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Means-Tested Financial Support

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.  The principle means by which the University seeks to support UK and EU students is through the Cambridge Bursary Scheme.  In addition the College also has its own scheme for supporting UK and EU students which complements the Cambridge Bursary Scheme.




Any UK or EU student from an assessed household income of <£42,620 is likely to be eligible for an annual Cambridge Bursary/Cambridge European Bursary of up to £3,500 per year.  The value of each bursary will be based on your assessed household income, and calculated on a sliding scale up to a maximum of £3,500 per year in 2016/17 (£5,600 per year for some mature students). A student from an assessed household of <£25k will receive a bursary of £3,500 whereas a student from an assessed household income of £42,620 will receive a bursary of £50.

These bursaries (which are non-repayable) are funded partly by the University, and partly by the College.  Students will be eligible for a bursary for each year of their undergraduate course as long as they continue to meet these conditions.

More information about the Cambridge Bursary Scheme is available at:

No application is necessary for a Cambridge Bursary/Cambridge European Bursary as the Student Loans Company (SLC) will automatically assess both UK and EU students for a Bursary when students apply for a maintenance grant/loan[1] (UK) and a tuition fee loan (EU).  The Bursary will be paid in three instalments (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter) directly to students by the SLC.

Please make sure that both you and your parents or sponsors have given consent to share your financial information with the University.  You can do this retrospectively by contacting the SLC.

If you have any questions about the process or are unsure as to your eligibility then you should contact Dr Coombs immediately for advice. 



The College is very sensitive to the needs of its undergraduates and wants to ensure that no student is deterred from studying at Cambridge because of financial difficulties.  It is also keenly aware of the rising cost of a university education and is constantly keeping under review what level of support it can offer to its students and how it makes this support available.  The College also wants to ensure that any support it offers its students will not impact on any additional funding a student receives.  

In the light of this the College seeks to offer targeted financial help to home students to reduce their debt burden; this scheme complements the Cambridge bursary scheme.   Pembroke’s financial support is calculated automatically using the information available from the SLC. 

N.B. There are a number of different bursary schemes detailed below as the support available to you is dependent on what year you commenced your studies and whether you are financially assessed by Student Finance England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales or if you are from continental Europe.

The College recognises that individual circumstances may change over the length of the course, and will respond flexibly to any queries or anomalies that may arise in applying these guidelines in particular cases.

No application will be necessary for the Colleges means-tested maintenance support as bursaries are calculated automatically from the information given on the University or College Payment Advice (UCPA)issued by Student Finance and will be automatically be credited to your College bill in three instalments – the first instalment being made in the Lent term.


Pembroke Enhanced Bursaries for Students commencing their studies in or after October 2018

Pembroke College is participating in a pilot programme for enhanced bursaries which will apply for 2018-19 to undergraduate students in their first year. It is intended to top up the Cambridge Bursary Scheme, as well as supporting those in the income bracket above, and is funded mainly by donations from alumni. You will be given more details about this scheme in the early part of the Michaelmas term. In the meantime we urge you to make sure that information about your household income is supplied to Student Finance, and that permission to share the information is granted, so that you can be assessed for the additional support.  Since this is a pilot scheme, we want to assess how effective it has been. We will therefore be asking recipients of this support to participate in any follow up research programme.


Pembroke Bursaries for students who are financially assessed by Student Finance England and who started their course in between October 2016 and August 2018

Pembroke will award all students from a household with a residual household income of <£25k a bursary of £703 which, along with the £3,500 Cambridge Bursary, will give students £4,203 non- repayable support, enabling students to reduce the amount of loan they need to take out.  Student from households with a residual household income of between £25k and £42,620 will also receive an award (see table below).


Household Income

Means-tested assessed element of student loan[2]

Cambridge bursary 2015-16

Pem contribution

Non repayable support

Student's income from basic loan and non- repayable support

























Pembroke Bursaries for students who are financially assessed by Student Finance England and who started their course between September 2012 and September 2016

For students from a household with a residual household income of between £0 and £42,620, who are in receipt of a government maintenance grant, the College aims to make up a percentage of the shortfall between non repayable support available to students and the £7,200[3] estimated living costs. 


Household income

Non repayable income from maintenance grant & Cambridge Bursary

Est. annual living costs at Pembroke


% of shortfall contributed by College

College contribution

Total non repayable income with College contribution








£25,001 - £30,000

£6,370 - £4,916


£830 -  £2,284

65% - 41%

£540 - £936

£6,910 - £5,852

£30,001 - £35,000

£4,723 - £2,978


£2,477 - £4,222

40% - 31%

£991 - £1,309

£5,714 - £4,287

£35,001 - £40,000

£2,785 - £1,040


£4,415 - £6,160

30% - 21%

£1,325 - £1,294

£4,110 - £2,334

£40,001 - £42,620

£936 - £102


£6,264 - £7,098

20% - 12%

£1,253 - £852

£2,189 - £954

Pembroke Bursaries for students who are not financially assessed by Student Finance England and who started their course before or in 2017

The Pembroke Bursary Scheme for students who are not financially assessed by Student Finance England is designed to supplement the maintenance support they receive from the Cambridge Bursary/Cambridge European Bursary Scheme which provides support to students from households with a residual household income of less than £42,620.

Any student who is in receipt of a £3,500 Cambridge Bursary or Cambridge European Bursary will be eligible to receive up to an additional £1,350 from the College towards their maintenance costs (see table below).  All students will need to be reassessed each year in order to qualify for continued College support.

Household income

Cambridge Bursary/ Cambridge European Bursary

College contribution

Available support with College contribution





£25,001-£30, 000








£35,000 - £40,000








Pembroke Bursary scheme for students from household incomes of between £42,601 and £62,179 and who started their course before or in 2017

For Home[4] and EU students from households with a residual household income of between £42,601 and £62,179, the College will offer rent a rebate based on the average college room rent (not the rent of the room that the student is occupying) of between 20% and 11%:

Household income

Rent rebate

Annual rent rebate credited to student bill (based on 10 weeks occupancy)

£42,620 - £44,250



£44,251 - £46,250



£46,251 - £48,250



£48,251 - £50,250



£50,251 - £52,250



£52,251 - £54,250



£54,251 - £56,250



£56,251 - £58,250



£58,251 - £60,250



£60,251 - £62,179



Points to note:
  • Home/EU students do not have to apply: maintenance support and rebates are deducted, normally in arrears, from College Bills automatically.  The first being deducted in the Lent term.
  • Rebates can be adjusted, or additional rebates paid, when Financial Notifications (when applicable) are inaccurate or insensitive.
  • If you wish to make a case for an additional support, consult your Tutor – be ready to provide full written details of your finances.

[1] The maintenance grant was scrapped for students starting in 2016 or after.

[2] The first £3,821 of the student loan is not means tested and is available to all students irrespective of household income.  The remaining element of the loan is means-tested.

[3] The University estimates that students need approximately £8,500 to cover living expenses in Cambridge. However, in consultation with Pembroke students, the College estimates that a lower figure will normally be sufficient for students in Pembroke (depending on lifestyle).  Pembroke has historically had some of the lowest rents amongst the Cambridge Colleges.

[4] Students assessed by Student Finance England must be in receipt of the means-tested element of the student loan and the loan subject to income assessment must be greater than the assessed contribution to living costs in order to qualify.