over-spending. If you would like advice on managing your finances then please feel free to consult your Tutor, the Tutorial Bursar or the College Registrar.